Sliema trounce Otters as Citizens win again
Sliema McDonalds and Valletta Dhalia preserved their perfect record in this year’s national championship when they had the better of Otters Nivea and Ta’ Xbiex respectively yesterday, to make it two wins from two.
After a rather tentative start, Sergio Afric’s Sliema quickly clicked into gear and two goals from Paul Privitera and another from Vincze Balazs put them 5-2 ahead.
The second quarter maintained the same tune as the Blues continued to expose Otters’ defensive frailties, netting six times as John Soler had already notched his hat-trick when ends were changed.
The match had long been settled by then but that didn’t stop Sliema from continuing to score at will.
Jerome Gabaretta hit a quick-fire treble with other goals for Sliema coming from Nikolai Lubrano, Soler and Clint Debono.
Otters looked to restore some pride in the last quarter but four goals without reply quickly sunk their hopes as Sliema went on to cruise to a comfortable victory.
The day’s second match was a far more balanced encounter.
There was little to separate either side in the opening session when eight goals were shared with Valletta’s Robert Kovacs and Yuri Szeles, of Ta’ Xbiex, distinguishing themselves with a brace each.
Equilibrium continued as Tamash Gyurovath scored a fine hat-trick for Ta’ Xbiex but that was not enough to give his team the edge as the Citizens fought back to change ends at 8-8.
In the third session, Szeles struck from a penalty to make it 13-11 but Valletta’s resilience prevailed in a tense fourth quarter as goals from Timmy Agius, Decker and Kovacs (2) put them 15-14 in front.
Edward Bonello equalised for Ta’ Xbiex but his namesake at Valletta, Clyde Bonello, put his team 16-15 ahead. Ta’ Xbiex tried to rally but with only a handful of seconds left there was little they could have done to deny the Citizens victory.
(5-2, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4)
Sliema:R. Coleiro, J. Gabaretta 3, N. Lubrano 4, P. Privitera 3, J. Spiteri Staines, J. Soler 4, N. Bonello Ghio 2, J. Brownrigg, C. Debono 1, M. Spiteri Staines 1, B. Rath 2, V. Balazs 3, D. Abela.
Otters: J. Cremona, G. Attard 1, G. Zammit, Z. Radocz 4, D. Schembri 2, A. Maklari 1, K. Scicluna, S. Dimech, J.P. Buttigieg, G. Tabone, C. Martin, P. Martin, K. Grima Scott.
Refs: P. Giordano, M. Angileri.
Ta’ Xbiex 15
(4-4, 4-4, 5-3, 2-5)
Ta’ Xbiex: L. Borg, J. Tabone, S. Vassallo 2, C. Cluett 2, D. Borg, J.C. Decelis, T. Gyurovath 4, E. Bonello 1, M. Cordina 1, C. Saliba 1, B. Scott Dougal, M. Spiteri, Y. Szeles 4.
Valletta: A. Sammut, A. Decker 2, K. Hyzler, C. Bonello 3, G. Sammut 2, S. Cachia, A. Galea, T. Camilleri, R. Kovacs 6, S. Cini, A. Arrigo, G. Ghirxi 1, T. Agius 2.
Refs: R. Spiteri, M. Dalli.