Topsy-turvy match produces first draw
The top division is developing into a series of see-saw battles not so much for defeats or victories for most teams as for the twists during some matches. The duel between Sirens and Exiles, the first one to end in a draw, was a perfect example of how fortunes are shifting in this exciting game of waterpolo.
It was one team and then the other to forge ahead with Exiles eventually looking likely to grab the points after taking a 9-5 lead at the start of the last session. But they frittered that advantage also thanks to Sirens’ spirited comeback in the dying minutes of the game.
The northerners were very erratic in their conclusions in the opening period. By contrast, Exiles were clinical and led 3-0 before Csaba Kiss and Arpad Babay made it 3-2.
With Exiles next to squander three man-ups in a row, Marco Risso’s team overtuned the score to lead 4-3 before Exiles equalised.
Exiles were a revitalised lot in the third session, netting four times. It was 8-4, with three goals coming from Marton Toth before Claudio Spiteri de Barro made it 8-5 late in the third session for a possible lifeline.
Meanwhile Sirens pulled back three goals after a 9-5 deficit and eventually made it 10-all with 53 seconds to go. They also had a chance to go ahead when 37 seconds from time they lost their sixth opportunity on 10 man-ups. Exiles had a better six on 10 reading.
In the end, the result did justice to both teams.
Another win for Marsascala earned them three more points and tighter grip at the top of the First Division.
Four goals in their favour and none conceded in the third session opened the way for their success.
Despite Mate Balantoni’s industry, which resulted in four goals for Otters, the combined scoring power of Joseph Kayes and Gabor Hegedus (five goals each) was too much for the Gozitans.
(5-4, 2-2, 4-0, 5-3)
MARSASCALA: K. Schembri, D. Hedegus 5, M. Pace, B. Muscat, J. Kayes 5, L. Grixti, J. Licari 1, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef, R. Xerri 1, D. Cassar 2, M. Fenech 1, C. Mifsud.
OTTERS: A. Cachia, G. Attard, G. Zammit, Z. Radocx 2, S. Dimech, M. Balatoni 4, J. Paris 1, D. Schembri 1, E. Farrugia, K. Debattista, C. Martin, K. Scicluna 1, K. Grima Scott.
Refs: I. Sciriha, P. Giordano.
(2-3, 2-1, 1-4, 5-2)
SIRENS: A. Grech, A. Attard, A. Sammut, P. Micallef, A. Babay 1, C. Kiss 2, J. Borg 3, D. Cutajar 1, A. Zarb Cousin, C. Zammit 2, C. Spiteri de Barro 1, D. Zammit, N. Grixti.
EXILES: A. Borg Cole, J. Rizzo Naudi, S. Vassallo, D. Pace Lupi 1, T. Sullivan 1, J. Spiteri Staines 1, K. Grixti, S. Galea Pace, P. Borg 1, A. Kunac 3, M. Toth 3, K. Lanzon.
Refs: P. Balzan, S. Scappini.