The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: No surprises after the first match day

Stewart Said Saturday, 15 June 2019, 21:02 Last update: about 2 months ago

SLIEMA FRANK SALT.... 18

BIRZEBBUGA FP .......... 13

(4-3), (4-1), (7-4), (3-5)

Birżebbuġa Freeport offered a stern test but it wasn’t enough to stop Sliema Frank Salt from registering their first win. Sliema still have to improve a lot if they want to throw themselves with a chance to fight for honours as they need their Maltese players to raise their level.

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Sergio Afric’s team had to brush off the rust in the first minutes of the game as Birżebbuġa went three times in front through a hattrick by Antonio Petkovic. But after Zach Mizzi equalised, Gavril Subotic put Sliema in the lead for the first time.

From then onwards, Sliema increased their lead gradually. Zach Mizzi and Mark Meli opened the gap to three goals and after Simon Vassallo scored for Birżebbuġa, a brace by the centre Jerome Gabarretta closed the second session with a promising 8-4 lead.

Sliema didn’t pull away and the gap stayed at five goals, until Norbert Hoznyansky scored twice in the last minutes of the session for a 15-8 lead. The last session was a formality but Birżebbuġa took the opportunity from a weakened Sliema team to close the margin and finish the game in a more respectable manner.

Sliema: J. Parnis, J. Gabarretta (3), G. Subotic (4), J. Sciberras, J. Sciberras, M. Meli (1), N. Hoznyansky (4), M. Spiteri Staines (1), L. Galea, B. Cachia (2), J. Gambin, Z. Mizzi (3), M. Vassallo, K. Borg

Birżebbuġa: D. Spiteri, M. Borg, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi (2), C. Mifsud, A. Petkovic (6), S. Vassallo (1), D. Cutajar (1), J. Bajada, M. Cutajar, B. Lorincz, M. Ortoleva (3), J. Cremona, C. Farrugia, R. Spiteri

Referees: Peter Francesco Romolini Balzan

 

VALLETTA VIDEO......... 22

TA’ XBIEX AMIGOS......... 8

(4-0), (6-3), (5-2), (7-3)

It was an easy game for Valletta Videoslots as they kicked off their campaign with a win against Ta’ Xbiex Amigos. All the four sessions had the same story, Valletta controlling the game while Ta’ Xbiex trying to limit the damage.

Debutant Sasa Misic had a positive performance for Valletta and the hard worker Dmitri Kholod could be useful for them in their quest to first confirm their Premier status and after try to avoid last place in the division. The foreigners of Ta’ Xbiex had a quiet game but their quality will probably shine when the team full of youngsters will play against opponents of their level.

Valletta took a bit of time to score their first goal but once they did, the game headed towards one direction. Despite that Valletta weren’t perfect in attack, Ta’ Xbiex were poor in front of goal in the first session. Bogdan Rath’s team practically sealed the win in the second session with five different players scoring the six goals.

Valletta continued to push for a bigger margin in the last two sessions but without making a huge effort, as their opponents found it difficult to cope physically. Sasa Misic bagged four goals, three of them in the last session while both foreigners of Ta’ Xbiex scored a goal each in the last session.

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines (1), A. Agius, P. Borg (2), N. Farrugia (2), R. Mock, D. Paolella (1), M. Mifsud (3), M. Cordina (3), C. Zammit, D. Kholod (4), R. Bonnici, S. Misic (6)

Ta’ Xbiex: Z. Sciberras, R. Greco, M. Demarco, N. Schiavone, M. Carani, G. Blundell, D. Fenech, N. Saliba (1), N. Kacar (1), G. Sammut (2), K. Tanti, N. Gitto (1), A. Theuma, J. Saliba (3), M. Mifsud

Referees: Brasiliano Richard Magri, Fabio

 

SAN GILJAN TUM INV ... 18

MARSASKALA F & F....... 11

(7-1), (4-0), (3-5), (4-5)

San Ġiljan TUM Invest followed the wins by Valletta and Sliema as they also beat their less quoted opponents. The final result might give a different indication of how the game progressed as San Ġiljan dominated the first part of the game and pulled their foot off the pedal after the break and permitted Marsaskala Fish and Fish to make the score more respectable.

Marko Orlovic’s team ended the first two sessions with a dominating 11-1 advantage. They scored seven goals in the first session as the gap grew bigger and bigger by the minute. San Ġiljan even scored four goals with no reaction by Marsaskala. Centre Niksa Dobud scored a hat-trick while Dino Zammit scored the other goal.

Marko Orlovic’s rotated the squad and even substituted the foreigners, keeping in mind the respect for his opponents. Marsaskala took advantage and won both sessions reducing the gap to seven goals. Dobud even scored another three goals in the last goals while Kristijan Milakovic did the same in the last session.

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea (1), N. Dobud (8), G. Molina (1), M. Zammit (2), B. Plumpton, K. Dowling (2), T. Said (2), Da. Zammit, P. Fava, Di. Zammit (2), T. Micallef, J. Bonavia, A. Saliba

Marsaskala: J. Micallef, J.C. Cutajar (1), A. Camenzuli (1), M. Manara, M. Aquilina, L. Grixti (1), K. Navarro, K. Milakovic (5), K. Averka (3), J. Culic, R. Attard, D. Borg Millo, M. Borg, L. Felice, J. Ciantar

Referees: Brasiliano Mario Dalli, Fabio

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