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National Championship

Valletta bounce back to down Sirens

Commanding victories for Sliema and Neptunes

Valletta put their defeat against Birżebbuġa firmly behind their backs when they comfortably dismissed Sirens – a victory which renews the Citizens’ hopes to get promoted to the Premier Division. 

This win puts the Lilywhites on the third grid with three points but hot on Sirens’ and Birżebbuġa’s heels who have four points in the second spot.

The Citizens took an early lead through Nikolai Zammit and soon went 2-0 up with Daniel Paolella before John Napier and Matthew Sciberras pulled two goals back, in between, Niki Lanzon made it 3-1. Peter Borg restored Valletta’s two goals’ cushion.

In the second session, both Zammit and Lanzon completed their hat-trick as they profited from some defensive mistakes to open a six-goal lead for Valletta. Marc Grech deceived Thomas Micallef from a distance to end the session 8-3.

In their third session, Miguel Zammit opened his scoring account as he netted twice before Lanzon opened an 11-3 advantage for the Citizens.

With the issue practically settled,  Valletta finally allowed Sirens to salvage pride when winning the last session 3-1.

Earlier, Sliema started like a whirlwind, winning the first session 5-1. At 10-1, it was  game over by the long interval.

Daniel Rizzo and Raul Greco pulled two goals back to make it 10-3, but two more from Jerome Gabarretta, a second by Brownrigg and two goals from Mark Meli sandwiching a second by Rizzo and a goal from Jayden Cutajar c,losed the quarter on 15-5.

The stamp of a no-contest was maintained throughout the last session as Sliema edged Ta’ Xbiex 3-1. For statistical purposes, their top scorer was Gabarretta with five goals.

Neptunes were equally at ease in disposing of Marsascala with their forceful play and superior skills pinning down their opponents.

The Reds’ seven-goal barrage in the first three sessions dismantled Marsascala who found no answer to Steve Camilleri and Sam Gialanze’s scoring instincts. The youngster reached three conversions by this time, with Camilleri who had to retire for long stretches, finding the net twice.

On Marsascala’s part the only positive element was the performance of their young goalkeeper Aiden Muscat who was in excellent form, saving a penalty on Luke Calleja before succumbing to two late goals by Jake Muscat.

SLIEMA 18

TA’ XBIEX 6

(5-0, 5-1, 5-4, 3-1)

Sliema: N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta 5, L. Galea 1, M. Meli 2, B. Cachia 3, N. Schiavone 2, M. Mifsud, J. Brownrigg 2, J. Gambin 1, Z. Mizzi 1, N. Bugelli 1, Z. Sciberras.

Ta’ Xbiex: M. Vassallo, R. Greco 1, Z. Cutajar, J. Pace Mizzi, J. Cassar, M. DeMarco, J. Saliba, J. Cutajar 1, K. Borg 1, S. Azzopardi 1, E. Schembri, D. Rizzo 2, A. Theuma.

Refs M. Angileri, R. Magri.

NEPTUNES 11

MARSASCALA 1

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

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat 3, L. Calleja, G. Pace, M. Castillo, J. Spiteri Staines, S. Camilleri 3, J. Camilleri, M. Farrugia, M. Spiteri Staines 1, A. Fenech 1, S. Gialanze 3, A. Bugeja.

Marsascala: J. Micallef,  A. Camenzuli,  P. Privitera, G. Sammut, L. Grixti, K. Navarro 1, M. Manara, S. Micallef, L. Felice, J. Ciantar, M. Carani, A. Muscat.

Refs N. Mercieca, A. DeRaffaele,

VALLETTA 12

SIRENS 6

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

Valletta: T. Micallef, P. Borg 1, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini, A. Agius, R. Mock, D. Paolella 1, M. Mifsud, N. Farrugia, N. Zammit 4, M. Zammit 2, N. Lanzon 4.

Sirens: O. Gauci, M. Grech 1, K. Erdogan 1, J. Sciberras, J. Zerafa Gregory, G. Farrugia, M. Sciberras 1, I. Riolo 1, J. Napier 1, G. Mellilo, L. Caruana, M. Azzopardi, G. Galea Curmi, L. Falzon 1.

Refs R. Spiteri, P. Balzan.

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