The Malta Independent 25 August 2019, Sunday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Neptunes power past San Ġiljan in a battle

Stewart Said Friday, 19 July 2019, 23:13 Last update: about 2 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST.... 15

NEPTUNES LEO VEGAS........ 16

(4-4), (6-3), (3-5), (3-4)

Champions Neptunes Leo Vegas earned a second consecutive win in direct encounters in a space of three days as somehow they defeated San Ġiljan TUM Invest. This encounter was full of tension as both teams were more than ready to finish the game as winners and if the game finished in a draw it would also by justified.

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Credit goes to Neptunes who fought back to recover after they were 12-8 down in the third session. San Ġiljan had earlier scored three consecutive goals in the second session to take the lead for the first time. This rivalry will be renewed on Sunday as they clash again in the knock-out.

What is sure is that both referees had a difficult match to control. The pressure piled on them especially in the last moments of the game.

San Ġiljan recovered twice in the first session after had a 2-0 and 3-2 advantage, until Jordan Camilleri kept Neptunes in front late in the session. Muslim and Jordan Camilleri kept Neptunes 6-4 after Niksa Dobud had reduced the gap partially.

But Marko Orlovic's team was brave enough to equalise from Guillermo Molina and Dino Zammit and after Muslim scored for Neptunes, Dobud, Matthew and Dino Zammit gave San Ġiljan a 9-7 lead in the space of a minute and a half.

San Ġiljan were in control and opened up a four-goal lead twice as by the middle of the third session they were 12-8. Neptunes reacted and showed that this game wasn't over. The Camilleri were instrumental in this revival as they scored three goals, two from man-ups and a penalty to cut the gap to only a goal.

The game changed its head after Niksa Dobud was fouled-out with 1.17 left and Darko Brguljan equalised with seven seconds left for the end of the third session. Brguljan fired past Jake Tanti in the beginning of the last session until Molina equalised, but few seconds later Paul Fava was sent-off.

Youngster Nikolai Zammit put Neptunes in the lead and doubled the advantage with 2.27 left, a goal that brought several protests from San Ġiljan because they argued that the ball didn't cross the line.

Molina scored his fifth personal goal to keep San Ġiljan's hopes alive until Stevie Camilleri made it 16-14. This goal was followed by arguments between Stevie Camilleri and Ben Plumpton while other players including Dino Zammit entered the fray. The referees decided to send off Camilleri and Plumpton for brutality while Zammit was sent-off with substitution. This situation left both teams finishing the game with a man less.

From the subsequent action, San Ġiljan were awarded a penalty on Matthew Zammit and Jordan Camilleri was also fouled-out. Molina scored to reduce the margin to a goal. In the end, Neptunes goalkeeper Alan Borg Cole saved his team as his reflexes saved a powerful shot by Matthew Zammit. The next appointment between these teams is for less than 48 hours.

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea, N. Dobud (4), G. Molina (6), M. Zammit (1), B. Plumpton, K. Dowling, T. Said, Da. Zammit (1), P. Fava, Di. Zammit (3), T. Micallef, J. Bonavia, J. Portelli

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan, G. Pace, P. Muslim (3), D. Brguljan (2), S. Camilleri (5), J. Camilleri (4), J. Abela, N. Zammit (2), J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, B. Busuttil, S. Busuttil, J. Farrugia

Referees: Mario Dalli, Daniele Bianco

 

TA' XBIEX AMIGOS............... 6

OTTERS NIVEA..................... 11

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

Otters Nivea commenced the second round in the best way possible beating Ta' Xbiex Amigos 11-6. Otters had their four players missing from the last back in the fray, and this factor gave their coach Anthony Farrugia more options to rotate the squad.

Otters had a bright start, building a 4-0 advantage while they finished the first session 5-2 after Ta' Xbiex reduced the gap from Mark Demarco and Niccolo Gitto. Nenad Kacar responded to the goal by Ferenc Salamon until Luke Hyzler and Milos Filipovic gave their team a five-goal cushion,

Ta' Xbiex made a fine reaction in the third session as they took advantage from the lack of concentration by their opponents. Giuseppe Dato's team scored three consetutive goals from a brace by Niccolo Gitto and Mark Demarco, but a goal by veteran Claudio Spiteri Debarro kept Otters in the driving seat. Otters sealed the win in the last minute of the match with goals from Milos Filipovic and Edward Meli.

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

Otters: D. Camilleri, C. Spiteri Debarro (1), F. Salamon (2), L. Hyzler (2), E. Meli (1), M. Lanzon (1), G. Mizzi, D. Dimech, A. Mifsud, D. Zahra, B. Lanzon, M. Filipovic (4), M. Farrugia, G. Vella, J.L. Zahra

Referees: Alex De Raffaele, Fabio Brasiliano

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