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National Championship

Birżebbuġa secure Premier Division berth

Relaunched a few years ago after a long period of inactivity, Birżebbuġa on Wednesday made history when they clinched a berth in the in the Premier Division for the first time since 1995.

The revived southseasiders, under the guidance of their former stalwart Pierre Borg and led in the water by David Pace Lupi and David Cutajar, had an outstanding start in the Preliminary Round with three fine victories from four games. 

In their last outing, on Wednesday they pipped Sirens 9-8, a result which lifted them to runner-up spot in Group B.

It was perhaps a just reward for their endeavours to promote the game especially after the development of the new waterpolo pitch.

Pierre Borg’s side were potent going forward and led 3-1 after the first session. 

They continued to show better ideas to build up a 5-3 advantage before the change of ends. Julian Farrugia gave them a three-goal cushion before Matthias Azzopardi and Ken Erdogan reduced the gap for the northerners.

A more concentrated Birżebbuġa added to their lead through Cutajar and Pace Lupi.

With Sirens, 8-5 in arrears, Marko Orlovic’s side had no option but to go for broke. 

Mikhael Cutajar and Matthew Cutajar made it 8-7. 

Sirens frantically tried to save the game but they were punished by a great shot from Pace Lupi. Isaiah Riolo settled the score on 9-8 for Birżebbuġa.

BIRŻEBBUĠA 9

SIRENS             8

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

BIRŻEBBUĠA: M. Rossi, J. Farrugia 2, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi 3, C. Mifsud, P. Serracino, S. Vassallo, D. Cutajar 3, M. Bonnici 1, M. Curmi, R. Spiteri, S. Fava, M. Sladden.

SIRENS: J. Parnis, J. Ciantar, K. Erdogan 2, G. Melillo, J. Zerafa Gregory, T. Said, L. Falzon, I. Riolo 1, J. Napier, M. Cutajar 1, M. Sciberras 3, M. Azzopardi 1, O. Gauci.

Refs: Peter Balzan, Stefano Pinato.

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