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Sliema slam past Otters on opening day of National League

Sirens got the better of Exiles on Friday. Photo: Timmy Cutugno

Sirens beat Exiles in Friday’s top match

OTTERS 7

SLIEMA 13

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

The BOV National League got underway on Friday evening with the opening matches from the preliminary round at the National Pool as Sirens won the top match of the evening. Yet it was Marsaxlokk who sprung the first shock to hold Marsascala 10-10. Sliema put their President’s Cup defeat behind them to chalk up the first win.

The Blues put their defeat against San Giljan when easing their way to a 13-7 win against Otters.

Sliema, handicapped by the unavailability of Serbian Andrija Prlainovic, were still a superior side, especially in the phase of execution.

In this respect, Dimitri Kholod stood out with four goals to his credit.

The outcome may have never been in doubt despite Otters’ efforts to keep fighting till the end, particularly through Jovan Saric who scored four goals.

OTTERS

M. Xerri, M. Bonnici, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, M. Meli, M. Jelaca 2, I. Azzopardi, S. Dimech, L. Dimech 1, J. Saric 4, M. Farrugia, A. Dimech, G. Gatt Ellis, K. Micallef, K. Saliba.

SLIEMA

N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta 3, L. Galea 2, J. Gambin 1, Z. Mizzi 1, B. Cachia, J. Cutajar, M. Mifsud 1, J. Brownrigg, D. Kholod 4, D. Zammit 2, A. Bugeja, E. Schembri.

Refs Stefano Licari, Arnaldo Peronilli.

MARSAXLOKK 10

MARSASKALA 10

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

In the second match, Marsaxlokk sprung the first surprise of the season to dent Marsaskala’s aspirations to play in the Premier Division this season.

The opening session was a close affair with Marsaskala twice taking the lead before Marsaxlokk drew level on both occasions only to shade their opponents on 3-2 in the second part. This left Marsascala’s noses in front on 6-5.

But the balance between the sides was evident. Nikola Moskov netted his sixth goal to make it 9-8 before he was dismissed by the referee. Michael Farrugia denied Bence Batori his fifth goal from a five-metre throw with just over seven minutes to go.

Marsaskala scored again to make it 9-9. Max Aquilina looked to have secured full points for Marsaxlokk only to be denied by Ferenc Salamon. At the end of the day, it was no less than both teams deserve.

MARSAXLOKK

Miguel Farrugia, C. Cutajar, B. Zammit, M. Zammit 2, N. Moskov 6, J. Valletta, Max Farrugia, M. Aquilina 1, R. Galea 1, S. Misic, E. Bonnici, L. Mallia, M. Brimmer, G, Gatt, K. Pawley.

MARSASKALA

J. Micallef, JC Cutajar, G. Galea, P. Privitera 1, R. Greco, S. Ferenc 1 , K. Navarro 1, D. Tully, D. Pace Lupi 1, G.Sammut , B. Batori 5, M. Carani 1 , A. Muscat, F. Scardino, J. Pace Mizzi.

Refs: Peter Balzan, Antonio Torneo

SIRENS 13

EXILES 6

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

In the third match, the opening session resulted in a duel between the two sets of foreigners as Sirens twice took the lead through Pietro Figlioli and Matthias Pasztor before Exiles drew level on both occasions with Guillermo Molina and Valentino Gallo, only to shade their opponents on 3-2.

Sirens appeared to be better equipped though and were off the mark in the second session, taking a three-goal lead before Kurt Griscti pulled one back for Exiles. The northerners looked to be in the driving seat as Gianni Farrugia, Figlioli, and Pasztor opened a four-goal gap before the change of ends.

Marco Orlovic’s side maintained their momentum as they extended their lead to finish-worthy winners. Sirens were well served by the potent Figlioli. The Italian player helped himself to four goals with three coming from Pasztor.

SIRENS

T. Micallef, P. Serracino, K. Erdogan 1, P. Figlioli 4, J. Zerafa Gregory, G. Farrugia 1, M. Chircop 1, J. Cachia 1, M. Cutajar, M. Pasztor 3, M. Sciberras, M. Azzopardi, M. Bonello Depuis, G. Melillo 1, G. Sammut 1.

EXILES

M. Castillo, Z. Cutajar Licari, L. Pursehouse, V. Gallo 1, G. Molina 1, S. Xerri de Caro, M. Fenech 1, K. Griscti 2, N. Paris, M. Martellacci, M. Aquilina, N. Saliba 1, F. Buhagiar, M. Paris Roding.

Refs: Alex DeRaffaele, Arnaldo Petronili.

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