Birkirkara women’s team have the first championship match point this week as the MFA Women’s League returns following the international window which saw Malta involved in two high-profile games against Denmark and Italy U-23’s. Moreover, the U-19’s selection coached by Frank Schembri was also involved as they secured a historic promotion to League A in the European qualifications.
Led by Melania Bajada, Birkirkara are on the cusp of their 10th domestic title and they could be already celebrating if they chalk up at least a point against rivals Mġarr United, in Wednesday’s game.
With three games left, the Stripes have a nine-point cushion above the Greens after registering 14 wins and one draw in their 15 league outings.
Propelled by the goals of leading scorers Alishia Sultana (13), Patricia Lamanna (7) and Veronique Mifsud (7), Birkirkara produced another dominant campaign which enabled them to stretch their unbeaten run in the domestic championship to 65 matches – four games away from matching the record set by Hibernians during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Birkirkara forged their winning campaigns in the 2016/2017 under the guidance of Shawn Meilak before current coach Bajada steered the Stripes to three more titles – in 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Last season, the Stripes were on course for their fifth title in a row before the league was interrupted due to the ban on organised sports activities imposed by the health authorities. Since not all teams had played 75% of their league fixtures, the championship had to be declared null.
Mġarr, on their part, are playing their first season under the guidance of coach Michael Mangion.
They sit second with 34 points and have Francesca Chircop and Brenda Borg leading the league’s scoring charts with 18 and 17 goals respectively.
This week’s slate of fixtures will offer two other interesting games.
Third-place Swieqi United, who have one game in hand, trail Mġarr by six points as they are still eyeing a potential top-two finish this season.
Billy Mock’s side, who have 28 points thanks to their nine wins and one 1 draw, take on Kirkop United, who like Swieqi have also played 14 games so far.
The Reds sit the fifth in the seven-team league with 15 points as they look to end their season on a high after a shaky start to their campaign.
In the other game, Mtarfa and San Ġwann – also with a game in hand – face each other at the Mġarr Ground.
Three points separate the two teams as Mtarfa sit second bottom with four points whereas bottom side San Ġwann have just one point to show for their efforts.
The previous two games between these two teams produced two historic moments. A 0-0 draw which earned San Ġwann their first ever point in the women’s game at senior level while in the second game, Mtarfa picked up their maiden three points at this level after securing a 1-0 victory.
Photo c/o Mark Zammit Cordina/Malta FA