In Saturday’s three-match programme top guns Sliema, Neptunes, and San Giljan kept their winning trend of the big team recording comfortable victories against less-fancied opponents when they secured victories at the expense of Valletta, Otters, and Marsascala respectively.
(2-4, 0-4,4-6, 5-3)
The first match of the day between Sliema and Valletta was billed as the main attraction. However, it turned out to be a one-sided encounter during which the Blues underlined their superiority by large swatches of impressive play in the opening sessions.
The result had been procured before the change of ends when the Blues led 8-2, later maintained for a final 17-11.
The Citizens could only bank on the generosity of Dejan Savic, the Sliema coach, who withdrew the foreigners from the water and opted to use his tailenders for the last session. Valletta shaded the last session 5-3. Jerome Gabaretta, Zach Mizzi, and Dmitrii Kholod scored a hat-trick each.
B. Busuttil, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Rizzo, J. Cassar 1, S. Busuttil , A. Vlahovic 4 , D. Paolella 1, I. Nagaev 5 , S. Micallef, J. Chircop, K. Borg , K. Cremona, A. Theuma, M, de Marco.
N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta 3, L. Galea 1, J. Gambin 1, Z. Mizzi 3, B. Cachia, J. Cutajar, M. Mifsud, J. Brownrigg 2, D. Kholod 3, A. Prlainovic 2, D. Zammit 1, A. Bugeja, E. Schembri 1, S. Engerer.
Referees Ronnie Spiteri, Andrea Baretta.
(5-0, 5-0, 5-1, 7-1)
In the second match, Neptunes found little opposition when facing the Gozitan team, and their comfortable margin of victory, 22-2, was actual of their superiority in a match in which they kept piling up the goals.
Neptunes took complete control from the word ‘go’ and their dominance helped them to a goal spree.
By the halfway mark, it was already double figures for Dorian Pisani’s side with two identical 5-0 sessions.
Reserve goalkeeper Marco Rossi played all the match between the goalposts instead of Alan Borg Cole as Pisani started rotating his substitutions but stuck to his experienced core players.
By the end, Aleksander Ivovic, Filip Filipovic, Alec Fenech, and Jake Muscat all scored a poker each.
A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat 4, S. Gialanze, G. Pace, M. Castillo, S. Bonetti, S. Camilleri 3, J. Camilleri 2, A. Ivovic 4, F. Filipovic 4, A. Fenech 4, E. Mallia 1, M. Rossi, D. Bugeja, A. Fava.
M. Xerri, M. Bonnici, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, M. Meli, M. Jelaca, I. Azzopardi 1, S. Dimech, L. Dimech, J. Saric, M. Farrugia 1, A. Dimech, G. Gatt Ellis, K. Micallef, A. Bianchi.
Referees Stefan Licari, Riccardo Carmignani.
SAN GILJAN 22
(1-8, 2-5, 4-2, 1-7)
In the last match, San Giljan breached a poor Marsascala every time of asking in the opening session to open an 8-1 advantage.
Before the change of ends, it was again double figures for Zeljko Kovacic’s side as their lead was stretched to 13-3.
Although goals in the third session by Paul Privitera, Gerald Sammut, Bence Batori, and Mark Carani put some respectability in the scoreline, San Giljan kept scoring to start the last session 15-7.
The Saints had some new faces in the water in the last session and Russell Caruana’s backhand – which had little influence on the result – was the only noteworthy episode in the final session with the Southerners’ energies draining fast. Matthew Zammit was San Giljan’s chief scorer with five goals.
J. Micallef, JC Cutajar, G. Galea, P. Privitera 1, R. Greco, F. Salamon, K. Navarro, D. Tully, D. Pace Lupi, G. Sammut 3, J. Ciantar, M. Carani 2, A. Muscat, B. Batori 3, F. Scardino.
J. Tanti, N. Bugelli 2, A. Galea 2, B. Plumpton 2, M. Jokovic 1, M. Zammit 5, J. Bonavia 1, A. Younger 1, J. Abela, N. Zammit 4, D. Zammit 2, R. Caruana 1, G. Borg, G. Bonavia, K. Calleja 1.
Referees Neville Mercieca, Andrea Barretta.
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