The Malta Independent 19 August 2019, Monday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: San Ġiljan demolish Sirens with their best performance of the season

Stewart Said Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 22:05 Last update: about 11 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

SIRENS GREENTUBE................... 8

SAN ĠILJAN TUM INVEST......... 17

(3-7), (1-4), (1-4), (3-2)

San Ġiljan TUM Invest fired a warning shot to the other title contenders as they easily disposed of Sirens Greentube to win third place and therefore will face Marsaxlokk in the play-offs. This was surely the best performance of San Ġiljan in this season and gave their coach Marko Orlovic a sigh of relief that his team can play splendid waterpolo. Matthew Zammit shined during the game scoring no less than seven goals, and with him in top form, San Ġiljan can beat anyone.

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Sirens had a 3-1 advantage after only three minutes. Those present might have thought that this will be another typical performance from Sirens, but San Ġiljan had other plans. In the space of less than three minutes, they scored five consecutive goals. Matthew Zammit scored his third of the game with less than half a minute from the end of the first session with a beautiful backhand that gave Nicky Grixti no chance.

Starting the second session 7-3 ahead, San Ġiljan made sure of the three points with another three consecutive goals for a 10-3 scoreline  with still half a session to play. Jerome Zerafa Gregory pulled one back but Dino Zammit converted a man-up to keep the seven-goal difference between both teams.

Orlovic's team kept cruising as Sirens were in shambles. Matthew Zammit scored from man-up, Niksa Dobud added another one from penalty and after Valentino Gallo had a penalty saved, Darren Zammit made the score 14-4. Presciutti responded for Sirens but Matthew Zammit replied from the next action.

The last session was just a formality as both coaches especially Orlovic, changed their formation to give youngsters some playing time. San Ġiljan responded twice to the goals by Gallo and Marc Grech scored from penalty late in the game.

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

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, B. Grech, A. Galea (1), N. Dobud (4), G. Molina, M. Zammit (7), B. Plumpton (1), K. Dowling, T. Said, Da. Zammit (1), P. Fava, Di. Zammit (3), T. Micallef, J. Bonavia, J. Portelli

Referees: Peter Balzan, Domenico Rotondano

 

MARSAXLOKK BROWN'S........... 11

EXILES ELIA CATERERS............... 15

(2-4), (2-4), (3-4), (4-3)

After winning only a point in the nine Premier Division games, Exiles Elia Caterers finally clinched their first win. In what might be considered as their best performance of the season, Exiles were more aggressive and concentrated as they started the game more solid than their opponents.

Despite that Exiles had a brilliant game, Marsaxlokk disappointed as they were a shadow of the team that gave tough matches to other teams in the Premier Division. They were sloppy and poor in defence, leaving goalkeeper Ryan Coleiro helpless at times, although Coleiro was responsible in some occasions.

Exiles started the game on a high, winning the first session 4-2 and showing signs of compactness in defence. Veterans Timmy Sullivan and Michele Stellini gave Exiles a double advantage while Nicky Paris scored at the end of the session to score the fourth goal for his team.

Paris scored a brace from a similar position and Michele Stellini enlarged the gap to 7-2. Ivan Nagaev kept his team hoping of a comeback, reducing the score to 8-4.

Vlahovic made it even 8-5 in the third session until Sullivan and Stellini were sharp enough to put Exiles with a comfortable five-goal lead, a gap that stayed till the beginning of the final session.

Marsaxlokk started again the session on a positive note scoring twice from Vlahovic and Timmy Agius to reduce the disadvantage to 12-9. But Michele Stellini assured his team of the win and continued to control the match till the end.

Marsaxlokk: R. Coleiro, J. Rizzo Naudi, L. Calleja, M. Cacici, T. Agius (2), J. Galea, A. Vlahovic (3), I. Nagaev (5), S. Micallef (1), R. Scerri, M. Pace, L. Saliba, F. Buhagiar, M. Martellacci, K. Galea

Exiles: M. Castillo, M. Stellini (4), A. Magri, M. Jelaca, T. Sullivan (3), S. Xerri de Caro, M. Fenech, K. Griscti (1), M. Vukicevic (1), A. Cousin (3), N. Paris (3), P. Paris, M. Martin, S. Apap, C. von Brockdorf

Referees: Stefan Licari, Domenico Rotondano

 

Valletta end second round on top

VALLETTA VIDEOSLOTS............. 17

BIRŻEBBUĠA FREEPORT............ 11

(3-1), (6-4), (4-4), (4-2)

After their defeat against Marsaskala, Valletta Videoslots were under pressure to win this game. They claimed the three points in style and thus ended the second round on top which means that they qualified directly to the play-off final.

Valletta were always in the lead. A hat-trick by Michele Mifsud in the first session paved the way for the win as Birżebbuġa were only tyring to catch their opponents. They reduced the gap to 6-5 in the second session and were even 10-8 in the third session.

But the Citizens scored three consecutive goals from Andrea Bianchi and twice from Miguel Zammit. Birżebbuġa recovered this setback and entered again with a chance to save the game. Antun Goreta scored in the third session while Antonio Petkovic and again Goreta made the score 13-11.

Birżebbuġa weren't sharp enough in attack to claw another goal and Valletta closed the game to secure an important win.

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines (2), A. Agius (1), P. Borg, A. Bianchi (2), R. Mock, D. Paolella, M. Mifsud (5), C. Zammit, M. Zammit (3), D. Kholod (1), N. Farrugia (1), R. Bonnici, S. Misic, M. Cordina (2)

Birżebbuġa: D. Spiteri, M. Borg, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi, C. Mifsud (1), A. Petkovic (2), S. Vassallo (1), D. Cutajar (1), J. Bajada (2), M. Cutajar, A. Goreta (4), M. Ortoleva, J. Cremona, C. Farrugia, L. Borg

Referees: Ronnie Spiteri, Andrea Zedda

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