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New-look Malta retain title

Jordan Camilleri holds the MVP trophy with Malta coach Karl Izzo (left) and his assistant Anthony Farrugia.

Jordan Camilleri holds the MVP trophy with Malta coach Karl Izzo (left) and his assistant Anthony Farrugia.

The waterpolo national team retained the EU Nations Cup title for a second successive time with a perfect record of five wins out of five in Sczeczin, Poland, yesterday.

Coach Karl Izzo named various young players in his squad for the tournament as he continued with his preparations ahead of the European Championship qualifiers.

Andreas Galea, Miguel Zammit, Jake Tanti and Zack Mizzi were all handed a chance to stake their claim in a team that played without chief goalscorer Steve Camilleri who has just finished his season in the Italian league.

Malta brushed aside Switzerland (16-8), Ireland (19-9), and Poland (14-4) before they faced their biggest test against South Africa.

The match was evenly balanced with the Maltese sealing victory when winning a high-scoring final session 6-4 for a 12-10 win, assuring themselves top of the spot.

Yesterday, the national team played their remaining match against England and finished in style when racing to an 11-6 victory.

“Winning this tournament fills us with great confidence,” Izzo told Times of Malta.

“Five wins from as many matches against very strong opposition is very encouraging. We fielded a relatively new side here. There was a very friendly atmosphere in the group and that was mirrored in our matches.

“I would like to thank ASA president Joe Caruana Curran and his Executive Committee for making possible the team’s participation in this tournament. For us it’s very important to keep figuring in this kind of competitions for the players to gain more experience at this level.

“There was also great support from the technical staff, particularly Anthony Farrugia and Marco Vella.”

Results

Malta vs Switzerland - 16-8
Scorers: P. Borg 3, A. Galea 2, N. Bugelli 2, Matthew Zammit 4, M. Spiteri Staines 1, J. Camilleri 1, Miguel Zammit 1, Z. Mizzi 1, D. Zammit 1.

Malta vs Ireland - 19-9
Scorers: P. Borg 1, E. Aquilina 1, A. Galea 1, N. Bugelli 1, M. Zammit 4, M. Spiteri Staines 1, J. Camilleri 2, B. Plumpton 2, M. Zammit 2, D. Zammit 4.

Malta vs Poland - 14-4
Scorers: Matthew Zammit 3, J. Camilleri 5, B. Plumpton 4, Miguel Zammit 1, D. Zammit 1.

Malta vs South Africa - 12-10
Scorers: P. Borg 1, A. Galea 2, MatthewZammit 1, J. Camilleri 3, B. Plumpton 2, D. Zammit 3.

Malta vs England - 11-6
Scorers: E. Aquilina 1, N. Bugelli 1, M. Spiteri Staines 1, J. Camilleri 3, B. Plumpton 1, M. Zammit 1, D. Zammit 3.

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