The Malta Independent 17 August 2019, Saturday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Sirens finish the first round on top

Stewart Said Wednesday, 17 July 2019, 22:46 Last update: about 30 days ago

SIRENS GREENTUBE.............. 9

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST...... 8

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

San Ġiljan TUM Invest lost their first game of the league after their comeback was too late to avoid defeat against Sirens Greentube. After the first round, Sirens are now on top, losing only to Sliema. They deserved the win as they were sharper than their opponents and during the game had the control. San Ġiljan failed to be consistent during the game and finished running after the game.

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Both teams were playing tit for tat in the first two sessions. San Ġiljan were twice in the lead in the first session while Valentino Gallo scored twice for Sirens, giving also the lead in the beginning of the match.

John Brownrigg and Valentino Gallo gave Sirens a 4-3 lead in the second session and Edward Aquilina kept Sirens in front after Matthew Zammit equalised. Dino Zammit and Guillermo Molina put San Ġiljan ahead of the break.

Sirens were in the game and looked more determined in the third session. They caught San Ġiljan off-guard and after Aquilina equalised, Isaiah Riolo put them in the lead and Gallo doubled their advantage. The fifth goal by Gallo in the middle of the last session seemed to close the game.

San Ġiljan surged for a late comeback to recover a three-goal margin. Guillermo Molina scored twice in less than a minute to open the game with two minutes left. But Marko Orlovic's team failed to at least win a draw as Sirens put their bodies in front of goal to keep their advantage.

Sirens: N. Grixti, J. Zerafa Gregory, C. Presciutti, M. Grech, J. Brownrigg (1), I. Riolo (1), V. Gallo (5), J. Napier, E. Aquilina (2), L. Caruana, M. Sciberras, O. Gauci, G. Farrugia, G. Melillo

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea, N. Dobud (1), G. Molina (5), M. Zammit (1), B. Plumpton, K. Dowling, T. Said, Da. Zammit, P. Fava, Di. Zammit (1), T. Micallef

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Stefano Alfi

 

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS........... 10

SLIEMA FRANK SALT............... 9

(2-3), (3-2), (2-2), (3-2)

After losing to San Ġiljan, Neptunes returned to winning ways in a difficult fashion. The win against Sliema Frank Salt developed after they went through a rough patch in which they needed to recover from two goals down in the third session.

But the quality of Neptunes came out in the last period and managed to snatch three important points. Sliema gave a tough match to their opponents and their improvement is slightly showing, despite not being sharp enough to avoid defeat.

Jerome Gabarretta gave Sliema a double lead in the first part of the first session until Neptunes equalised twice in less than 45 seconds from Jordan Camilleri and Darko Brguljan. After Gavril Subotic scored immediately, Neptunes took the lead for the first time in the second session through goals by Gabriel Pace.

Jordan Camilleri kept his team in the lead after Subotic equalised, but Zach Mizzi equalised in their last action of the session after they had the possession due to a judgement from the referees that the shot by Muslim was taken after the possession had ended.

Neptunes were clean in their blocks but Sliema scored twice from Michael Spiteri Staines and Gavril Subotic. At that point, Sliema seemed to be a step ahead but Neptunes showed their strength and equalised from a brace by Jordan Camilleri in the last minute and a half.

Subotic restored the lead for Sliema in the beginning of the last session. Neptunes had other plans and first Stevie Camilleri equalised from a solo action and took a 10-8 lead after two penalties by Darko Brguljan and Stevie Camilleri.

Bugelli pulled one back with almost half a session left but despite their efforts they failed to save the match.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan, G. Pace (2), P. Muslim, D. Brguljan (2), S. Camilleri (2), J. Camilleri (4), J. Abela, N. Zammit, J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, B. Busuttil, S. Busuttil, S. Stellini

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

Referees: Peter Balzan, Andrea Zedda

 

BIRŻEBBUĠA FREEPORT...... 21

OTTERS NIVEA.................... 14

(5-0), (6-5), (4-4), (6-5)

In reality it was an easy game for Birżebbuġa Freeport against a depleted Otters Nivea. The seven-goal margin win permitted them to reach Valletta on top of the table with nine points. Otters as a team are already limited but they had four players missing and coach Anthony Farrugia was short of options.

Birżebbuġa paved their way to win the three points with a commanding performance in the first session, winning it 5-0. This gave them the necessary boost to control the game with ease, finishing the second session 11-5 in the lead. Otters showed signs of fighting responding three consecutive times after goals by their opponents.

Birżebbuġa assured of the win, if their was any doubt, in the third session. Their coach Pierre Borg also took the opportunity to rest several players while giving others some playing time. Otters kept playing their game till the end to limit the damage and finish the game with a respectable score.

Birżebbuġa: D. Spiteri, M. Borg, N. Cassar (1), D. Pace Lupi, C. Mifsud (1), A. Petkovic (7), S. Vassallo (1), D. Cutajar (2), J. Bajada (2), M. Cutajar, A. Goreta (5), M. Ortoleva (2), J. Cremona

Otters: M. Xerri, F. Salamon (3), L. Hyzler (2), E. Meli (1), D. Dimech, G. Mizzi, J.L. Zahra, A. Mifsud, D. Zahra (2), I. Azzopardi, M. Filipovic (6)

Referees: Stefan Licari, Stefano Alfi 
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