Despite betraying signs of rustiness on Friday, Neptunes had enough ammunition to brush aside Marsaskala and thus book a place in the semifinal against Sliema in Saturday’s semi-final.
It was a match that had the result definitely sealed soon after the change of ends, the high points being the scoring opportunism of Steve Camilleri and Jake Muscat who netted eight goals between them for Neptunes.
A two-goal margin in the Reds’ favour was maintained after the teams shared 10 goals in the second session.
Five goals for Neptunes in the third eight-minute quarter made it a more familiar scoreline. The Reds remained in the driving seat to stretch their lead to eleven goals to earn a routine win over Marsascala.
It was the last match of Paul Privitera, Malta’s longest-serving captain who hung up his cap at the age of 50. His decision to bid adieu to the game was of natural consequence even if few realise that his career stretches over 5 different decades.
NEPTUNES VIDEOSLOTS 18
(1-3, 5-5, 1-5, 0-5)
A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat 4, S. Gialanze 2, G. Pace, M. Castillo, J. Bajada, S. Camilleri 4, J. Camilleri 2, A. Ivovic 1, F. Filipovic 3, A. Fenech 1, E. Mallia 1, M. Rossi, D. Bugeja, A. Fava.
A. Muscat, JC Cutajar, G. Galea 1, P. Privitera, R. Greco, E. Manzi 3, K. Navarro, D. Tully, D. Pace Lupi, G. Sammut, J. Pace Mizzi, M. Carani 1, J. Micallef, T. Sedlmayerm 2, F. Scardino.
Referees Attilio Paoletti, Alex de Raffaele.
Nagaev scores 10 to send Valletta through
Valletta proceeded to the semi-final after defeating Sirens 19-14 in a match marked by 10 goals from Ivan Nagaev.
After taking a double lead, Valletta extended their score with five consecutive nettings, and one conceded. But Sirens reacted at the end of the first session to trail 5-3.
With Pietro Figlioli pulling the strings, Sirens reduced the leeway to a single goal after trailing 7-3 at the start of the second session.
Gianni Farrugia made it 8-8 soon after the change of ends. Nagaev ended a six-minute goal drought for Valletta to net his seventh goal of the match. Andrija Vlahovic, then restored some order with a quick-fire hat trick to give the Citizens a four-goal cushion.
Finally, the Citizens looked to have the measure of their opponents as a cute lob from Nagaev ended the third session 14-10 for Valletta.
Nagaev rounded up his impressive evening with two other goals to end up the chief top scorer with 10 goals.
(3-5, 4-3, 3-6, 3-5)
T.Micallef, P. Serracino 1, K. Erdogan, P. Figlioli 3, J. Zerafa Gregory, G. Farrugia 1, M. Chircop 1, G. Melillo 1, M. Cutajar, M. Pasztor 4, M. Sciberras, M. Azzopardi 1, M. Bonello Dupius, J. Cachia 1, G. Sammut.
B. Busuttil, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Rizzo, J. Cassar 1, S. Busuttil 1, A. Vlahovic 3, D. Paolella 1, I. Nagaev 10, S. Micallef 1, A. Agius, K. Borg, K. Cremona, A. Theuma, M. Demarco, J. Chircop 1.
Referees Arnaldo Petronilli, M. Angileri
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