San Ġiljan asserted their superiority over Sirens when they stepped into the driving seat from the word ‘go’ to keep their pristine start to the season.
Sirens gave their more-quoted opponents a two-goal start when Andreas Galea converted two penalties and then Mattias Ortoleva made the most of a Sirens’ indecision to make it 3-0.
At the other end, Jerome Zerafa Gregory was well fed in the centre and he made no mistake with seconds to go for the end of the first session.
A snap-shot by Ortoleva on a cross pass by Galea before Nikolai Zammit filtered through to flock in and make it 5-1.
Sirens missed their first man-up but then an open goal from Jacob Sciberras reduced the deficit for them.
The deployment of Ortoleva on the left and left-hander Zammit on the right flank was stretching the Sirens’ defensive shield as the Northenders changed ends in arrears by six goals.
More lethal shots from Zammit, who added two more goals to his tally and Galea, who reached the hat-trick bracket, helped the Saints increase their advantage before the start of the last session. But it was Ben Plumpton’s backhand which caught the eye of the execution.
The game ambled on quietly during the last quarter with Zerafa Gregory cancelling out Nico Schiavone’s penalty.
In the second match, Valletta, pitting in all their established men, were in a different class against a rejuvenated Marsaxlokk.
The Citizens on a low gear in the opening session, could only end up 1-1 after the first eight minutes. To their credit, the team coached by Nenad Navarin, fought grimly, and succeeded in keeping their opponents at arms’ length.
But once the floodgates were opened in the second quarter, there was only one team in it.
Valletta led 8-3 before ends were changed but they still stuck on their more established men, with the exception of Benji Busuttil, whose place in goal was taken by Andrew Bugeja.
Nicholas Farrugia reached his hat-trick with Michele Mifsud completing a poker in the late sessions when Valletta had long been home and dry.
Marsaskala vs Ta’Xbiex match was more or less of the same texture with the southseasiders dismissing Ta’ Xbiex in casual manner. Again, the gap in class between the teams was there for the very few present to see.
After edging Marsaskala by the odd goal in five, Ta’ Xbiex collapsed and were constantly in arrears by two or three goals.
Three goals by Mark Carani and two goals from Kyle Navarro helped Marsaskala’s cause.
(3-2, 1-2, 1-3, 1-3)
TA’ XBIEX: R. Coleiro, J.C. Saliba, E. Aquilina 1, Z. Cutajar Licari 1, E. Meli, S. Engerer, 2 J. Saliba 1, J.Cassar, E. Schembri 1, B. Attard Littschw, P. Tabone, J. Chircop, D. Galea Mule.
MARSASKALA: J. Micallef, L. Falzon, A. Camenzuli, P. Privitera, R. Greco 1, G. Galea, K. Navarro 2, M. Manara 1, D. Pace Lupi 1, G. Sammut 1, J. Ciantar 1, M. Carani 3, A. Muscat, S. Fava, F. Scardino.
Refs: A. Baretta, P. Balzan.
(1-1, 0-3, 2-4, 1-3)
MARSAXLOKK: S. Mifsud, R. Spiteri, C. Cutajar, B. Zammit, T. Agius, D. Bugeja, M. Zammit, L. Mallia 1, L. Saliba, R. Galea 2, J. Valletta, E. Mallia 1, M. Farrugia.
VALLETTA: B. Busuttil, N. Farrugia 3, T. Said, L Hyzler, S. Busuttil, Z. Micallef 2, D. Paolella, M. Mifsud 4, S. Micallef, A. Agius, K. Cremona, M. Pace, A. Bugeja, L. Felice 2.
Refs: P. Balzan, R. Magri.
SAN ĠILJAN 13
(3-1, 5-1, 4-2, 1-1)
SAN ĠILJAN: J. Tanti, K. Grech, A. Galea 3, N. Schiavone 1, R. Caruana, M. Zammit 1, B. Plumpton, D. Tully, N. Bonavia, N. Zammit 4, N. Bugelli, G. Vassallo, M. Ortoleva 3, D. Fiero.
SIRENS: T. Micallef, P. Serracino, K. Erdogan, J. Sciberras 1, J. Zerafa Gregory 2, G. Farrugia 1, M. Chircop, I. Riolo, J. Napier, M. Cutajar, M. Sciberras 1, M. Azzopardi, M. Bonello du Pius, G. Melillo, K. Agius
Refs: N. Mercieca, A. Baretta.
TUESDAY: 6.15pm Barracudas ASC vs Ta’ Xbiex Amigos; 7.20pm San Ġiljan JP Projects vs Birżebbuġa Freeport; 8.25pm Neptunes Videoslots vs Sliema Frank Salt Real Estate.