(2-1, 1-1, 2-2, 3-1)
NEPTUNES A. Borg Cole, J, Muscat 2, S. Gialanze 2, G. Pace 2, J. Cachia, J. Spiteri Staines, S.Camilleri 1, J. Camilleri, J. Abela, M. Spiteri Staines, A. Fenech 1, M. Castillo, M. Rossi.
SLIEMA N. Grixti, M. Mifsud 1, L. Galea, D. Rizzo, M. Meli, B. Cachia 2, J. Cutajar, K. Borg, J. Brownrigg, J. Gambin 1, Z. Mizzi, D. Zammit 1, A. Theuma.
Refs: A. Zedda, A. deRaffaele.
Neptunes beat rivals Sliema in clear fashion in a contest which they conducted expertly, primarily thanks to a solid platform at the back anchored by an excellent Alan Borg Cole and Jordan Camilleri but also to their superior guns personified by the usual Jake Muscat, Sam Gialanze, and Gabriel Pace.
The Reds netted their first man-up through Sam Gialanze before Dino Zammit scored a spectacular goal from the centre. But seconds later, Neptunes broke and won a penalty which Steve Camilleri converted for a 2-1 scoreline at the end of the first quarter.
Alec Fenech made it 3-1 as Neptunes were more economical and deadlier with the Blues starting on their long trail of missed man-up chances. Ben Cachia pulled back a goal and Sliema thought they have scored again through Jamie Gambin but his effort was not deemed to have crossed the imaginary line.
Instead of going level with Neptunes, Sliema found themselves two goals in arrears at the start of the third session as Jake Muscat went off the blocks in decisive fashion to give his side a 4-2 lead.
The Reds’ edge at times was clear, but the Blues fought back to level at four-all. A good execution from Gabriel Pace sent the opposing net rippling as Neptunes afforded the luxury of missing a penalty through Camilleri, 20 seconds from the end of the third session. It was all to play for as the final quarter got underway.
Neptunes, though regained the driving seat to pull away on a two-goal lead at the start of the final eight minutes. The drama reached a climax when Gambin finally pulled up a goal for Sliema. At this point, Gialanze and Pace came to their side’s rescue and Neptunes’ victory was secured.
SAN GILJAN 9
(0-1, 3-1, 3-0, 3-1)
SAN GILJAN J. Tanti, P. Borg, A. Galea, N. Schiavone, R. Caruana, M. Zammit 3, B. Plumpton 4, D. Tully, J. Bonavia, N. Zammit 2, D. Zammit, N. Bugelli, G. Vassallo, M. Ortoleva, D. Fero.
BIRZEBBUGA M. Vassallo, J. Farrugia, N. Cassar, B. Grech 2, C. Mifsud, R. Mock, D. Farrugia, D. Cutajar, D. Faenza, K. Tanti, G. Mannino 1, M. Curmi, M. Sladden, D. Incorvaja, G. Sammut.
Refs: T. Petrini, P. Balzan,
Earlier on, joint leaders San Ġiljan came from behind to topple Biżebbuġa 9-3 in a match that had a twist in the second session.
After a speculative opening, with tentative shots to break Birżebbuga’s defensive shield proving unsuccessful, a counter break allowed Ben Grech to put Pierre Borg’s team ahead.
Grech made it 2-0 at the start of the second session. But then, San Ġiljan overwhelmed Birżebbuġa from the second quarter onwards to finish comfortable winners.
TA’ XBIEX 16
(1-3, 2-3, 1-4, 3-6)
BARRACUDAS C. Bugeja, A. Piccione , A. Magri 1 , P. Micallef 1, D. Ciantar , R. Sciortino 1, S. Aquilina , L. Galea , D. Camilleri 1, J. Bugeja 1, A. Mifsud , TJ Mifsud 2, M. Borg.
TA’ XBIEX R. Coleiro, JC Saliba, E. Aquilina 1 , J. Pace Mizzi 2, Z. Cutajar Licari 3 , E. Meli , S. Engerer, J. Saliba 2 , J.Cassar 2, E. Schembri 3 , B. Attard Littschw, P. Tabone, J. Chircop 2, D. Galea Mule.
Refs: S. Licari, A. Zedda
The fixtures for the BOV Knock Out were drawn during yesterday’s programme:
Premier Division KO: QF 1 San Giljan vs Sliema (6th July, 6.30pm). QF 2 Exiles vs Neptunes (6th July, 7.35pm)
Semi-final Winner QF1 vs Sirens (27th July, 6.30pm). Winner QF2 vs B’Bugia (27th July, 7.35pm). Final 03 August 8.25pm.
1st Division KO: QF1 Barracudas SC vs Ta’ Xbiex (05 July 6.30pm). QF2 Otters vs M’Xlokk (05 July 7.35pm).
Semi-Final Winner QF1 vs Valletta (26 July 6.30pm). Winner QF2 vs MSkala (26 July 7.35pm) Final 03 August, 7.20pm