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Smooth start for solid Sirens

With a fine blend of youth and experience, including Christian Presciutti of Italian national team fame, Sirens kickstarted their summer season in a slick and convincing manner when they beat Valletta 13-5.

The superiority of the team guided by Sergio Afric was undisputed, with victory being the natural consequence of a clear edge in organisation in both the covering and attacking phases.

Sirens’ clinical finishing, mostly coming from five-goal Presciutti and young Jacob Sciberras who hit a hat-trick, were qualities that the City team never matched despite having in their ranks ex-San Giljan player Boris Vapenski. The northerners were also well-served by left-hander Isaiah Riolo, the speedy John Napier and captain David Cutajar, with Nicholas Grixti in goal always looking safe.

They took an early three-goal lead and were 5-2 up by the halfway mark. A five-goal blitz in the third session completely wiped out their opponents, for whom Vapenski was mostly engaged in marking Presciutti.

The six goals shared in the last session were of no consequence as the issue had long been resolved.

It looks very much like the cinderella of local waterpolo, Otters, will again be at the receiving end when confronting their opponents.

Although their 12-8 defeat at the hands of champions Marsaxlokk was within accepted proportions, the outcome was rarely in doubt.

Otters’ new coach Erik Valter was aware he had a lightweight formation despite the presence of Marko Jelaka, who struck a double hat-trick.

At the end of the day it was an expected victory for Marsaxlokk for whom Karl Galea was the chief scorer with five goals.

Sirens 13
Valletta 5

(3-1, 2-1, 5-0, 3-3)

Sirens: N. Grixti, J. Zerafa Gregory, C. Presciutti 5, J. Sciberras 3, M. Grech, I. Riolo 1, J. Ciantar, D. Cutajar 2, J. Napier, J. Brownrigg 2, L. Caruana, O. Gauci, C. Mercieca 1.

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius 1, M. Rizzo 1, M. Fenech, R. Mock, D. Paolella 1, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina 1, B. Vapenski, K. Galea, D. Fenech 1, F. Buhagiar.

Referees: M. Piano, M. Dalli.

Otters 8
Marsaxlokk 12

(1-2, 0-5, 3-4, 4-1)

Otters: M. Xerri, A. Magri, M. Borg Millo, L. Hyzler 1, E. Meli 1, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi, M. Jelaka 6, M. Paris, C. Zammit, M. Borg, C. Teuma.

Marsaxlokk: A. Xuereb, C. Debarro Spiteri 3, L. Calleja 1, K. Galea 6, C. Gialanze 1, C. Bugeja, S. Meli, I. Vuksanovic, M. Cacici, R. Scerri 1, K. Lanzon, L. Gialanze, R. Bonnici.

Referees: L. Iacovelli, S. Licari.

Playing today: 5.30pm Birżebbuġa vs Marsascala; 6.45pm San Ġiljan vs Neptunes; 8pm Exiles vs Sliema.

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