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San Ġiljan’s winter title points to bright future

Alex Vella takes a look at San Ġiljan’s bright start to the year which could be an omen for better things…

San Ġiljan won the BOV Winter League title after beating Sliema 11-8 in a decider. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

San Ġiljan won the BOV Winter League title after beating Sliema 11-8 in a decider. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

San Ġiljan ASC are brimming with confidence. They started this year in triumphant fashion when winning the winter title to prolong their positive streak after carrying off the two major honours last summer.

Before 2015, the Saints had gone through a 20-year drought in terms of honours.

Last year’s league and knock-out wins emulated their double successes in 1952, 1963 and 1995.

During the fifties and sixties, under the name of Balluta WPC, the club wrote bright chapters in its annals when winning five league and as many knock-out titles.

After that and bearing the name of San Ġiljan ASC, the team had another successful stint in the nineties to land three championship and two knock-out titles followed by last year’s double – nine league and eight Cup honours in all.

There is reason to believe that the latest winter league triumph after their 1995 victory will set the stage for more titles.

This time San Ġiljan had to see off Sliema who looked tetchy during the title decider. The play-off resulted after both teams had ended their programme equal on points.

The Saints had led the league race all the way, beating Sliema and holders Neptunes by a similar score of 8-5 in the first round before trouncing their neighbours 15-8 and eventually being edged 7-6 by the Blues.

The Saints’ second bite at the cherry in the deciding duel tasted sweet, with the team shrugging off their jitters in the previous match to take control and practically put the game to bed midway through the game.

The sucker punches came mostly from Dino Zammit, scorer of a nap-hand with laser-guided shots, and Aurelien Cousin who struck a hat-trick.

All this was backed by slick teamwork and tactical nous.

San Ġiljan’s ardent fans are confident that their team has a rosy future. Experience and youthful drive are qualities which justify expectations of an extended run of honours.

The Saints’ administrators’ policy in recent years has been very productive as they invested on rebuilding a squad not only worthy of respect but also capable of winning honours.

The supporters’ expectations are being fulfilled and as a result a bright future is beckoning for their team.

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