Sliema face Sirens in final play-offs
Match for fifth place today
Sliema McDonald’s and Sirens Ritter Sport will be facing each other at Tal-Qroqq this evening in the first of a possible three-match final play-offs series that will decide who wins the 2011 BOV Winter League.
The two finalists reached the showdown after nail-biting vic-tories in last weekend’s semi-finals at Tal-Qroqq.
Sergio Afric’s Blues remained on course to defend the Winter Lea-gue title successfully when they beat derby rivals Neptunes Emi-rates 13-10.
Sirens, on the other hand, needed a last-gasp goal from Jurgen Borg on Saturday to stave off the determined challenge of San Ġiljan Firetech 8-7.
St Paul’s Bay outfit Sirens have been one of the positive reve-lations so far after finishing top in the round-robin phase of the tournament and will fancy their chances of winning the pre-season competition they last won in 2007.
Dorian Pisani’s team go into today’s match with a psychological advantage as they have already beaten Sliema this year – 6-5 in a preliminary round fixture back in March.
However, the task of repeating that feat will be anything but easy for Sirens as they face a Sliema team who hit top gear in the semi-final against Neptunes with the experienced John Soler producing a polished performance and sco-ring six goals.
Sliema were also strengthened with the unexpected inclusion of Hungarian powerhouse Bogdan Rath, scorer of a hat-trick against Neptunes.
The second match from the final series will be played on Friday and, if needed, the third play-off is scheduled for next Sunday.
Meanwhile, the match for the platonic fifth place in this year’s Winter League will be played today at 6 p.m.
Exiles Jet Services, who just missed out on a place in the semi-finals, are favourites to beat Marsascala Solidbase who lost all their five matches in the group phase, conceding 87 goals in the process.
Match for fifth place: 6 p.m. Exiles vs Marsascala.
Final – game 1: 7.15 p.m. Sirens vs Sliema.