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San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to win Winter League

San Ġiljan celebrate with the Winter League trophy. Photo: Stefan Abela

The BOV Winter League came to an end yesterday with a final clash between San Ġiljan and Neptunes, a match rendered stale after the Saints had already landed their ninth success in a row.

San Ġiljan kept up their successful trail, winning back the Winter League, to make it a record five wins in this winter competition. In the end, San Ġiljan proved too strong for Neptunes.

A superior San Ġiljan stepped into the driving seat from the second session onwards to beat their rivals 11-9.

Neptunes had a flying start as they took 2-1 lead over their opponents with Jordan Camilleri and Sam Gialanze replying to Andreas Galea’s opener.

Nico Schiavone, author of a hat-trick, Jake Bonavia and Galea turned the tables on the Reds before Gabriel Pace and Camilleri made it 4-4 at the halfway stage.

Any resemblance of resistance from Neptunes, slightly evident in the opening sessions, soon fizzled out as the Saints, strengthened by the return in the water of Matthew Zammit, took complete control.

But San Ġiljan bossed the third quarter, always looking the sharper team to take a 7-5 lead.

Their goals, at this stage came from the smart Schiavone, Galea and their skipper Matthew Zammit.

Eight goals were shared in a high-scoring fourht session which left San Giljan two goals in front.

With three minutes to go, Zammit was excluded.

Many would have thought that Neptunes would exploit the situation, instead, a quick-fire brace from Russell Caruana settled the Saints’ nerves.

With the score 11-7 for the Saints, the contest was over and Neptunes made the score look more respectable through Gialanze and Bajada.

Earlier yesterday, Sliema beat Sirens 12-7 to pip their opponents on goal difference, thus placing behind San Ġiljan.

The Blues were always in command, winning all the sessions, with Daniel Rizzo and veteran Dino Zammit finishing as joint-top-scorers with three goals apiece.  

SIRENS 7

SLIEMA 12

(1-3, 3-4, 0-1,3-4)

SIRENS

M. Bonello Dupius, J. Falzon, E. Erdogan 1, P. Borg, J. Cachia, K. Agius 1, M. Chircop, I. Riolo, J. Zerafa Gregory 1, G. Farrugia 3, M. Scriberras, M. Azzopardi, I. Schembri, M. Schembri, M. Ortoleva 1.

SLIEMA

N. Grixti, G Gatt, L. Galea 2, D. Rizzo 3, J. Cassar, B, Cachia 2, Z. Mizzi 1, L. Camilleri Bowma , J. Brownrigg 1, J. Chircop, E. Schembri, D. Zammit 3, M. Castillo, G, Massa.

Refs A. DeRaffaele, P. Balzan.

NEPTUNES 9

SAN ĠILJAN 11

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

NEPTUNES

A.  Borg Cole, S. Gialanze 4, G. Pace1, L. Mallia, D. Bugeja, M. Castillo, J. Camilleri 3, R. Galea, J. Bajada 1, J. Valletta, E. Mallia, M. Brimmer.

SAN ĠILJAN

G. Borg, N. Bugelli 1, A. Galea 3, G. Bonavia, R. Caruana 2, M. Zammit 1, J. Bonavia 1, D. Tully, J. Abela, N. Bonavia, N. Schiavone 3, M. Grech.

Refs: S. Scappini, R. Spiteri.

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