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Holders Saints beat Blues to reach semis

San Ġiljan never allowed opponents Sliema any extra space to manoeuvre, yesterday. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

San Ġiljan never allowed opponents Sliema any extra space to manoeuvre, yesterday. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

San Ġiljan Salini Resort again put up an assuring performance against Sliema Betsson to proceed to the last four of the knock-out competition thus leaving the fragile Blues utterly disappointed with their showings so far this summer.

The Saints, winners of the KO competition in 2015, were never in trouble at the National Pool yesterday as they maintained their impressive play and smooth rhythm and also their hopes more than ticking for a comprehensive clean sweep of the 2016 honours.

They started in belligerent mode as they won each of the first two quarters by a similar 4-1 scoreline while also winning the latter sessions by the odd goal in three after they eased off.

Sliema were never in the reckoning and to complicate matters Edward Aquilina and John Soler were red-carded, the first for showing dissent and Soler for allegedly entering the pitch prematurely after being excluded, an incident which sparked off strong protests from the Blues’ clan.

It was even more plain sailing for San Ġiljan after these two particular incidents as their supremacy did not have to be emphasised any more.

Their heavyweights had started the ball rolling in terms of goals, with Boris Vapenski’s three strikes complementing those of Matthew Zammit and Dino Zammit and the very active Andreas Galea who all struck a brace.

The other goals for the Saints came from Peter Borg, Ben Plumpton and Aurelien Cousin.

Sliema’s meagre total of goals yesterday came from Mark Meli (2), Aquilina and Kai Dowling.

While the outlook looks bright for San Ġiljan, who now play Exiles in next month’s semi-finals, the Blues face a bleak future unless they surprisingly rise from the dead in the upcoming BOV Premier Division championship play-offs starting next Friday.

Summary

San Ġiljan 12
Sliema 4

(4-1, 4-1, 2-1, 2-1)

San Ġiljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg 1, A. Galea 2, B. Vapenski 3, D. Zammit, M. Zammit 2, K. Galea, C. Mercieca, B. Plumpton 1, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava, D. Zammit 2, D. Camilleri.

Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabarretta, E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett, M. Meli 2, J. Soler, K. Dowling 1, T. Sullivan, J. Brownrigg, A. Attard, M. Cuk, N. Bugelli, Z. Sciberras.

Referees: Mario Bianchi, Mario Dalli.

Cup semi-Finals

August 12: First Division – 18.15 Otters Nivea vs Marsascala. Premier Division – 19.30 San Ġiljan vs Exiles.

August 13: First Division – 18.15 Marsaxlokk vs Ta’ Xbiex. Premier Division – 19.30 Sirens vs Neptunes.

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