The Malta Independent 22 November 2019, Friday

Waterpolo, BOV Summer League: Neptunes crowned champions for the 26th time

Stewart Said Saturday, 7 September 2019, 22:09 Last update: about 3 months ago
Photos: James Galea
Photos: James Galea

SLIEMA FRANK SALT...................... 10

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

(4-2), (1-4), (3-5), (2-3)

Neptunes Leo Vegas are yet again champions and they did it in style defeating for the fifth time this season their rivals Sliema Frank Salt 14-10. This is their 26th championship and are now only five away from the record held by Sliema.

Neptunes showed their quality in the best way possibble, dominating the last two sessions, in what was Niki Lanzon's final game as a player after he decided to retire at almost 39 years. It was a stellar career for one of the most exemplary players in the game and it will not be easy for Neptunes to replace him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite failing again to win an honour this season, Sliema made a significant progress from last year and if their progress continues like this year, Sliema might taste some honour next year, although it will not be easy. But for sure they are in the right direction.

Sliema started the game like the first encounter on Wednesday and won the first session 4-2. Both Norbert Hoznyansky and Jamie Gambin scored a brace each as the Hungarian showed his strength with two brilliant goals. Neptunes had taken the lead twice from Darko Brguljan and Stevie Camilleri.

Neptunes recovered the deficit in the second session and claimed a 5-4 advantage after three consecutive goals. Subotic equalised but Niki Lanzon kept his team a goal in front at their last action of the session.

This goal inspired his team as they took control of the game in the third session and after Sliema reduced the gap to a goal twice, Stevie Camilleri scored a deciding brace in less than a minute. Zach Mizzi pulled one back but Jordan Camilleri kept his team with an important three-goal advantage.

At that point, Neptunes were already in the driving seat to win the game but Stevie Camilleri made sure of the win early in the last session. Muslim even made it 13-8 as they controlled the session.

At around two minutes before the end of the game, Niki Lanzon came out of the water as a player for the final time amongst the ovation by his sapporters and team-mates. After the final whistle, celebrations started for Neptunes while Lanzon lifted the final trophy as captain for the last time.

Sliema: J. Parnis, J. Gabarretta, G. Subotic (3), J. Sciberras, M. Meli, N. Hoznyansky (3), M. Spiteri Staines, L. Galea, B. Cachia, J. Gambin (2), Z. Mizzi (1), N. Bugelli (1), M. Vassallo, K. Borg, J. Cachia

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon (1), K. Erdogan, G. Pace, P. Muslim (1), D. Brguljan (3), S. Camilleri (6), J. Camilleri (2), J. Abela, N. Zammit (1), J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi, B. Busuttil

Referees: Luca Bianco, Filippo Gomez

  • don't miss