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Sirens get verdict in tight match

Superior Ta’ Xbiex ease to victory

A very tight match between Valletta McDonald’s and Sirens Ritter Sport ended with the northerners getting the verdict on an 8-6 scoreline in yesterday’s only top league encounter.

Marco Baldinetti’s team were on a double mission, that of exacting revenge on the City team after their 13-11 first round defeat and also trim the five-point gap on their opponents to one length.

They managed both.

Pre-match indications pointed to a close battle between two evenly-balanced sides, expectations which were vindicated throughout the whole proceedings.

However, at one point in the second session Sirens opened an advantage of three goals on 5-2 after Valletta had reversed an early one-goal deficit to go 2-1 up momentarily.

The game was marked by the tight press with the teams’ foreigners Sergi Mora and Dmitrii Kholod keeping close to each other like leeches.

Scoring-wise, the Spaniard came out tops as he struck a hat-trick in the opening session to give his side a useful base.

Then it was the faithful captain David Cutajar who emulated Mora, with his last goal less than two minutes from the end bringing relief to his clan after Luke Caruana had edged Sirens 7-6 in front three minutes earlier.

Valletta had managed to trim the three-goal leeway to 5-5 in the third session after which a goal at each end had locked the teams on six goals apiece.

That scoreline lasted six minutes until Caruana and Cutajar tilted the balance in their team’s favour.

In the earlier match Ta’ Xbiex Amigos completed a comfortable 13-6 victory over Otters Nivea to go joint-second with Marsascala on 12 points but with a game more.

As was expected the winners were under no threat from opponents who could only close the gap to 8-4 early in the third quarter after which Ta’ Xbiex regained their momentum, with Zerafa Gregory equalling Adam Maklari’s hat-trick.

Otters 6
Ta’ Xbiex 13

(0-4, 2-4, 3-4, 1-1)

Otters: R. Bonnici, M. Borg Millo, R. Greco, L. Hyzler, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi 2, M. Jelaka 2, S. Dimech, G. Debono 2, C. Martin, R. Gauci, M. Cacici.

Ta’ Xbiex: J. Tanti, A. Maklari 3, A. Camenzuli 1, B. Grech 2, E. Meli 2, K. Mock 1, M. Mifsud 1, J. Zerafa Gregory 3, G. Attard, D. Fenech, R. Attard, M. Camilleri, J. Micallef.

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Bruno Navarra.

Valletta 6
Sirens 8

(2-3, 1-2, 3-1, 0-2)

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius, M. Rizzo, A. Mifsud, R. Mock 1, D. Paolella 1, N. Bonello Ghio, D. Spiteri, C. Zammit 1, D. Kholod 1, A. Zarb Cousin, M. Spiteri Staines 2.

Sirens: N. Grixti, Z. Mizzi 1, S. Mora 3, G. Pace, M. Grech, I. Riolo, M. Balucci, D. Cutajar 3, J. Napier, J. Sciberras, L. Caruana 1, N. Farrugia, J. Cremona.

Referees: Mario Dalli, Carmelo Polimeni.

Playing today

First Division
16.45 Marsascala Nutrition Empire vs Marsaxlokk Fischer.

Premier Division
18.00 Sliema Betsson vs Exiles Jetfreight; 19.15 Neptunes Grimaldi vs San Ġiljan Salini Resort.

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