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Saints one point away from title

Photo: Wally Galea

Photo: Wally Galea

Undisputed Premier Division leaders San Ġiljan edged closer to the title when they found little difficulty in seeing off Valletta.

The Saints need just one point from their next match against Sirens to regain the Premier Division title.

Indeed, the match turned out to be a no contest as the versatility of San Ġiljan and the ability of their units could in no way be matched by their opponents, Valletta.

The Saints had to contend with the absence of Matthew Zammit and Peter Borg. Their young replacements were well in the frame and this resulted in the team keeping their usual balance.

Moreover, Aleksandar Ivovic was in irresistible vein, scoring five goals and, together with all the others, infusing the necessary drive in the engine room.

Dino Zammit, hard-working on the flank, notched four goals, with Paul Fava netting a hat-trick.

Valletta kept chasing San Ġiljan early on with only one length separating the teams until late into the second session.

Yet, the leaders started to impose themselves late in the second quarter when they opened a three-goal lead and from then on the Saints never looked back.

In the final quarter, San Ġiljan’s victory assumed comprehensive proportions with Ben Plumpton and Joseph Galea putting their names on the scoresheet.

For a team that slumped to a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Sliema in the Knock-Out, Exiles’ resurgence after barely three days is something to be commended.

Their ‘revenge’ against the same opponents had the stamp of discipline.

Exiles rattled their opponents when they took a 4-0 lead in the first session as Sliema could not quite get the measure of their opponents’ game plan.

Sliema won the second session 2-1 but Exiles were 5-2 up by the time ends were changed.

A 3-2 scoreline in Sliema’s favour in the third session narrowed the gap further to just two goals before the last session started.

Still, it was Dorian Pisani’s team who held sway as Exiles scored three times without reply in the final session to increase their winning margin, with Jerome Gabarretta’s fourth goal coming too late.

Summaries

San Ġiljan 15
Valletta 8

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

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, A. Galea, B. Grech, T. Said, J. Galea 1, M. Zammit, B. Plumpton 1, Darren Zammit, A. Ivovic 5, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava 3, Dino Zammit 4, T. Micallef.

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius, M. Rizzo, M. Fenech 1, R. Mock 1, D. Paolella 1, A. Mifsud, M. Cordina 1, B. Vapenski 4, K. Galea, D. Fenech, F. Buhagiar.

Refs: Peter Balzan, Fabio Brasiliano.

Sliema 7
Exiles 11

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

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

Exiles: M. Castillo, J. Rizzo Naudi, D. Borg Millo, T. Sullivan 1, M. Stellini 1, S. Xerri de Caro 1, S. Nikic 5, K. Griscti, N. Paris 1, A. Bianchi 1, B. Lanzon 1, L. Felice, S. Pace Galea.

Refs: S. Licari, F. Brasiliano.

Marsaskala 9
Otters 11

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

Marsaskala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar, N. Farrugia 1, C. Bonello, A. Vlahovic 5, L. Grixti, K. Navarro, J. Busuttil, S. Micallef, M. Agius, D. Cassar 1, M. Cutajar 2, B. Muscat.

Otters: M. Xerri, M. Borg Millo 1, A. Magri, L. Hyzler 3, E. Meli 4, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi, M. Jelaka 2, S. Dimech, C. Zammit 1, M. Borg, C. Teuma, J. Sammut.

Refs: R. Spiteri, A. Rovandi.

Playing today
First Division: 6pm Marsaxlokk vs Ta’ Xbiex. Premier Division 7.15pm Neptunes vs Sirens.

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