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A revival of old feuds in season 1930-31

An early 1930’s Floriana FC photograph. In 1930-31 the Greens ran away with the League Championship.

In 1930, Ħamrun Spartans re-joined the league after an absence of several seasons.  Their return was welcomed by everybody and the team brought back to the Empire Stadium some of the missing thousands.

Floriana, after missing the 1929-30 season for no apparent reason, also made a welcome return adding, in no small way, to the ever-growing interest of all football followers.

On Sunday, November 30, splendid weather, a very good attendance, and a fast game of football introduced the Civilian Football League of 1930-31.

The match between Floriana and Ħamrun Spartans revived memories of past encounters at the Mile End.

The Spartans, encouraged by the whole-hearted support of their supporters, played with a lot of verve but two quick goals by Cauchi and Bonello gave the Greens a flattering 2-0 victory.

Valletta and Sliema Wanderers shared the points in a hard-fought match.

In contrast, the third match of the league was a rather poor game of football.

Valletta took an early lead against Floriana but they enjoyed it for only two minutes. Carmelo Cauchi equalised and the first half was drawing to its end when C. Scicluna scored the winning goal for Floriana.

Since Floriana had obtained maximum points from their first two matches, Sliema Wanderers could not afford to drop another point when they met Ħamrun Spartans on December 21.

Sliema took a two-goal lead but Brincau reduced the arrears before half-time.

In the second half, play was very even. No goals were scored up to the very last minute. Many spectators had already left the ground when Gruppetta scored a dramatic equaliser. The Spartans’ supporters went mad with joy and that evening there were full-scale celebrations in Ħamrun.

Since the early days of football in Malta, matches between Valletta and Ħamrun have always raised the temperature of rival supporters to fever pitch. There is nothing sweeter for a true City or Spartans supporter than a victory over the old enemy.

A good crowd of supporters saw the revival of the antagonism between the two teams on December 28, 1930.

Valletta scored the first goal and then scored another at the start of the second half.

Yet, the Spartans obtained their just reward when Azzopardi dashed in to head in a centre from Brincat past Perrin.

Encouraged by this goal, Ħamrun went all out for the equaliser but in the process, they left their back door wide open and it was Valletta who scored again.

The first round was completed on Sunday, January 4, 1931, with the match between the ‘Old Firm’.

Sliema, needing nothing less than a victory to keep pace with their rivals in the hunt for the title, were the first to attack.

Surviving a handful of early threats, Floriana struck back and in the 14th minute scored the goal which eventually was to give them the points. Bonello met a perfect pass from Pawlu Friggieri and smashed the ball into the net.

Floriana, began the second round with a 3-0 victory over a depleted Spartans side.

Sliema Wanderers started theirs with a hard-earned 3-2 victory over Valletta.

This victory, however, was not enough because on Sunday, January 27, 1931, Floriana made sure of the championship with a somewhat easy 3-0 victory over Valletta.     

Looking back on the 1930-31 championship a marked improvement could be noted in the standard of the game when compared to the previous term.

There was also an increase in attendances owing mostly to the return to league football of Ħamrun Spartans.

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