Saints’ power tells in the end
San Ġiljan continued where they left off last season by lifting the Enemed Cup after defeating Sirens at the National Pool yesterday.
There is reason to believe that San Ġiljan’s latest triumph will set the stage for more titles to come.
San Ġiljan mentor Marko Orlovic told Times of Malta that yesterday’s Enemed Cup triumph points to a bright future at the club.
“We still in pre-season. The target is definitely not the Enemed Cup but it’s always nice to lift a cup,” Orlovic said.
“With Dino Zammit back in top form, our youngsters given more time in the water and the inclusion of Kai Dowling, this Cup offered us a good opportunity to build the foundations for the summer season,” he added.
This time San Ġiljan had to see off Sirens who looked tenacious until the Saints’ power told in the end.
It was a balanced affair throughout, with the Saints taking an early lead through Ben Plumpton after which they had to chase their opponents until the closing stages of the second session.
Early in the third session, Sirens goalkeeper Nicholas Grixti was prominent with an amazing double save on Plumpton.
The scoreline went fluctuating with Aquilina for Sirens and Matthew Zammit for San Ġiljan.
The Saints who had grown increasingly wasteful with Grixti denying Dino Zammit from a penalty, managed to put their noses in front through Paul Fava.
Sirens may have started well but they floundered late in the third session after they suffered a blow when Aquilina was red-carded for passing repeated remarks.
Matthew Zammit scored again at the start of the final session to give San Ġiljan a two-goal cushion at which point, Sirens seemed to collapse but Luke Caruana made the most of a man-up situation to reduce the gap.
But San Ġiljan showed great tactical maturity, basing their game on a tight rearguard and invariably pulled away to hit their opponents on the counter with Plumpton and Matthew Zammit for a 8-5 final scoreline.
Earlier, a fired-up Neptunes claimed the third spot in this year’s Enemed Cup at the expense of Sliema.
Smarting from their defeat against Sirens last Saturday which denied them a place in the final, the Reds displayed better nerves to run out easy winners.
Neptunes’ strength was beyond question and with youngsters Ken Erdogan, Jake Muscat and Nikolai Zammit being given an extended time in the water, Neptunes’ future looks secured.
Jeremy Abela topped his team’s scorers’ list with six goals.
Neptunes Leo Vegas 14
Sliema Frank Salt 8
(2-3, 6-3, 4-1, 2-1)
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan 1, G. Pace, M. Martellacci, J. Farrugia, J. Muscat 3, S. Busuttil, J. Abela 6, N. Zammit 4, A. Fenech, V. Ragone, B, Busuttil.
Sliema: J. Sammut, K, Tanti, N. Saliba 1, J. Sciberras, M. Meli 4, B. Cachia 2, M. Spiteri Staines, G. Blundell, M. Cordina, D. Fenech, Z. Mizzi, N. Bugelli 1, Z. Sciberras.
Referees: Ronnie Spiteri, Neville Mercieca.
San Ġiljan 8
(1-1, 2-2, 1-2, 1-3)
Sirens: N. Grixti, J. Ciantar, E. Aquilina 2, P. Privitera, M. Grech, G. Farrugia, J. Zerafa Gregory, I. Riolo 1, J. Napier, L. Falzon, L. Caruana 1, M. Sciberras 1, G. Galea Curmi.
San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, D. Ciantar, A. Galea, B, Grech, K. Dowling, M, Zammit 4, B. Plumpton 2, C. Farrugia, T. Said, Darren Zammit, P. Fava 1, Dino Zammit 1, T. Micallef.
Referees: Massimo Angileri, Ronnie Spiteri.