The Malta Independent 8 December 2019, Sunday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Sliema pile more misery on San Ġiljan

Stewart Said Wednesday, 24 July 2019, 23:29 Last update: about 5 months ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina


SLIEMA FRANK SALT................ 14

(1-5), (4-2), (5-2), (2-5)

Sliema Frank Salt made a bold statement about their credentials to fight for honours this season as they came from behind to beat San Ġiljan TUM Invest 14-12 and pile up more pressure on the Saints. This was the fourth consecutive defeat in less than a week for them, in a match that they paid for a slow start. But after recovering, they failed to hold on, missing also some chances in front of goal.

Sliema had already built a four-goal advantage in the first part of the first session. Guillermo Molina reduced the arrears from a penalty but Nicholas Bigelli converted a man-up after Kai Dowling was sent-off, to put his team 5-1 in the lead.

Everything looked rosy for Sliema as after Subotic made it 6-1 in the beginning of the session, Bugelli responded to the goals by Matthew Zammit and Molina. They still had a 7-3 lead, but goals by Molina and especially Andreas Galea in the last nine seconds of the session, cut the deficit to only two goals.

San Ġiljan were much better in the third session. They didn't concede an opportunity for Sliema to have a man-up situation and controlled better the game, defending also better than the previous sessions. They equalised midway through the session as Molina scored his fourth personal goal for an 8-8 scoreline.

Dino Zammit put San Ġiljan in front for the first time but Nicholas Bugelli equalised with 18 seconds left for the end of the session. That was until it was again Zammit that put San Ġiljan 10-9 in the lead.

Having a goal advantage, could have given San Ġiljan the necessary boost to win this game, but Sliema had other plans as they responded in three consecutive occasions to have 12-12 result with half of the session left.

Serbian Gavril Subotic showed his quality by beating Jake Tanti to score his second consecutive goal and put Sliema in the lead. Pressure was again on San Ġiljan to save the match and they even rattled the crossbar twice, but couldn't score an important goal. Left-hander Michael Spiteri Staines put his sapporters in a festive mood as he confirmed the win in their last action of the game.

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea (1), N. Dobud (1), G. Molina (5), M. Zammit (2), K. Dowling, T. Said, Da. Zammit, P. Fava, Di. Zammit (3), T. Micallef, J. Bonavia, J. Portelli

Sliema: J. Parnis, J. Gabbarretta (1), G. Subotic (5), J. Sciberras, M. Meli, N. Hoznyansky (3), M. Spiteri Staines (1), L. Galea, B. Cachia, J. Gambin, Z. Mizzi, N. Bugelli (4), M. Vassallo, J. Cachia, K. Borg

Referees: Peter Balzan, Giovanni Lo Dico


SIRENS GREENTUBE................. 16


(3-4), (6-1), (1-5), (6-3)

Marsaxlokk Brown's Pharma gave a tough time but in the end they couldn't make the upset by defeating the leaders. This win for Sirens Greentube will serve as a warning to be more concentrated as after a slow start, they threw away a four-goal advantage. Marsaxlokk led by Joe Cremona, gave their utmost, relying on the strength of their foreigners Andrija Vlahovic and Ivan Nagaev.

In fact both Vlahovic and Nagaev scored twice each as Marsaxlokk won the first session 4-3, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage until Christian Presciutti reduced the margin.

Sirens were more concentrated in the second period and after Edward Aquilina equalised, a hat-trick in a minute and a half by Valentino Gallo settled his team. The Italian was called by Sasko Popovski as he was already on two personal fouls. They ended the session having a good 9-5 lead.

Marsaxlokk showed that they weren't over yet and after Nagaev scored from penalty and Marc Grech made it 10-6 from the next action, Joe Cremona's team managed to equalise from a hat-trick by Nagaev and another goal by Vlahovic. They countered their opponents several times as Sirens were attacking without defending.

Those who were watching the game, were thinking how far Marsaxlokk could go and if they can defeat Sirens. With less than four minutes left, Sirens only were 14-13 in front after Marsaxlokk reacted three times. But Sirens were disciplined in defence and didn't permit man-ups to their opponents. Isaiah Riolo closed the game with two minutes left on the clock and John Brownrigg sealed the win in the last half a minute.

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

Marsaxlokk: R. Coleiro, J. Rizzo Naudi (1), L. Saliba, L. Calleja, T. Agius, J. Galea, A. Vlahovic (4), I. Nagaev (7), S. Micallef (1), R. Scerri, M. Pace, M. Martellacci, F. Buhagiar, M. Cacici, K. Galea

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Tommaso Boccia



TA' XBIEX AMIGOS................. 13

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

Valletta Videoslots returned to top spot in the First Division as they beat easily Ta' Xbiex Amigos. The Citizens dominated the game which was practically over by the end of the second session and the last two sessions served only for Ta' Xbiex to reduce the margin against a weakened Valletta side.

Midway through the first session, Valletta had already a four-goal advantage coming from four different players. Ta' Xbiex reduced the gap to three goals twice from Nenad Kacar but in both occasions, Valletta responded from Miguel Zammit and Peter Borg to finish the first session 6-2.

A brace by Peter Borg and a goal by Dmitri Kholod enlarged the gap to seven goals after a session and a half. Jacob Saliba scored the third goal from man-up but Valletta scored three consecutive goals for a 12-3 lead and they finished the session 13-4 ahead.

Tactics weren't a big issue in the last two sessions as a total of 18 goals were scored. Ta' Xbiex had the consolation to at least win the third session and an interesting fact was that the six goals were scored by different players. The last session continued on the same rhythm as Valletta controlled with ease the last minutes.

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

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

Referees: Alex De Raffaele, Giovanni Lo Dico

  • don't miss