The Malta Independent 26 September 2023, Tuesday
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Sliema set title showdown against San Ġiljan after another win against Neptunes

Friday, 12 August 2022, 07:54 Last update: about 2 years ago

Stewart Said

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


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


A second consecutive win in the space of three days for Sliema Frank Salt permitted Beto Fernandez’s team a deserved place in the best out of three final against San Ġiljan JP Projects. Sliema were determined to take the chance and stay in the hunt for the title, an honour which has been away from them for more than a decade.

Neptunes failed to get hold of the game and like last Tuesday’s game, they had flashes of their own capabilities but couldn’t set the agenda. Jordan Camilleri’s return for a few minutes wasn’t able to trigger his team-mates as captain Stevie Camilleri was a bit isolated although he tried to rally his team.

This defeat showed that the decision taken by the committee Neptunes to relieve Jovan Popovic’s off his duties was a bad idea. New coach Dorian Pisani had very little time to implement his ideas and led the team to a knock-out final and two play-off semi-finals, all crucial games.

Benji Cachia and Dino Zammit gave Sliema an important double lead although Neptunes recovered and ended the session 3-2 in front after a brace by Stevie Camilleri and another goal by Sam Gialanze.

Neptunes had a two-goal lead twice in the second session but Sliema stayed in the game, first by John Brownrigg from man-up and Dino Zammit reacted immediately from penalty after the goal by Gabriel Pace. Zach Mizzi equalised in Sliema’s last action of the session.

Both teams missed a man-up opportunity in the second session until Stevie Camilleri put Neptunes 6-5 ahead from a penalty that was contested by Sliema. But during the last three minutes of the session, Sliema gained control of the game.

A man-up situation, coach Beto Fernandez called a time-out. From the same attack, Brownrigg equalised. In the last minutes Sliema scored twice from Zach Mizzi and veteran Mark Meli to give their team an 8-6 lead.

Everyone was expecting what Neptunes had stored for the last session. A bold reaction was expected but Neptunes missed two man-up opportunities while Sam Gialanze was fouled-out. Sliema made sure of the win midway through the last session.

They capitalised on two man-up situations. Liam Galea and Zach Mizzi scored the goals as they controlled the final minutes of the game. The satisfaction and determination on the players and technical staff’s faces was evident as they now point to surprise San Ġiljan, starting from next Saturday.

Sliema: N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta, L. Galea (1), D. Rizzo, M. Meli (1), B. Cachia (1), J. Cutajar, M. Mifsud, J. Brownrigg (2), J. Gambin, Z. Mizzi (3), D. Zammit (2), A. Theuma, K. Borg

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat, S. Gialanze (1), G. Pace (1), J. Cachia, J. Spiteri Staines, S. Camilleri (4), J. Camilleri, J. Abela (1), M. Spiteri Staines, A. Fenech, M. Castillo, M. Rossi, M. Farrugia

Referees: Daniele Bianco, Massimo Angileri

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