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San Ġiljan’s third session surge proves decisive in Sliema victory

San Giljan's Nikolai Zammit holds the ball against a Sliema challenge. Photo: Domenic Borg



(3-2, 1-1, 9-3, 3-3)

San Ġiljan produced a great performance on Tuesday to sink Sliema.

A great comeback, which enabled the Saints to win the third session 9-3, turned out to be decisive as Sliema had neither the guile nor the power to pull the chestnuts out of the fire.

A two-goal start for the Blues courtesy of Jayden Cutajar was annulled by Ben Plumpton and Maro Jokovic before San Ġiljan nosed in front late in the first session.

It had been double shielding on the centre at both ends with little to choose between the teams. That was before Jeremy Abela lost his cap and San Ġiljan exploited the gap left by Sliema on their left flank as Jokovic swan full pitch to beat Nicky Grixti for 3-2.

At the start of the second session, Jokovic sent Grixti’s net bulging again with a five-metre throw.

Dmitri Kholod reduced the gap as San Ġiljan maintained a slim lead over Sliema before the change of ends.

In a mouth-watering third session, the Saints managed to find the net nine times through Matthew Zammit (3), Nikolai Zammit, Ben Plumpton, Bonavia, Younger and Jokovic (2).

Early goals from Jokovic with another five-metre throw and Jake Bonavia had Kholod responding but a great goal from Aaron Younger with his head submerged in the water restored their four-goal lead. At this point, San Ġiljan took matters in hand and Sliema looked to have run out of steam.

At the beginning of the fourth session, San Ġiljan were reduced to six men for four minutes after Darren Zammit was dismissed without substitution for brutality.

Kholod scored with a five-minute throw. Plumpton made it 14-7 as he celebrated by firing an imaginary arrow towards the Sliema goal. Elijah Schembri and Benji Cachia trimmed down the gap.

But that was of no consequence as the Saints’ superiority was too much for them with Plumpton reaching five goals.


J. Tanti, N. Bugelli, A. Galea, B. Plumpton 5, M. Jokovic 4, M. Zammit 3, J. Bonavia 1, A. Younger 2, J. Abela, N. Zammit 1, D. Zammit, R. Caruana, G. Borg, G. Bonavia, K. Calleja.


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

Referees: Ronnie Spiteri, Alessio Nicolai.



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

In the first match of the day, it was Exiles’ veteran Guillermo Molina who brought the accolades to his team with a last-gasp hat-trick which was as exquisite as it was decisive.

Otters edged in front most of the time until that final piece of magic from Molina.

Marko Jelaca made it 12-10 for Otters but Exiles hit back strongly to score three times in quick succession, including a beautiful backhand by the Italo-Spanish player to cut the leeway to just one goal. Molina then, made it 12-all with an angled shot before he powered in a shot to reach his hat-trick and earned his side the second win of the season.


M. Xerri, M. Bonnici, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, M. Meli 2, M. Jelaca 3, I. Azzopardi, S. Dimech, L. Dimech, J. Saric 4, M. Farrugia 1, A. Dimech 1, G. Gatt Ellis, K.Micallef, A. Bianchi 1.


F. Buhagiar, Z. Cutajar Licari, Z. Micallef, V. Gallo 4, G. Molina 2, S. Xerri de Caro 2, M. Fenech, K. Griscti 2, N. Paris, M. Martellacci 1, M. Aquilina 1, N. Saliba.

Referees: Stefan Licari, Alessio Nicolai.



(3-2, 3-2, 6-3, 4-3)

This was another show of force from Neptunes that saw them firing on all cylinders as they found no response from Marsaskala.

The Reds had their foreign tandem of Aleksandar Ivovic and the irrepressible Filip Filipovic sharing seven goals between them.

Neptunes inched ahead on 3-2 in the dying moments of the first session after the southseasiders had twice taken the lead.

But that is as far as they went even if they managed to keep abreast with their opponents to change ends 6-4.

That was the sign for the Reds to unleash their ammunition as they took a decisive 12-7 lead into the last quarter, with Filipovic being the protagonist. Neptunes could not be halted now. Their impetus found no response from Marsaskala who at one moment when they were nine goals behind midway through that last session.


A.Borg Cole, J. Muscat 2, S. Gialanze, B. Lewis, G. Pace, M. Castillo 1, S. Camilleri 3, J.Camilleri 1, A. Ivovic 2, F. Filipovic 5, A. Fenech 1, E. Mallia, M. Rossi, D. Bugeja, J. Bajada 1.


J. Micallef, JC Cutajar, G. Galea, R. Greco 1, P. Privitera 1, F. Salamon 1, K. Navarro, D. Tully, D. Pace Lupi 3, G. Sammut 1, J. Ciantar , M. Carani 1, A. Muscat, T. Sedlmayerm 2, F. Scardino.

Referees: Richard Magri, Danilo Mazzoccoli.

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