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Malta U-17 cap historical week with resounding win over Great Britain

Juian Valletta (no.3) shoots at goal against Great Britain. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli



(3-1, 3-0, 5-3, 4-1)


Z. Dzanovic, N. Bonavia, J. Valletta 1, G. Bonavia 1, J. Cassar 4, D. Bugeja, Z. Cutajar Licari 1, L. Montebello Brown 1, E. Schembri 3, J. Chircop 3, L. Dimech, E. Mallia 1, I. Schembri.


F. Monaghan, T. Davis 1, M. Dickson 1, J. Carolan, H. Walsh, H. Broadhurst, S. Fitzsimons, L. Mckie, R. Bentham 1, A. Cook 2, I. Nash, P. Ash, L. Hewitt.

Refs R. Vehovec, O. Ardaches

Malta U-17 did not have to break sweat to beat Great Britain 15-5 and collect maximum points from Group D of the LEN U17 European Junior Championship qualification tournament.

On paper, Great Britain looked like possibly tricky opponents when they faced Malta in their last commitment of the qualification tournament yesterday, considering the hosts were without two of their best players – the influential Jayden Cutajar, scorer of 15 goals, who was given a breather and Sam Engerer. 

Moreover, Malta had already reached their goal of winning the tournament with maximum points and qualifying for the finals in Turkey – an historical feat for a waterpolo national team.

However, the hosts kept up with the high standards set earlier in the tournament to ease off as comfortable winners.

Great Britain were unable to stay on the same wavelength with the Maltese throughout the match.

Elijah Schembri and Jayden Cassar took the baton from Cutajar.

Schembri scored three goals in the first two sessions, earning his side several man-up sets and penalty throws in the process. Cassar kept the momentum going after the change of ends.

It was 6-1 halfway through but the insatiable Milan Cirovic kept barking instructions and reproaching the boys for not always following his tactics.

In fact, apart from two penalties missed, the goals on man-up situations did not make encouraging readings. But the cushion the Maltese had did not raise any concerns.

Malta made it 11-4 going into the last session.

Julian Valletta and Zak Cutajar Licari scored in the last eight minutes as Malta managed to have eight different names on the scoresheet by end of the match to wrap up what has been a very encouraging week.

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