(3-1, 5-1, 5-1 4-3)
The Malta U-15 waterpolo national team were off to a storming start in the men’s European Championships that are currently being held in Podgorica, Montenegro.
The team led by coach Jonathan Valletta and his assistant Ryan Coleiro produced a very strong display to see off Bulgaria 17-6 in their opening match from Group C.
Shailon Cutajar Casha was Malta’s star performer after hitting no less than five goals while Andre Aquilina notched a hat-trick.
The Maltese took control right from the opening session as two goals from Cutajar Casha, one from a penalty, and Sean Mifsud, enabled the team to take a 3-1 lead.
Gradually, the Malta outfit clicked into gear and all but wrapped their win with a rampant display in the second and third session.
In fact, they started the second session very strongly, scoring five goals without reply through a brace from Jamie Borg Tabone, Andre Aquilina, Cutajar Casha and Max Lanzon to go 8-1 up.
The Bulgarians netted just before ends were changed, but the Maltese soon were again on the charge in the third session as further goals from Aquilina (2), Cutajar Casha (2) and Jack Bennet Palwey Neame put them in a commanding 13-3 lead.
The game was now as good as over and the final session saw the Mlatese share the exchanges with their opponents and further nettings from Miguel Cassar (2), Thomas Camilleri and Philip Tabone enabled them to wrap up a very comfortable victory.
On Sunday, the Maltese youngsters can all but wrap up their place into the knock out round if they overcome Moldova.
The Moldovans too were off to a strong start when they brushed aside Lithuania 16-6.
MALTA: Z. Dzanovic, M. Lanzon 1, T. Fenech, A. Aquilina 3, S. Cutajar Casha 5, T. Camilleri 1, S. Mifsud 1, M. Cassar 2, J. Pawley Neame 1, J. Borg Tabone 2, A. Fava, P. Tabone 1.
BULGARIA: M. Atanasov, G. Venov 1,, Y. Tewekelieff, K. Georgiev, S. Dimitrov 1, M. Lozanov 1, V. Mihaylov 1, K. Zhelyazkov, K. Draganov, V. Stankov 2, N. Tsvetkov, V. Georgiev.
Referees: Ricardo Carmignani (Italy), Tanik Can (Turkey).
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