(1-2, 2-4, 3-1, 2-3)
The Malta U-15 national team ended their commitments in the European Championship finals in style when they beat France to finish in 13th place in the overall standings.
Buoyed by their dominant 21-8 victory over Georgia on Wednesday, the Maltese boys were determined to wrap up their first-ever participation in the continental championship in style with a win over France, the team they pipped for the top spot in the qualifying group following a 10-all draw at the National Pool.
Jayden Cutajar was Malta’s leading scorer when he notched a hat-trick while Cain Cutajar and Enrico Mallia bagged a brace each. Jayden Cassar, Dean Bugeja and Elijah Schembri were the other scorers for Farrugia’s team.
The Malta youngsters started brightly in the first session as despite falling behind early on they managed to turn the result in their favour with goals from Elijah Schembri and Cain Cutajar.
Farrugia’s boys finally clicked to gear in the second session with Jayden Cutajar and Cain Cutajar again producing some lethal finishing to notch two goals apiece and put the team firmly in the driving seat as they led 6-3 when ends were changes.
France needed to change something if they were to claw themselves back into the match and in the third session they managed to find the target three times against Malta’s solitary goal to head into the final session just one goal behind, 7-6.
However, the Maltese youngsters rediscovered their poise in the final session as goals from Enrico Mallia, Dean Bugeja and Jayden Cassar sealed the victory to complete a memorable participation for the Malta side.
FRANCE: E. Carrera, V. Laces, P. Bourdeix, A. Goncalves, A. Mercier-Chaplain 1, A. Monthorin 1, A. Mehdi 1, A. De Reviers De Mauny, A. Poulain, M. Hakik 2, N. Nikolic, J. Novacek 3, M. Guyon.
MALTA: D. Galea Mule, L. Dimech, J. Pace Mizzi, G. Bonavia, J. Cassar 1, D. Bugeja 1, Z. Cutajara Licari, J. Cutajar 3, E. Schembri 1, C. Cutajar 2, L. Montebello Brownrigg, E. Mallia 2, M. Brimmer.
Referees: M.G. Balanescu (Romania), B. Duraskovic (Montenegro).