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Bold Blues recover to upstage Neptunes

Sliema Frank Salt ended on a high yesterday when they managed to turn round a three-goal deficit which lasted almost three minutes into the third session to finally sink Neptunes Leo Vegas by the odd goal in 21.

It was a remarkable recovery by the Blues conjured stealthily but through determination and hard work as they won the last quarters 3-1 and 5-3 after they had played second fiddle to a side that made good use of their limited resources but in the end could not stem the tide which started flowing against them.

Sliema’s coach Bogdan Rath made excellent use of his components, a ploy which helped the team pick up a steady rhythm as the exchanges unfolded. Christian Cluett was particularly smart when netting a hat-trick while Guglielmo Molina and Zach Mizzi, who netted two goals each at crucial moments, added to Sliema’s more dispersed punch.

Neptunes appeared to have lost the plot after they missed an important extraman set when leading 6-3 late in the second quarter. Four goals from Jordan Camilleri and two from his brother Steve were not enough as the Reds had fewer potential scorers than their sporting rivals.

It was the second minimal defeat for the Balluta team against their main rivals. By contrast, Sliema’s victory will surely boost their confidence.

In the preceding 1st Division match chammpions Marsaxlokk Fischer scored three late goals through a brace from Maltese-American Brian Buhagiar and Sean Meli who netted one to beat fellow south seasiders 9-6 and thus keep a clean sheet at the top of the table. There was only one goal in it, with the winners forging ahead most of the time only to be pegged back repeatedly before they got the breakthrough.

Marsaxlokk 9
Marsaskala 6

(1-1, 1-1, 4-3, 3-1)

Marsaxlokk: A. Xuereb, C. Spiteri Debarro 1, L. Calleja, K. Galea 2, C. Gialanze, C. Bugeja, S. Meli 1, I. Vuksanovic 1, B. Buhagiar 2, R. Scerri 1, K. Lanzon, L. Gialanze, M. Cacici 1.

Marsaskala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar, N. Farrugia 1, D. Camilleri, A. Vlahovic 2, L. Grixti, K. Navarro 1, J. Busuttil, S. Micallef , M. Agius 1, D. Cassar 1, M. Cutajar 1 , B. Dougall.

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Tommaso Boccia.

Neptunes 10
Sliema 11

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

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 1, T. Agius, J. Culic, R. Blary 1, S. Gravina, S. Camilleri 2, J. Camilleri 4, J. Abela 1, M. Zammit 1, M. Martellacci, M. Azzopardi, I. Bugeja.

Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabarretta 1, E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett 3, G. Molina 2, K. Dowling, M. Spiteri Staines, M. Mifsud, J. Gambin, M. Meli 1, Z. Mizzi 2, N. Bugelli 1, Z. Sciberras.

Referees: Massimiliano Ruscica, Peter Balzan.

Playing today
5.30pm Otters vs Ta’ Xbiex; 6.45pm Exiles vs Valletta; 8pm San Ġiljan vs Sirens.

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