The Malta Independent 11 August 2022, Thursday

Waterpolo: Sirens shock Neptunes with great comeback in last session, Sliema struggle past Valletta

Stewart Said Sunday, 16 July 2017, 07:14 Last update: about 6 years ago

Neptunes Leo Vegas 6

Sirens 8

(1-2, 1-0, 3-1, 1-5)

Neptunes’ seasn took another blow as they were defeated 8-6 by Sirens who made a brilliant comeback in the final session.

Now Neptunes are also risking their place among the top three, while permitting San Giljan to edge closer to the title.

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Despite not being at their best, Neptunes were slightly better than their opponents in the first half of the game. But their collapse in the last session showed that they have big problems as their lost their shape and practically Sirens did what they wanted.

Sirens had a bright start to the match, scoring twice with twoi typical goals by centre John Brownrigg. Neptunes pulled one back from Jordan Camilleri, and managed to equalise in the second session with the only goal of the session scored by Frenchman Romain Blary, beating Nicholas Grixti with a powerful strike.

Neptunes managed to take the lead for the first time in the third session, as Jordan Camilleri scored his second goal of the game after a mistake by Grixti and Stevie Camilleri opened up a three-goal lead, but David Cutajar managed to pull one back.

The champions restored their three-goal advantage in the last session with a goal by Sean Gravina. But the game had a twist as Sirens were commanding play, operating numerous times with counterattacks as the Neptunes’ defence was completely out of shape.

David Cutajar and Marc Grech got Sirens back in the game, and Isaiah Riolo equalised after a good run from another counter-attack. Christian Presciutti put Sirens in front from a penalty, and Clint Mercieca sealed the win with a minute left from another counter-attack. Neptunes:

Sliema Frank Salt Valletta Utd (1-3), (1-0), (3-2), (3-2)

8 7

Sliema managed to come out of the game with a hard fought win as they defeated bottom side Valletta United 8-7 with a goal very late in the game.

Bogdan Rath’s team found it difficult to dictate play as their opponents were compact especially in defence alongside goalkeeper Ryan Sciortino who had a brilliant game.

Valletta were so close to win a point against the top three for the first since returning to the waterpolo scene but they still finished the game emptyhanded. It was a brave performance by Valletta winning the first session and also were in front in the last session, but a blunder in defence in the last moments proved to be fatal.

Valletta won the first session 3-1 after Boris Vapenski scored a hattrick. Sliema were better in the second session but failed to score. Sliema also lost Jerome Gabarretta in the middle of the second session in an action where Sliema protested heavily after Valletta were awarded a corner.

Still trailing by a goal, Sliema were searching to take the lead for the first time, and did so after a quick brace by Nicholas Bugelli whose goals put Sliema 5-4 in front, but Mark Fenech scored the second goal for Valletta from close range to keep both teams at par.

Valletta took the lead after Mark Fenech and Keith Galea shadowed Christian Cluett’s goal, but a few seconds later Zach Mizzi equalised to put again both teams on level terms. The game was heading for a draw but in a dramatic finish Sliema managed to score the winning goal, as Cluett scored from close range after he was left unmarked. Sliema: Valletta: Referees:

M’Xlokk Fischer Ta’ Xbiex Amigos (2-0), (3-0), (1-1), (1-1)

After ending their unbeaten run last game, league leaders Marsaxlokk Fischer returned to winning ways as they brushed aside Ta’ Xbiex Amigos 7-2.

 

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