The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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Sliema snatch late win against Neptunes

Sunday, 24 July 2022, 08:09 Last update: about 2 years ago

Stewart Said



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


It looked like it was going to be another direct encounter lost for Sliema. But Dino Zammit had other plans. He was brought in the team to make the difference and he sure did in this game. Sliema scored only once in the third session and lost a double advantage. Zammit scored twice in the last minute and a half of the game to snatch a win that could mean a lot in the race for the championship.

This result meant that Neptunes suffered their first defeat of the campaign and if they lose against rivals San Ġiljan in a few days’ time this would mean that they finish second. Then in the play-offs, they will face third placed Sliema, starting 1-0 down in the best of three series, due to this defeat. But everything is hypothetical till now.

All in all Sliema had a good game but lowered their tempo in the latter part of the game. Nicky Grixti was positive in goal and collectively looked better. Neptunes didn’t have their best performance in their last game against Sirens and this defeat will switch on an alarm for Jovan Popovic’s team.

Sliema started the game on a high as Jamie Gambin converted successfully the first man-up of the game and a minute later John Brownrigg doubled the lead. Neptunes reacted and by midway through the first session they recovered the advantage after goals by Stevie Camilleri and Gabriel Pace from man-up.

In the second session, both teams failed to take advantage from three man-ups each until Dino Zammit regained the lead for Sliema, scoring from a penalty after a foul by Max Farrugia. Zammit doubled the lead for Sliema but Neptunes showed resilience to recover. They scored twice in the last minute of the third session from Alec Fenech and Sam Gialanze.

Sliema’s ex-player Michael Spiteri Staines put Neptunes in the lead at the beginning of the last session. Many thought the match was going Neptunes' way, but although the Reds looked to be in control, they failed to close the game. Sliema didn’t look much dangerous but they stayed a goal adrift.

Dino Zammit equalised less than a minute and a half till the end with a shot from a central position that was deflected and gave Alan Borg Cole no chance. Then with less than a minute left, Dino Zammit countered and put the ball past Borg Cole again.

Neptunes wasted their last attempt to avoid defeat as the final whistle was met with joy from the Sliema supporters but not only as the players and technical staff felt that it was more than three points but a win that could energise their season.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat, S. Gialanze (1), G. Pace (1), J. Cachia, J. Spiteri Staines, S. Camilleri (1), J. Camilleri, J. Abela, M. Spiteri Staines (1), A. Fenech (1), M. Castillo, M. Rossi, M. Farrugia

Sliema: N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta, L. Galea, D. Rizzo, M. Meli, B. Cachia, J. Cutajar, M. Mifsud, J. Brownrigg (1), J. Gambin (1), Z. Mizzi, D. Zammit (4), A. Theuma, K. Borg

Referees: Federico Braghini, Massimo Angileri



EXILES............................... 9

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


On Wednesday, they were unlucky not to snatch at least a point against Neptunes, but yesterday Sirens were fortunate to steal the three points against bottom placed Exiles. Sirens weren’t at their best during most of the game, credit also goes to Exiles who really looked determined not to finish the game empty handed.

Sirens had numerous man-up situations in which they failed to capitalise but probably due to the large number of Exiles players on two fouls, this factor proved to be a plus for Sirens in the latter stages of the game. It was one of the reasons while the Exiles bench weren’t happy with the control of the referees.

Marko Orlovic’s side reacted after David Fenech’s opener scoring twice from Jerome Zerafa Gregory and Matthias Azzopardi. Exiles took control of the game in the second session and managed to open up a 5-2 lead, which at that time was deserved.

Sirens reduced the margin to 5-4, but Exiles kept their noses in front till the end of the third session 7-6. The game also was becoming more intense as both teams felt the need to win this game. Exiles even had an advantage of 8-6 in the last session after the third goal of the game by Aquilina.

But in the blink of an eye, Sirens equalised after a quick brace by Ken Erdogan and Azzopardi put them in the lead. Aquilina equalised but Paul Serracino scored the match winner in their last attack of the game, a goal which was quite fortunate. Exiles tried to salvage a point in the last seconds, but it was to no avail.

Sirens: T. Micallef, P. Serracino (1), K. Erdogan (2), J. Sciberras (1), J. Zerafa Gregory (1), G. Farrugia (1), M. Chircop, I. Riolo, J. Napier (1), M. Cutajar, M. Sciberras, M. Azzopardi (3), M. Bonello Dupuis, G. Melillo, K. Agius

Exiles: M. Castillo, N. Saliba, L. Gialanze, P. Paris, T. Sullivan, S. Xerri de Caro, M. Fenech (1), K. Griscti, N. Paris, J. Bajada (1), M. Aquilina (4), D. Fenech (2), G. Borg, M. Martellacci (1), L. Pursehouse

Referees: Attilio Paoletti, Ronnie Spiteri



VALLETTA IZIBET........... 10

TA’ XBIEX AMIGOS......... 7

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


Valletta: B. Busuttil, M. Pace, T. Said, L. Hyzler, S. Busuttil (2), Z. Micallef (1), D. Paolella, M. Mifsud (4), S. Micallef, A. Agius, K. Galea (1), K. Cremona (1), A. Bugeja, L. Felice (1)

Ta’ Xbiex: R. Coleiro, C.J. Saliba, E. Aquilia, J. Pace Mizzi (1), E. Meli, S. Engerer, J. Saliba (2), J. Cassar (3), E. Schembri, Z. Cutajar Licari (1), B. Attard Littschwager, J. Chircop, D. Galea Mule

Referees: Federico Braghini, Richard Magri

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