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Dingli win Division One championship

Dingli captain Edwin Casha (right) and Jason Cachia lift the Division One championship trophy. Photo Stephen Gatt

Dingli captain Edwin Casha (right) and Jason Cachia lift the Division One championship trophy. Photo Stephen Gatt

Dingli Swallows 2
Vittoriosa Stars 1

Following their historic promotion to the Premier League, Dingli Swallows yesterday ended the season on a high after they were crowned Division One champions after they saw off Vittoriosa Stars in an entertaining decider at the Hibs Ground.

Second-half goals from Ryan Mintoff and Uchanna Anywanna handed the title to the Swallows who managed to stave off the strong challenge of Vittoriosa Stars in front of a sizeable crowd at Corradino.

Despite falling two goals behind, the Cottonera side tried to get back into the match with a late rally but they only had a Larry Lagana goal to show as the Swallows held on to a merited win.

The game was played on a high tempo right from the start and after six minutes Dingli's Mintoff headed wide a Kurt Formosa free-kick.

At the other end, Anthony Eviparker stormed into the Dingli area but was denied by the alert Dingli goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.

Vittoriosa threatened again on nine minutes when a long-range effort by Darren Grech was saved for a corner by the Dingli custodian.

On 13 minutes it was the turn of Vittoriosa keeper Micallef to push away Etienne Farrugia's shot.

The game failed to maintain its promising start and the next scoring opportunity came on the stroke of half-time when Micallef did well to keep out Roderick Spiteri's goalbound effort.

Five minutes into the second half Mark Galea's half volley was blocked by Micallef while at the other end Jeffrey Farrugia was alert to keep out Johan Spiteri's close range header.

Dingli managed to open the score on the hour when Mintoff won the ball in the middle of the park and unleashed a powerful drive that gave no chance to Micallef.

Vittoriosa's fightback failed to materialise and instead it was Dingli who doubled their lead on 78 minutes when Anywanna fired home after being set up by Jeremy Agius.

A minute later Vittoriosa were unlucky when a Darren Grech drive hit the crossbar.

The Cottonera side did manage to pull a goal back five minutes from time when Eviparker and Lagana latched onto a Grech cross and it was Lagana who managed to get the last touch to claim the goal from close-range inside a melee.

Here, Vittoriosa launched a series of attacks but to no avail as Dingli held on to the win to finish as Division One champions.

Dingli: J. Farrugia, E. Casha, R. Spiteri, M. Galea (J. Agius), K. Formosa (C. Ciappara), V. Fiteni, C. Muscat, J. Cachia, E. Farrugia (G. Failla), R. Mintoff, U. Anywanna.

Vittoriosa: J. Micallef, L. Scerri, A. Eviparker, S. Calleja, P. Aquilina, J. Spiteri (S. Privitelli), K. Darmanin (L. Lagana), J. Camilleri, D. Grech, C. Cachia, K. Abela.

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi.

Man of the Match: Ryan Mintoff (Dingli Swallows).

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