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San Ġiljan beat Sliema ASC to retain Knock Out for fourth successive year

SLIEMA 9

SAN ĠILJAN 12

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

San Ġiljan made sure of their fourth consecutive Knock-Out title and their eighth in the last nine years after beating Sliema in the final on Sunday.

The win meant that the Saints captured the fourth title this season after they had already lifted the Winter League, President’s Cup and Enemed Cup and are still on course for an incredible quintuple crown for the first time.

Victory was earned principally courtesy of their foreign duo – Maro Jokovic who led his side’s early charge with three goals and Aaron Younger who was instrumental in their second gathered momentum after Sliema’s fightback.

San Ġiljan shaded an intensely fought first session, keeping their noses in front with two late goals from Jokovic and Russell Caruana.

The Saints always conducted the scoreline with the Blues drawing level three times.

A low-scoring second session was marked by hurried shots, especially from the Blues with the woodwork coming to San Ġiljan’s rescue when Jake Tanti looked beaten on Liam Galea’s shot.

A bullet from Jovic opened a three-goal gap on 6-3 but Dino Zammit and Liam Galea reduced the gap to one goal.

Jokovic again scored to make it 7-5 with Younger restoring the three-goal cushion with a five-metre throw before the change of ends.

The contest remained firmly balanced with no quarter given despite Sliema being more erratic on numerical superiority.

Dmitrii Kholod hit a goal back early in the third session, to lead the Sliema charge before Jamie Gambin made it 8-8 with a quick-fire double.

The contest roared and raged.

Although Ben Plumpton was excluded for good in the third quarter, San Ġiljan edged ahead through Younger at the end of the session.

In the final quarter, Zeljko Kovacic’s men managed to fend off the Blues’ frantic efforts to recuperate as Nikolai Zammit and Younger (2) put them four goals clear before Kholod made it 12-9.

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

SAN ĠILJAN: J. Tanti, N. Bugelli 1, A. Galea 1, B. Plumpton 1, M. Jokovic 3, M. Zammit, J. Bonavia, A. Younger 3, J. Abela, N. Zammit 1, D. Zammit, R. Caruana1, G. Borg, G. Bonavia, N. Bonavia.

Refs: Stefano Pinato, Massimo Angileri.

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