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Strong Hungarians beat Malta in group opener

Hungary 22
Malta 5

(6-3, 8-0, 3-2, 5-0)

Malta found the going tough in their opening match of the U-19 European Championships as they lost to Hungary 22-5 in Alphen, the Netherlands, yesterday.

The Hungarians were the stronger side on the day as they all but assured themselves of victory by the end of the second quarter and from then on they administered proceedings without difficult.

Hungary raced into a 4-0 lead but Malta fought back as goals from Joseph Galea, Nicholas Bugelli and Jeremy Abela saw them cut the deficit to just one goal.

But the eastern European side regained the initiative after that, netting 10 times without reply to surge into a 14-3 lead by the half-time break.

Malta created other scoring opportunities but were caught out on fast breaks by their opponents before half-time.

In the third session Anthony Farrugia’s players showed signs of improvement with Ben Plumpton hitting a double.

But the Hungarians stamped their authority on the match by scoring five times without reply in the final quarter to wrap up a comfortable victory.

“We played against one of the strongest teams here,” coach Farrugia said.

“We have to learn from the mistakes committed today and improve our game.

“Today, the team had some good moments, at times defending very strongly with Jake Tanti instrumental in goal but the Hungarians’ superior physical strength was evident.

“Although the score may indicate otherwise, my players’ effort was still commendable and satisfactory.”

Malta play their second qualifying match against Montenegro this morning. The other team in Group D are Greece.

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