Sirens pip Exiles in thriller
Starting the second leg match on a six-goal deficit appeared to be too much of a leeway for Exiles Ferretti to overturn against Sirens Ritter Sport.
However, Aurelien Cousin’s team were aware of their feat last year when they ousted Sliema in the same stage of the competition after having been four goals in arrears following the first match.
The team from Sliema set about their uphill task in bold fashion and after taking a 5-3 lead midway through they won the third quarter 6-2 to level the scoreline on 17-all on aggregate.
With Sirens looking jaded, Exiles even went 18-17 ahead after making it 12-5 two minutes into the final session.
Excitement grew to a climax and with the score on 12-6 and on perfect parity, the coupe de grace was applied by Hungarian left-hander Tsaba Kiss with a goal two minutes from the end.
It had been a valiant effort from Exiles but the northerners held on with their skin of their teeth and won the right to meet Sliema on Tuesday in the first leg of the semi-final.
In the first leg of the Division KO semi-final, Marsascala Mor€ obtained a two-goal advantage when registering a 13-11 victory over Valletta Sterling.
The result will be carried forward to the second match to be played on Thursday.
Except for a 7-2 scoreline in the third session in favour of the southerners, this was a balanced encounter which had Joseph Kayes scoring a naphand followed by Stephen Micallef’s treble for Pierre Borg’s team.
For Valletta, new recruit Milos Koralji, who played for Marsascala last season, and David Zoltan grabbed a hat-trick each.
Considering both team’s performance yesterday, the result and eventual passage to the final still hangs in the balance.
(3-2, 2-3, 7-2, 1-4)
Marsascala: K. Schembri, K. Navarro, M. Pace 2, B. Muscat, J. Kayes 5, I. Grixti, J. Licari 1, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef 3, G. Hedegus 1, D. Cassar, M. Fenech.
Valletta: A. Sammut, S. Meli 2, R. Calleja, T. Agius 1, S. Cachia 2, A. Galea, M. Koralji 3, M. Cordina, D. Zoltan 3, A. Arrigo, J.C. Farrugia, K. Hyzler.
Refs: I. Sciriha, P. Giordano.
(agg: 18-19; 3-2, 2-1, 6-2, 1-2)
Exiles: A. Borg Cole, J. Rizzo Naudi 1, D. Borg, D. Pace Lupi 1, T. Sullivan 2, M. Paris, J. Spiteri Staines, K. Grixti, S. Galea Pace, P. Borg 3, A. Kunac 2, M. Toth 3, K. Lanzon.
Sirens: A. Grech, A. Attard 1, M. Grech, P. Micallef, A. Babay, T. Kiss 2, J. Borg 1, D. Cutajar 2, A. Zarb Cousin, C. Zammit 1, C. Spiteri de Barro, D. Zammit, N. Grixti.
Refs: M. Dalli, G. Del Bosco.
Tomorrow: Premier KO semi-final (first leg) 7.15 p.m. Sirens vs Sliema.
Wednesday: Division One KO semi-final (second leg) 6 p.m. Otters vs Ta’ Xbiex (first leg: 18-15); Premier KO semi-final (second leg) 7.15 p.m. San Ġiljan vs Neptunes (first leg: 7-14).
Thursday: Division One KO semi-final (second leg) 6 p.m. Valletta vs Marsascala (first leg: 11-13); Premier KO semi-final (second leg) 7.15 p.m. Sliema vs Sirens.