The Malta Independent 17 July 2019, Wednesday

Waterpolo, BOV Winter League: Holders San Ġiljan shocked by Sliema

Stewart Said Sunday, 5 May 2019, 16:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST..... 10

SLIEMA FRANK SALT............. 11

(3-4), (3-2), (1-3), (2-3)

Holders San Ġiljan TUM Invest were shocked by a late goal from Zach Mizzi as Sliema Frank Salt will face Neptunes Leo Vegas in the play-off final for the Winter League. It was an exciting affair between two competitive teams but the final result probably made amends with Sliema's performance as they were slightly better than their opponents, considering also their previous performances.

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Sergio Afric was suspended from the bench but Sliema welcomed back Jerome Gabarretta who played a central part in Sliema's win while youngster Miguel Vassallo had a positive game in goal filling in for Joseph Sammut who was on the bench.

San Ġiljan didn't had the control of the game as they normally do and had to react several times after Sliema took the lead in more than one occasion. This result must give the necessary boost for San Ġiljan as they seem to be stuck in their constant improvement and the Summer League will be much more difficult.

After Matthew Zammit gave San Ġiljan the lead in two occasions, Sliema took the lead for the first time thanks to a goal by youngster Jacob Sciberras. Zammit this time equalised for San Ġiljan but Jerome Gabarretta made sure of giving his team the lead before the end of the first session.

Their lead grew to three goals as things seemed to be heading Sliema's way but San Ġiljan made a brave reaction to cut the deficit with three consecutive goals in the second part of the second session.

Paul Fava gave Marko Orlovic's team the lead early in the third session, a lead which proved to be for the last time in the game. Nicholas Bugelli and Benji Cachia put Sliema in front and after Michael Spiteri Staines missed a penalty, Liam Galea gave a well-earned two goal cushion.

As things stood, San Ġiljan needed an early goal in the last session to stay in the game. Despite not managing to do so, San Ġiljan showed their quality to equalise with a quick fire double by Andreas Galea in the middle of the session.

But this reaction prompted Sliema to up their game and from the subsequent action that had a man-up situation in which Nicholas Bugelli put his team ahead. Ben Plumpton appeared to put the game in extra-time until Zach Mizzi scored the winner four seconds from the end.

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, A. Saliba, A. Galea (2), B. Grech, K. Dowling, M. Zammit (4), B. Plumpton (1), C. Farrugia, T. Said (1), Da. Zammit, P. Fava (1), Di. Zammit (1), T. Micallef

Sliema: J. Sammut, J. Gabarretta (2), L. Galea (1), J. Sciberras (3), M. Meli, B. Cachia (1), M. Spiteri Staines, D. Rizzo, J. Pace Mizzi, M. Muscat, Z. Mizzi (2), N. Bugelli (2), M. Vassallo, J. Valletta, J. Cassar

Referees: Mario Dalli, Ronnie Spiteri

 

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS..... 14

VALLETTA VIDEOSLOTS..... 2

(4-0), (6-0), (2-0), (3-2)

Before the game it was predicted to be an interesting match but the final result proved to be nowhere near as Neptunes Leo Vegas smashed their way into the final defeating easily Valletta Videoslots. The Citizens were never in the game and had no reaction to their opponents' goal. With this performance, Neptunes must start as favourites to win the league.

Neptunes paved their way for the win winning the first session 4-0. Jeremy Abela scored two brilliant goals while Matthias Azzopardi and Gabriel Pace listed themselves amongst the scorers. After a negative first session, Valletta were in need of a reaction but Neptunes continued to dominate as Alan Borg Cole had a quiet game in goal.

They started the third session in a commanding and comfortable 10-0 lead. Valletta failed again to score in this session as Neptunes controlled the game with ease, scoring twice from Matthias Azzopardi and another brilliant goal by Abela who was in-form on the day. Bogdan Rath's team had the minimal consolation to score in the last session in a situation that made no difference.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon (2), K. Erdogan (1), G. Pace (1), V. Ragone, J. Farrugia, J. Muscat (1), S. Busuttil, J. Abela (6), N. Zammit, S. Stellini, M. Azzopardi (2), B. Busuttil, S. Gialanze, M. Farrugia (1)

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius (1), P. Borg, C. Zammit, R. Mock, D. Paolella, M. Mifsud, N. Farrugia, M. Zammit, L. Gialanze, R. Bonnici, A. Bianchi (1)

Referees: Peter Balzan, Neville Mercieca

 

FIRST DIVISION

Birżebbuġa v Marsaxlokk              7-6

Marsaskala v Otters                        6-2

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