After conceding defeat at the hands of neighbours San Giljan, Sliema picked expected spoils at the expense of Valletta. They eased away to a 19-9 win.
They will hope that this will be a victory which would hopefully open the way for Sliema to produce a challenge on the championship crown this year.
Valletta opened a 4-3 advantage in the first session, but Sliema’s 12-goal barrage in the middle sessions dismantled the Citizens who found no answer to John Brownrigg, Jerome Gabarretta, and Benji Cachia.
Goals alternated in the first session. Jerome Gabarretta grabbed the first opportunity to give Sliema the lead. Niki Lanzon did not miss on the opportunity given, only for John Brownrigg, scorer of five, to give the Blues a 2-1 advantage. Niki Zammit scored twice, in between, Gabarretta made it 3-2 for Sliema. Niki Lanzon made it 4-3 for Valletta in a mouth-watering opening session.
Rotation of the players was limited for Valletta and after an encouraging opening session, it was complete capitulation for the exhausted Citizens. They lost the second session 6-1 with Benji Cachia (2), Brownrigg (2), Mark Meli and Zach Mizzi scoring for Sliema. Six more goals in the third session were momentarily punctured by Andrea Agius when the score was 15-5. The last session ended 4-3 for Sliema.
Morale-boosting win for Sirens in First Division
Earlier, Sirens made amends for the disappointment of losing out on a place in the Premier Division when they beat Exiles 10-9.
In an exciting finale to the first match, Exiles recovered from a three-goal deficit to equalise 8-8 midway through the final session. That salvo, which came from Jake Bajada, sparked a tit-a-tat finish.
Seconds later, Jerome Zerafa Gregory took Matthew Castillo, the Exiles goalkeeper, by surprise to make it 9-8. The Sliema equalised again through Kurt Griscti from a penalty.
With a minute to go, excitement went brewing up and Gianni Farrugia handed Sirens a precious win.
Later on, Ta’ Xbiex picked their first spoils of the season at the expense of Marsaxlokk, after their 7-3 victory.
More versatility and commitment at crucial stages of the game accounted for Ta’ Xbiex’s victory. Marsaxlokk, on their part, lacked the necessary conviction even when they should have had a material edge on their opponents.
The top scorer for Christian Presciutti’s side was teenager Daniel Rizzo with four goals.
Sirens: (3-2, 3-1, 2-3, 2-3)
G. Galea Curmi, M. Grech, K. Erdogan 1, J. Sciberras 1, J. Zerafa Gregory 2, G. Farrugia 2, M. Sciberras 1, I. Riolo 1, J. Napier, G. Mellilo, L. Caruana, M. Azzopardi 1, O. Gauci, T. Said 1.
Exiles: M. Castillo, N Sailba, S. Apap 1, P. Paris, T. Sullivan 3, S. Xerri de Caro, M. Fenech 1, K. Griscti 3, N. Paris, J. Bajada 1, M Aquilina, D. Fenech, G. Borg.
Refs: R. Spiteri, S. Licari.
(3-4, 6-1, 6-1, 4-3)
Sliema: N. Grixti, J. Gabarretta 3, L. Galea 2, M.Meli 1, B. Cachia 4, N. Schiavone, M. Mifsud 1, J. Brownrigg 5, J. Gambin 1, Z Mizzi 2, N Bugelli, Z. Sciberras.
Valletta: R. Sciortino, P. Borg 2, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini, A. Agius 1, R. Mock, D. Paolella, M. Mifsud, N. Farrugia, M. Zammit, N. Zammit 4, N. Lanzon 2, B. Muscat.
Refs: M. Angileri, R. Magri
TA XBIEX 7
(2-1, 1-2, 2-0, 2-0)
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, E. Schembri, D. Rizzo 4, A. Theuma.
Marsaxlokk: B. Busuttil, S. Stellini, M. Pace, M. Martellacci, S. Busuttil 2, L. Saliba, J. Galea, K. Cremona, Z. Micallef, R. Scerri, M. Cacici, J. Portelli, F. Buhagiar, L. Mallia 1.
Refs: N. Mercieca, A. DeRaffaele