The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

San Ġiljan defeat Neptunes to take top spot before start of play-offs

Sunday, 31 July 2022, 06:18 Last update: about 13 days ago

NEPTUNES VIDEOSLOTS....... 9

SAN ĠILJAN JP PROJECTS.... 11

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

 

San Ġiljan JP Projects defeated champions Neptunes Videoslots to take top spot in the league and take psychological advantage just days before they battle again next Wednesday, this time in the BOV knock-out final.

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This loss represented the second consecutive defeat for Neptunes in a direct encounter after they fell prey to Sliema last week. These losses meant that they lost top spot in the league before the play-offs commence.

In play-off semi-finals, they will play their eternal rivals Sliema Frank Salt while San Ġiljan will play fourth placed team Sirens Mecca Marine. Since they classified in the first two positions, both San Ġiljan and Neptunes will start the best out of three series 1-0 ahead, and not like it was stated in previous reports.

The game practically had two chapters in a book. Neptunes were the better team in the first two sessions while San Ġiljan recovered in the last two. This game proved that Jordan Camilleri’s absence is proving to be pivotal in the game play of Neptunes as captain Stevie Camilleri has more weight on his shoulders to carry the team. Young Jake Muscat is not in his best physical shape due to his injury but since he’s still playing, more is expected from him especially in attack.

The game set its tempo from the early attacks. Neptunes had twice the advantage but San Ġiljan responded until Stevie Camilleri scored with a wonderful shot that gave Jake Tanti no chance. Neptunes looked to be one step ahead even in the second session and till that moment, they deserved their 5-3 lead.

Jake Muscat could have made it 6-3 midway through the third session, but he missed a penalty. This proved to be one of the most important moments of the game as San Ġiljan turned the tables in two minutes. Darren Zammit scored from man-up, Nikolai Zammit equalised from a penalty and Nicholas Bugelli put San Ġiljan ahead for the first time.

Stevie Camilleri showed his quality as he equalised twice with solo actions but this still wasn’t enough for Neptunes to finish the session on level terms. The slim advantage for San Ġiljan meant that Neptunes had to press more to save the game.

Nikolai Zammit’s brace kept Neptunes two goals away, despite the two immediate responses from Jeremy Abela and Alec Fenech. The last efforts for Neptunes were unsuccessful as San Ġiljan controlled the last 22 seconds of the game and even were good enough for Matthew Zammit to seal the win.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat, S. Gialanze (1), G. Pace (1), J. Cachia, J. Spiteri Staines, S. Camilleri (3), J. Camilleri, J. Abela (2), M. Spiteri Staines, A. Fenech (2), M. Castillo, M. Rossi, M. Farrugia

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, P. Borg, A. Galea (1), N. Schiavone, R. Caruana (1), M. Zammit (1), B. Plumpton (2), D. Tully, J. Bonavia, N. Zammit (4), D. Zammit (1), N. Bugelli (1), G. Vassallo, M. Ortoleva, D. Fero

Referees: Mirko Schiavo, Peter Balzan

 

BIRŻEBBUĠA FREEPORT.... 7

EXILES.............................. 15

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

 

Last week they were close to end their losing streak in the Premier Division. In their last attempt, Exiles managed to claim three points which will boost their morale ahead of the Għaqda Ġurnalisti Sports Cup to be played next week against Sirens.

After Ben Grech had responded to Mark Fenech’s opener, Exiles scored three consecutive goals till the end of the session. Their advantage was consolidated in the second session until Birżebbuġa scored twice to reduce the deficit to 7-4.

Birżebbuġa were still in the game during the third session but failed to reduce the gap to less than three goals. Exiles managed to capitalise late in the session and scored twice from Niki Paris and Luke Gialanze to take a comfortable 11-6 lead for the last session.

Exiles looked determined but conscious enough to know that they only needed to control the game. They scored four consecutive goals to finish the game 15-7. A sigh of relief was clearly visible on the faces of Exiles players and staff after a difficult campaign.

Birżebbuġa: M. Vassallo, J. Farrugia (1), N. Cassar (1), B. Grech (1), C. Mifsud (1), R. Mock, N. Fenech, D. Cutajar, D. Farrugia, K. Tanti (2), S. Bezzina, M. Curmi, M. Sladden, D. Incorvaja, G. Sammut (1)

Exiles: M. Castillo, N. Saliba (1), L. Gialanze (2), P. Paris (1), T. Sullivan, S. Xerri de Caro (1), M. Fenech (3), K. Griscti (1), N. Paris (2), J. Bajada (1), M. Aquilina (1), D. Fenech, G. Borg, M. Martellacci (1), L. Pursehouse (1)

Referees: Mirko Schiavo, Massimo Angileri

 

BOV FIRST DIVISION

VALLETTA IZIBET.................. 3

M’SKALA FISH AND FISH...... 7

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

 

Valletta: B. Busuttil, N. Farrugia, M. Pace, L. Hyzler, S. Busuttil, Z. Micallef, D. Paolella, J. Culic, S. Micallef, A. Agius, K. Galea, K. Cremona, A. Bugeja, L. Felice, R. Attard

Marsaskala: J. Micallef, J.C. Cutajar, A. Camenzuli, P. Privitera, R. Greco, G. Galea, K. Navarro, M. Manara, D. Pace Lupi, G. Sammut, J. Ciantar, M. Carani, A. Muscat, F. Scardino, L. Falzon

Referees: Danilo Mazzoccoli, Neville Mercieca

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

 

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