(5-3, 4-1, 5-2, 5-0)
The Malta U-15 lost their opening match at the European Championship finals when they lost to Italy 19-6 in Loule, Portugal, on Sunday.
Anthony Farrugia’s boys were making their debut in the continental finals against one of the tournament favourites and held their own for much of the match.
In fact, the Maltese boys managed to remain in the match for much of the opening two sessions. The Italians edged the opening session to take a 5-3 lead and then went on to surge into a commanding 9-4 lead when the ends were changed.
In the final two sessions, the Italians’ superior physical prowess came to the fore as they managed to distance themselves with their opponents scoring ten times and conceded just two goals.
Davide Varallo and Adriano Barigelli were the leading scorers for Italy with three goals apiece.
On the other hand, Zak Cutajar Licari shone for the Maltese team when notching a brace and also managed to win four exclusions. Enrico Mallia also scored two goals with Jayden Cutajar and Cain Cutajar also putting their name on the scoresheet.
Malta will now play their second match of the tournament on Monday when they face Romania at noon.
Italy: F. Poggi, D. Varavallo 3; A. Barigelli 3; I. Gambacciani, E. Miraldi 2, A. Salipante 2, M. Arco 1 , L. De Marchi 2, F. Pettonati 2, L. Mantovani 2, F. Sifanno 1, F. Scordo 1, M. Pini.
Malta: D. Galea Mule, L. Dimech, I. Azzopardi, G. Bonavia, J. Cassar, D. Bugeja, Z. Cutajar Licari 2, J. Cutajar 1, E. Schembri, C. Cutajar 1, I. Schembri, L.Montebello Brownrigg, E. Mallia 2, M. Brimmer.
Referee Eurico Silva (Portugal).