Tussle to avoid bottom place as Saints play Sirens
Local waterpolo enthusiasts will be hoping focus shifts quickly back to the pool this evening following the mayhem at the end of last weekend’s Balluta Bay derby between San Ġiljan Firetech and Neptunes Emirates as the National League enters the straight for home.
This week, police arraigned four players in court over the disturbances and the ASA also penalised the offending clubs, players and officials for their part in the brawl that erupted after Neptunes just managed to edge out a highly-charged San Ġiljan 16-13 in a tense match.
The big match of the summer will now be played tomorrow when leaders Neptunes will be crowned champions if they manage to avoid defeat to second-placed Sliema McDonald’s, currently trailing two points behind the Reds.
Today, San Ġiljan and Sirens will play their last match of the 2010 championship, a clash from which both teams will be looking to emerge victorious to avoid the bottom place in the standings.
In a lengthy list of disciplinary measures on Wednesday, the ASA also reduced two points from San Ġiljan’s tally and now Marco Risso’s team is on eight points, the same as Sirens.
Third place is temporarily occupied by Exiles Jet Services (10 points). The latter completed their league commitments with an 11-10 win over Sirens last week and now wait for the KO competition draw to round up what many reckon to be a positive season for Joe Caruana Dingli’s emerging outfit.
This has been a transitional season for Sirens, the club’s primary aim being to groom more youngsters and introduce new faces in the senior squad.
Coach Karl Izzo succeeded in that aspect and today his team should start slight favourites to beat the beleaguered Saints who will have to do without suspended trio Dean Camilleri, Ranier Scerri and Karl Galea.
San Ġiljan won the preliminary round match against Sirens 18-14 but the team from St Paul’s Bay hit back in the first round proper of the championship with a close 11-10 victory over the Saints.
Today: 6 p.m. San Ġiljan vs Sirens.
Tomorrow: 6 p.m. Neptunes vs Sliema.