SAN ĠILJAN 11
(0-4, 3-1, 3-4, 2-2)
N. Grixti, J. Gabaretta 1, L. Galea 2, D. Rizzo, K. Borg, B. Cachia, J. Cutajar, M. Mifsud, J. Brownrigg, E. Schembri, Z. Mizzi, D. Zammit 5, A. Bugeja.
J. Tanti, N. Bugelli 1, A. Galea 1, G. Bonavia, R. Caruana 1, M. Zammit 1, B. Plumpton 1, J. Bonavia 2, J.Abela 3, N. Zammit 1, D. Zammit, N. Bonavia, G. Borg.
Refs: Massimo Angileri, Ronnie Spiteri
San Ġiljan made sure of collecting maximum spoils after a whirlwind start which earned them a 4-0 lead inside the opening quarter.
By virtue of this win, San Ġiljan topped the final classification and earned the Enemed Cup for the third time.
The signs at the start of the game were hardly encouraging for Sliema as Ben Cachia’s contribution to the game lasted just 80 seconds when he was excluded with substitution for retaliation. A handicap that Sliema hardly had time to overcome as San Ġiljan started like a whirlwind.
The Saints had a headstart courtesy of Ben Plumpton and a close-range conversion from Jeremy Abela.
Matthew Zammit extended the lead to 3-0.
San Ġiljan were infinitely the better side at this stage with Nikolai Zammit converting to give his team a comfortable 4-0 cushion at the end of the first session.
Soon after the restart, Dino Zammit reduced the arrears for the first time for Sliema. San Ġiljan were still playing sharper waterpolo and Andreas Galea restored their four-goal cushion.
Zammit and Liam Galea brought hope in the Sliema camp as the gap was bridged to 5-3, a scoreline maintained until the teams shifted ends.
As the third quarter got under way, four San Ġiljan players – namely Nicholas Bugelli, Galea, Plumpton and Abela were hanging on two fouls. Zammit tormented his former side yet again for a 5-4 scoreline.
San Ġiljan had Russell Caruana, Abela and Bugelli scoring, to restore the Saints’ four-goal advantage. But a partial comeback had Sliema closing in on 8-6.
Abela netted for a 9-6 advantage, just after Zammit failed to score from a five-metre throw, a lasting turning point in a high-scoring match.
Sliema tried had to stick to their job of making a fight out of it in the last session when Zammit and Jerome Gabaretta reduced their arrears. But San Ġiljan were beyond reach when Jake Bonavia scored two late goals as they won 11-8.
Other results: Birżebbuġa vs Exiles 12-8; Marsaskala vs Neptunes 8-5; Valletta vs Sirens 12-11.
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