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Exiles keep it close after Blues’ flying start

Guillermo Molina shoots at goal. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Guillermo Molina shoots at goal. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

A five-nil flying start by Sliema was the basis for a 9-7 victory over Exiles yesterday afternoon, a result which in the final reckoning was acceptable for Dorian Pisani’s side especially after the crushing loss they suffered at the hands of Neptunes in their previous match.

Following that opening flurry the Blues, contriving to expose some flaws in their mechanism, had to contend with their opponents’ refusal to fold.

Guglielmo Molina’s power was decisive as he netted four times. So was the opportunism of left-handers Michael Spiteri Staines and Zach Mizzi who scored two goals each. That early platform may have given them a false sense of security as some casualness crept into their play.

However, Exiles  are to be commended for fighting till the end although their task to save the game looked beyond them, particularly with the double-covered Serb recruit, Slobodan Nikic, unable to get the ideal service in the centre. On the upside for Exiles seven of their players were on the scorers’ list, with Sliema managing to have four.

At the end of the day the result was probably satisfactory for both teams. In the preceding 1st Division match, Birżebbugia exacted revenge on fellow south seasiders Marsascala  thanks to a 10-9 victory after the opening round match had been won by Pierre Borg’s team 11-10.

Except for the opening goal, Marco Risso’s lads were always in the lead but for a brief period in the last session when parity was restored. However, hat-trick hitter David Pace Lupi scored the winner, complementing the earlier poker netted by Sergi Mora.

Sliema 9
Exiles 7

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

Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabarretta, E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett, G. Molina 4, K. Dowling, M. Spiteri Staines 2, M. Mifsud, J. Gambin, M. Meli, Z. Mizzi 2, N. Bugelli, Z. Sciberras.

Exiles: M. Castillo, J. Rizzo Naudi 1, D. Borg Millo, M. Stellini 1, T. Sullivan 1, J. Bajada, S. Nikic 1, K. Griscti, N. Paris 1, A. Bianchi 1, B. Lanzon, L. Felice 1, S. Galea Pace.

Referees: Peter Balzan, Luca Castagnola.

Marsaskala 9
Birzebbuga 10

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

Marsaskala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar 2, N. Farrugia, J. Theuma, A. Vlahovic 3, L. Grixti, K. Navarro 1, J. Busuttil, S. Micallef 2, M. Agius, D. Cassar 1, M. Cutajar, B. Dougall.

Birzebbuga: D. Spiteri, M. Manara, S. Mora 4, D. Pace Lupi 3, A. Camenzuli, A. Sammut, S. Vassallo 1, N. Cassar 1, G. Farrugia, M. Caruana, K. Rizzo Naudi 1, O. Zammit, K. Gauci.

Referees: Mario Dalli, Luca Castagnola.

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