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Winning start for Malta U-19’s in Waterpolo Euro qualifiers

MALTA 22

FINLAND  5

(5-1, 8-2, 3-0, 6-3)

MALTA

A. Bugeja, M. Mifsud 2, D. Tully, D. Rizzo 1, J. Cachia 4, R. Galea 1, J. Cutajar 1, M. Castillo 5, K. Borg 2, J. Bonavia, A. Fenech 5, G. Farrugia 1, G. Vassallo.

FINLAND

T. Tihtonen, P. Alamaki, T. Silander, A. Kaukinen, M. Johnsson 2, J. Rinta-Jouppi, K. Gellert 2, R. Lehikoinen, L. Benford 1, S. Niinivirta, E. Nurmi, D. Damljanovic 1, V. Rautjoki.

Referees: A. Mustata (Romania), R. Mueller (German).

Malta U-19’’s adventure in the qualifiers for this year’s European Championships started with a bang.

Victory over the inexperienced Finns was very much on the cards at the National Pool. But their 22-6 victory was a bright omen for upcoming commitments against the United Kingdom and the Netherlands after the encouraging inroads these lads have made in the past years.

The Maltese shorn of the services of Jake Muscat and Sam Gialanzé were still too good for Finland as they displayed an aggressive waterpolo, teamwork and better physique showing that more playing time at a senior level with their clubs left the desired effects.

The one-sided nature of this clash was apparent from the beginning as the local boys went on the rampage, constantly regaining possession to net freely especially through Alec Fenech, Jake Cachia and Mark Castillo.

Beyond this trio’s exploits, the Maltese all performed well as a team, ramming home on numerous breaks with cool efficiency.

It was a matter of how far the Maltese could extend their advantage in terms of goals and whether all the components of the team bar the goalkeepers could put their names on the scoresheet.

Malta started well, taking a 5-1 first session lead which was extended to 13-3 before ends were changed. The players pounced on almost every opportunity to thrust forward on the counter. That advantage was eventually to 13 goals before Anthony Farrugia’s side won the final session 6-3.

Photo c/o Chris Sant Fournier.

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