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San Giljan cruise past Birzebbugia

Marsaxlokk's Ryan Galea hits at goal against Barracudas. Photo: Jonathan Borg

San Giljan beat Birzebbuga in cantering fashion as the gap in class, individually and collectively was again a feature of yesterday’s programme.

Coach Zeljko Kovacic knew his squad had a clear edge in guile, speed and power so, he went for an edited formation with some heavyweights left inactive for most of the game.

But when San Giljan were lacking experience, they began to grow casual at certain moments only to open the throttle when they deemed fit to break. Frankly, it was not actually vintage fare from the Saints, though.

With San Giljan leading by three clear goals by the end of the first session, Zeljko Kovacic introduced Matthew Zammit and Daniel Tully in the second. The Saints fell into a momentary rut with two of their old boys – Ben Grech and Giuseppe Mannino putting two goals back before they extended their advantage to seven goals by the end of the second quarter.

With Kovacic utilising all his manpack, it was the turn of the promising duo Daniel Fero and Russell Caruana to insert
their names in San Giljan’s goalscorers’ list in the third session. On the other hand, Ben Plumpton, ASA waterpolo player of the year for the last two seasons, kept adding to his impressive tally.

Understandably, the Saints’ momentum was not maintained. With several top players rested, Birzebbuga seized their chance to reduce the deficit in the third session, with San Giljan winning the session just 4-2.

That was of little concern to San Giljan as their tailenders kept scoring in the last session to win the last session by the odd goal in three.

In the First Division, Marsaxlokk were in no way extended when seeing off Barracudas. The gap between the teams was evident from the beginning, with the southseasiders scoring at will in the second session. Marsaxlokk had the more powerful guns with eight players putting their names on the scoresheet.

In the second match, Marsaskala collected the expected spoils at the expense of Otters whose honest efforts to stay in the game went fizzling out as the exchanges entered in the final stages with their chief marksman David Pace Lupi helping himself to four goals.


(2-1, 5-1, 2-0, 4-4)
MARSAXLOKK S. Mifsud, R. Spiteri, C. Cutajar, B. Zammit, T. Agius 2, D. Bugeja 1, M. Zammit 2, L. Mallia 1, L Saliba 2, R. Galea 2, J. Borg Tabone, E. Mallia, M. Farrugia, A. Cook 2, R. Scerri 1.
BARRACUDAS M. Gouder, A. Piccione 1, A. Magri 1, P. Micallef 1, J. Ergodan, R. Sciortino, S. Aquilina 1, L. Galea, D. Camilleri 1, J. Bugeja 1, A. Mifsud, C. Bugeja, A Grima Scott.
Referees: A. Paoletti, S. Licari.

(4-0, 2-2, 7-1, 6-3)
MARSASKALA J. Micallef, JC Cutajar, A Camenzuli 2, P. Privitera, R. Greco 1, G. Galea 1, K. Navarro 2, M. Manara, D. Pace Lupi 4, G. Sammut 3, J. Ciantar 2, M. Carani 3, A. Muscat, F. Scardino 1, L. Falzon.
OTTERS M. Xerri, M. Bonnici, K. Scicluna, L. Grech Carr 2, M. Farrugia 1, D. Dimech, I. Azzopardi, S. Dimech, L. Dimech, S. Apap 1, Z. Bartolo 1, A. Dimech 1, M. Grech, K. Micallef, K. Lupi Spencer.
Referees: F. Braghini, A. DeRaffaele.

(3-0, 6-2, 4-2, 2-1)
SAN GILJAN J. Tanti, P.Borg 1, A. Galea, N. Schiavone 1, R. Caruana 2, M. Zammit 2, B. Plumpton 3, D. Tully 1, J. Bonavia 1, N. Zammit 1, D. Zammit 1, N. Bugelli 1, G. Vassallo, M. Ortoleva, D. Fero 1.
BIRZEBBUGA M. Vassallo, J. Farrugia, N. Cassar, B. Grech 1, C. Mifsud, R. Mock, D. Farrugia, S. Bezzina, K. Tanti, G. Mannino 2, M. Curmi, M. Sladden, D. Incorvaja, G. Sammut 2.
Referees: A. Paoletti, P. Balzan.

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