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Celebration time for Naxxar Lions in season 1993-94

In 1990-91, Naxxar Lions were relegated from the Premier Division to the Second Division after a bizarre and controversial finale.

In the past, Maltese football was strewn with controversy. 

Many were the incidents and polemics which marred the game on our islands but the incidents, which marked the 1990-91 League Championship, take some beating.

It is enough to say that the relegation issue was not decided on the field of play, but in front of the Protests Board.

The league campaign ended with Naxxar Lions being relegated to the Second Division in a bizarre and hotly-disputed finale. That, however, is another story which we will surely discuss on another occasion.

The outcome of that controversial decision was a tough blow for Naxxar who one must say were made the scrap goats of a number of bad decisions by the council.

In addition, apart from being relegated from the Premier to the Second Division, the Lions were deducted five points. As a result, they had to start their commitments at a great disadvantage.

This setback was too great for Naxxar to overcome in one go.

However, in 1992-93 they won promotion to the First Division and the following season they won the championship and regained their place in the top division.

There was no stopping Naxxar that season.

The Lions dominated the competition and ended their commitments five points clear of second-placed, Pietà Hotspurs. Naxxar lost only one game that season.

Their only disappointment came in the cup competition when they were beaten by Marsa in the final.

Whilst Naxxar were making their merited return to the Premier Division, Pietà Hotspurs were celebrating their first-ever promotion to the top division. 

Sharing fourth place at the end of the first round, Pietà’s promotion hopes looked bleak. However, they recovered well and a number of first-class performances took them past St George’s and Mosta to the runners-up spot of the league table.

On the contrary, St George’s who, that season held high hopes of returning to the Premier Division, failed to keep up the pace with Naxxar and Pietà. 

Fate however, ruled in their favour.

The Saints finished third in the final table. However, that season Birkirkara and St Andrew’s decided to amalgamate leaving a blank spot in the Premier Division and the Saints were awarded the vacant spot.

At the other end of the table, the fight for survival involved, Mellieħa and Senglea.

With Għargħur already condemned for the drop, it was this battle that kept the interest alive.

At the end, it was Mellieħa who retained their status and condemned Senglea to the Second Division after a 12-year stay in the First Division.

In the cup competition, Marsa made up somewhat for a disappointing season with a first-class display in the final against the champions.

Naxxar started well and the game had hardly started when Refalo opened the score for them. However, two minutes later, Simon Sultana headed past goalkeeper Debono to level the score.

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