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San Ġiljan to face Neptunes in repeat of last year’s KO final

Holders San Ġiljan had enough ammunition to brush aside a gritty Sirens side and thus book a place against Neptunes in next week’s BOV KO final.

Piloting his outfit from the bench against his former team, Marco Orlovic drew full dividends in the opening sessions.

Sirens even had the audacity of nosing in front early in the first quarter when John Napier and Mikhael Cutajar overturned Matthew Zammit’s early lead.

Midway through the first session, the Saints regained the lead through Darren Zammit.

The 3-2 first session lead for the holders was increased by just one goal in the second quarter when Zeljko Kovacic’s troops won the session with an identical 3-2 scoreline.

The Saints just could not raise their game in the third session when Napier cut the St Julian’s side leeway to just one goal before Zammit restored their two-goal cushion.

Two goals early in the last session courtesy of Darren Zammit and Ben Plumpton eased their worries.

Matters improved for San Ġiljan when Plumpton and Matthew Zammit helped their side to reach double figures.

Sirens were unable to maintain their early tactical lucidity but still they kept battling.

Jerome Zerafa Gregory and Gianni Farrugia made it 10-7. 

Nikolai Zammit restored the four-goal margin in the Saints’ favour.

That was of no importance for them as they had already booked their place in the final. But it was another gritty display from Sirens.

On their part, Neptunes ambled through to the final of the knock-out competition at the expense of Birżebbuġa.

A one-goal lead for Birżebbuġa, courtesy of Keith Tanti, was followed by three Reds’ goals through Michael Spiteri Staines, Steven Camilleri and Alec Fenech.

Camilleri was employed in a retreated role in lieu of the absent Jordan Camilleri. 

Three goals for Neptunes in the second eight-minute quarter made it a more familiar scoreline at the half-way mark. Ben Grech squeezed in a goal for Birżebbuġa for a 6-3 scoreline in favour of Neptunes.

But Neptunes’ form suggested that they were not yet out of the woods following last week’s defeat to Sliema, especially after Christian Mifsud reduced the gap to 6-4.

Jake Muscat appeared briefly to score for Neptunes before Spiteri Staines extended their lead to four goals.

Two conversions on the spin put the Reds home and dry on 10-5 before Gabriel Sammut pulled another goal back at the end of the third quarter.

Yet any slight doubts about the outcome were soon dispelled when Jake Cachia put his name on the scoresheet with Camilleri and Spiteri Staines reaching a poker each.

Grech scored for the Blues for a final 13-7 scoreline.

SUMMARIES

SAN ĠILJAN    11

SIRENS             7

(3-2, 3-2, 1-1, 4-2)

SAN ĠILJAN: J. Tanti, P. Borg, A. Galea 2, N. Schiavone, M. Zammit 2, B. Plumpton 2, D. Tully, J, Bonavia, N. Zammit 3, D. Zammit 2, N, Bugelli, G. Vassallo, M. Ortoleva.

SIRENS: T. Micallef, P. Serracino 1, K. Erdogan, J. Sciberras 1, J, Zerafa Gregory 1, G. Farrugia 1, M. Chircop, I. Riolo, J. Napier 2, M. Cutajar 1, M. Sciberras, M. Azzopardi, M. Bonello Dupius.

Refs A. DeRaffaele, R. Colombo.

BIRŻEBBUGA  7

NEPTUNES      13

(1-3, 2-3, 3-4, 1-3)

BIRŻEBBUĠA: M. Vassallo, J. Farrugia, N. Cassar, B. Grech 2, C. Mifsud 1, R. Mock, N. Fenech, D. Cutajar 1, D. Farrugia, K. Tanti 2, M. Curmi, M. Sladden, G. Sammut 1.

NEPTUNES: A. Borg Cole, J. Muscat 1, S. Gialanze 1, G. Pace, J. Cachia 1, J, Spiteri Staines, S. Camilleri 4, J. Abela 1, M. Spiteri Staines 4, A. Fenech 1, M. Castillo, M Rossi.

Refs: A. Petronilli, P. Balzan.

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