The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Sirens raise the bar with a famous win over Neptunes

Stewart Said Saturday, 29 June 2019, 21:47 Last update: about 16 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS.......... 14

SIRENS GREENTUBE.............. 17

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

In recent years, a game against Sirens Greentube always was a tough nut to crack. Yesterday they surprised Neptunes Leo Vegas to win 17-14 after a great comeback in the second part of the game. Sirens must be considered a top team and having two foreigners like Christian Presciutti and Valentino Gallo is surely a plus for Sasko Popovski.

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Neptunes relied too much on Darko Brguljan as he was the top performer of his team, not only because he scored eight goals but he was more precise and quick thinking than his team mates. This loss must be an eye-opener for coach Jovan Popovic as at time Alan Borg Cole was helpless in goal. Jordan Camilleri was on two fouls early in the game and therefore couldn't be risked all the time.

Sirens showed resiliance after recovering from two goals in the first session and denied Neptunes the chance to run away with the game. That was despite finishing the session 9-6 after they conceded the ninth goal in a controversial manner as Sirens protested for a corner which wasn't given and Brguljan took advantage from a quick counter.

This proved to be stimulus that Sirens needed as from the second part of the third session to the first part of the last session, they scored six consecutive goals to turn an 11-7 disadvantage to 13-11. Stevie Camilleri missed a penalty when the score was 11-11. Sirens were scoring from everywhere and made things look so easy.

Neptunes didn't have a bold response to save the game and couldn't at least score twice consecutively to stay in the game as Sirens killed the game scoring two goals after a goal by Neptunes in two occasions for a famous win that should raise their bar for better things this season.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan, G. Pace, P. Muslim (2), D. Brguljan (8), S. Camilleri (2), J. Camilleri (1), J. Abela, N. Zammit (1), J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, B. Busuttil, S. Busuttil, J. Farrugia

Sirens: N. Grixti, J. Zerafa Gregory (2), C. Presciutti (6), P. Privitera, M. Grech, J. Brownrigg (3), I. Riolo (2), V. Gallo (1), J. Napier, E. Aquilina (2), L. Caruana (1), M. Sciberras, O. Gauci, G. Farrugia, G. Mellilo

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Gianfranco Bonavita

 

EXILES ELIA CATERERS........... 13

BIRŻEBBUĠA FREEPORT........ 11

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

Till the third session it looked as it was an easy victory but if the last session was a bit longer things could have changed. In the end Exiles Elia Caterers got what they wanted, a place in Premier Division but credit must also go to Birżebbuġa Freeport as they pushed their opponents till the last minute.

Maybe the slow start proved to be vital as they only started scoring in the beginning of the second session. By that time, Exiles had already scored four times in the first session. The prompt response by Exiles after the goals by their opponents and a goal from man-up by Marko Jelaca gave the indication of a comfortable afternoon with a 7-2 advantage by the end of the second session.

Exiles scored another two consecutive goals from Jelaca and veteran Michele Stellini and controlled the remainder of the session while Birżebbuġa clawed a goal back which at that point was insignificant.

With five minutes left in the last session Exiles had a 13-6 lead but Birżebbuġa weren't finished yet and scored consecutively to open a slim chance of avoiding defeat.

Aurelien Cousin made a penalty with 1.37 left on the clock, but Antonio Petkovic's penalty was well saved by Matthew Castillo, a goal that would have cut the lead to only two goals. Despite Simon Vassallo's late goal, that moment was enough for Exiles to be relieved that they didn't throw away an important game.

Exiles: M. Castillo, M. Stellini (1), A. Magri, M. Jelaca (3), T. Sullivan (3), S. Xerri de Caro, M. Fenech, K. Griscti, M. Vukicevic (5), A. Cousin, N. Paris (1), P. Paris, M. Martin, S. Apap, C. von Brockdorf

Birżebbuġa: A. Bugeja, M. Borg, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi, C. Mifsud, A. Petkovic (4), S. Vassallo (2), D. Cutajar, J. Bajada, M. Cutajar (1), B. Lorincz (3), M. Ortoleva (1), D. Spiteri, C. Farrugia, R. Spiteri

Referees: Peter Balzan, Stefano Scappini

 

OTTERS NIVEA..................... 15

VALLETTA VIDEOSLOTS........ 23

(2-5), (2-6), (2-8), (9-4)

It was an easy game for Valletta as they assured themselves of the win in the early stages of the second session. These three points will serve for the Citizens in the second period of the league as they will play in the First Division, a league they surely didn't aim to play in it.

Dmitri Kholod set the pace in the first session as he scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win. They continued their dominance in the second session as they widened the gap in the beginning of the session to better their performance and finish the session in a commanding 11-4 advantage.

As the difference between both teams was so evident, the third and four sessions were just a formality. Valletta continued to score in the third session in which Sasa Misic shined with three goals, two of them in a spectacular fashion.

In the last session, Valletta coach Bogdan Rath even substituted regular goalkeeper Ryan Sciortino with veteran Rueben Bonnici. Otters scored nine goals in the last session to make the score a bit more respectable.

Otters: D. Camilleri, C. Spiteri Debarro (1), F. Salamon (3), L. Hyzler, E. Meli, M. Lanzon (1), K. Scicluna, G. Mizzi (1), A. Mifsud, D. Zahra (2), B. Lanzon, M. Filipovic (7), M. Xerri

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines (2), A. Agius, P. Borg, C. Zammit (1), R. Mock, D. Paolella (2), M. Mifsud (1), M. Cordina, M. Zammit (2), D. Kholod (6), N. Farrugia (2), R. Bonnici, S. Misic (5), L. Gialanze (2)

Referees: Alex De Raffaele, Gianfranco Bonavita

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