SAN ĠILJAN 16
(2-7, 4-5, 2-0, 2-4)
N. Grixti, P. Tabone, L. Galea 7, D. Rizzo 2, J. Cassar, B. Cachia, T. Camilleri, S. Engerer, J. Brownrigg 1, J. Chircop, G. Gatt, D. Zammit, A. Theuma, J. Sciberras, T. Fenech.
J. Tanti, N. Bugelli 2, A. Galea 2, B. Plumpton, R. Caruana, B. Plumpton, M. Zammit 1, J. Bonavia 2, D. Tully 1, J. Abela 1, N. Zammit 2, D. Zammit 3, N. Schiavone 2, G. Borg, S. Cutajar, N. Bonavia.
Refs: Massimo Angileri, Peter Balzan.
San Ġiljan continued where they left off last summer when they landed the first title of the season – the Enemed Cup – at the expense of Sliema.
Scaling new heights is a known target for San Ġiljan. Their insatiable desire for honours is typical for a club that has won an unprecedented clean sweep of titles last year.
They vowed to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of more honours and in fact, they recalled Ben Plumpton and Nikolai Zammit, both players were plying their trade in Italy with R.N. Camogli (Serie A1) and Aquatico Pescara (Serie B) respectively.
A strong take-off and some clinical finishing helped San Ġiljan put the seal on their undoubted power and precision which was underlined by superior pace on their way to a convincing win over Sliema to retain the Enemed Cup.
The Saints’ knack of pressing the accelrator from the word ‘go’, helped them to take a flying 7-2 start in the opening session of the game. When their opponents threatened to close in on them, they took the game beyond Sliema’s reach with a spurt in the final session.
Sliema huffed and puffed despite putting in some sort of resistance in the middle sessions, with Liam Galea, author of seven goals, refusing to throw in the towel.
Their new coach, Giannis Katrouzanakis, was in for a rude awakening and would be the first to admit that his boys lack the necessary muscle and experience to compete for honours this season.
The Greek mentor was forced to field an under-strength team, with Zach Mizzi, Jayden Cutajar and Jamie Gambin still playing abroad and oprhans of the club’s legendary captain Jerome Gabarretta who decided to hang up his No. 2 cap.
The Blues started badly and although they kept within some sort of touch when they trailed 12-8 into the last session.
But there was no question about the winners’ superior graft and skill which in the end resulted in a more comprehensive win after they won the last session 4-2.
The Saints’ superiority over their rivals was not so much for a long bench as for the versatility of their units.
It was a success which has teamwork written all over it with nine players inserting their names in the scorers’ list with Darren Zammit topping the list with three goals.
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