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San Ġiljan beat Neptunes to retain President’s Cup

San Ġiljan new recruit Paulo Obradovic attempts a shot on goal as Jordan Camilleri tries to block him during yesterday’s President Cup. Photo: Wally Galea

San Ġiljan new recruit Paulo Obradovic attempts a shot on goal as Jordan Camilleri tries to block him during yesterday’s President Cup. Photo: Wally Galea

San Ġiljan claimed the President’s Cup which they won last year, again at the expense of Neptunes but this time, it turned out to be a titanic tussle which had the winners stretching every sinew to extinguish a remarkable recovery by their opponents.

In a generally balanced first session, San Ġiljan took a 2-0 lead before Neptunes trimmed the leeway by a goal.

The Balluta side equalised early in the second session and at this point, San Ġiljan looked to have the measure of their opponents with a cute lob from Matthew Zammit and another fine effort by Tristan Said.

Early in the third session, Neptunes fought back before San Ġiljan regained the driving seat to pull away on a two-goal lead through new foreigner Paulo Obradovic, fresh from Champions Cup success with Olympiacos Piraues. But that was only a momentary blip for Neptunes as the Reds delved deep into their combative spirit to equalise.

Drama reached a climax at the end of that third session with Neptunes holding out confidently after Niki Lanzon pulled them back within a goal on cusp of time.

San Ġiljan ran out of steam and ideas as Neptunes gradually staged a remarkable recovery. That comeback was owed much to their fighting spirits and opportunistic goals by Matthias Azzopardi and Jeremy Abela.

But a bombshell from Dino Zammit made it 11-10 to win the day and sink Neptunes. At the end of the day the Saints were relieved to pass their stern test.

Marsaxlokk Browns edged past Birżebbuġa to retain the Sports Journalists Cup. They owe their 11-9 victory to a good opening base which helped them take a 4-1 first session lead, after which they kept their opponents at bay.

Marsaxlokk cruised to victory by winning the third quarter 4-3 but losing 2-4 in the final session. However, their success had long been hammered home.

Both teams were certainly well served by their new foreigners as Montenegrin Darko Brugljan (Birżebbuġa) and Italian Stefano Luongo (Marsaxlokk) went on an astonishing scoring spree, scoring seven and six goals respectively.

Sliema win Super Cup

Sliema started the new waterpolo season on a high after winning the women’s Super Cup. Mario Cachia’s girls scored five times without reply in the opening session and then withstood the Exiles pressure for the rest of the game to make sure of victory in the closing session.

San Ġiljan 11
Neptunes 10

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

San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, P. Borg, A. Galea 1, B. Grech, C. Farrugia, M. Zammit 3, B. Plumpton 2, Darren Zammit, T. Said 1, P. Obradovic 3, P. Fava, Dino Zammit 1, T. Micallef

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 1, K. Erdogan, G. Pace, J. Culic, N. Zammit 1, P. Muslim 1, J. Camilleri 1, J. Abela 4, M. Zammit, J. Muscat 1, M. Azzopardi 1, J. Parnis

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Fabio Collantoni.

Marsaxlokk 11
Birżebbuġa 9
(4-1, 1-1, 4-3, 2-4)

Marsaxlokk: R. Coleiro, C. Spiteri Debarro 1, L. Calleja, C. Bonello 1, C. Gialanze 1, R. Scerri, S. Meli, M. Rizzo, B. Buhagiar, S. Luongo 6, M. Cacici, J. Galea 1, K. Lanzon 1.

Birżebbuġa: D. Abela, M. Borg, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi, D. Brguljan 7, J. Buhagiar, S. Vassallo, D. Cutajar 1, S. Micallef, M. Cutajar, K. Rizzo Naudi 1, J. Zerafa Gregory, D. Spiteri

Referee: Peter Balzan, Mirko Schiavo

Sliema 15
Exiles 5
(5-0, 3-2, 3-3, 4-0)

Sliema: M. Mock, K. Camilleri 3, M. Busuttil 2, S. Abela, K. Tochkarshewsky, L. Cachia 3, F. Paolella 5, J. Calleja Galea, R. Spiteri 1, S. Cassar 1, L. Fenech, G. Craus, L. Camilleri.

Exiles: A. Bonello, N. Pace, K. Agius 1, K. Navarro 2, M. Caruana, M. Darmanin, E. Loucaides, M. Bonello, M. Gatt, G. Zammit 1, M. Zammit 1, B. Azzopardi, E. Bondin.

Referee: Ronnie Spiteri, Mirko Schiavo.

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