OTTER SC 10
(4-3, 3-4, 4-2, 3-1)
Malta waterpolo women’s champions Sirens enjoyed a winning start at the LEN Challenger Cup when they eased past English side Otter Swimming Club in their opening match in Bourgas, Bulgaria, on Thursday.
The team led by Aurelien Cousin were in for a tough fight against the London club with the match on a knife-edge for much of the encounter.
However, the Malta champions came to the fore in the final two sessions to secure a vital victory.
The first session turned out to be a real thriller with Sirens twice forced to come from behind to level matters at 2-2 following goals by Chloe Amato and Kendra Navarro from an extra-man set.
Jovana Pantovic put Sirens ahead for the first time and although Emily Lamerton-Campbell levelled matters it was the Maltese side who had the final say with Martha Perici Ferrante putting her team 4-3 ahead.
The match continued to be evenly balanced with Sirens managing to find the net three times through Kaia Agius, Elaya Montfort and Kendra Navarro to head into the half-time interval level on seven-all.
Montfort, Agius and Denise Micallef handed Sirens a brisk start to the third session to surge into a commanding 10-7 lead.
The Brits managed to pull two goals back, but Sirens were soon on the mark again as Agius’ goal from a man-up set ensured the St Paul’s Bay side earned a two-goal lead with one session to go, 11-9.
Sirens again made a quick start in the final session as goals from Pantovic and Perici Ferrante lifted the team to a 13-9 lead.
Otter tried to fight back but struggled to make damage on the Sirens’ defence as Perici Ferrante converted a late man-up set to seal victory.
SIRENS: Alexia Amato, Elaya Montfort 2, Elisa Amato, Chloe Amato 1, Martha Perici Ferrante 3, Chloe Zammit, Kendra Navarro 2, Kaia Agius 3, Denise Micallef 1, Jovana Pantovic 2, Nevise Agius, Kelise Agius.
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