This was by all accounts a brisk Exiles Jet Freight performance which helped them break their duck in no uncertain manner when disposing of Valletta McDonald’s 14-10 in yesterday’s second play-off in the bottom pool.
The team from Sliema were full worth their victory as they employed the right tactics to annul anything the erstwhile careless Valletta side could throw at them.
The winners were very diligent in their marking of Valletta’s danger man Dmitrii Kholod, taking it in turns to shadow the Russian very strictly when he was within shooting range.
Moreover, the opportunism of Dorian Pisani’s team and the scoring traits of the powerful left-hander Milos Vukicevic, who netted a nap-hand of goals, could only leave the City team reacting in spasms.
After going initially in front through Ryan Mock, Valletta collapsed, and were constantly in arrears by three or four goals, only to close the deficit to a couple of goals once in the last quarter.
Three goals by the dependable Kurt Grixti and two each from Julian Rizzo Naudi and Kayne Lanzon helped Exiles’s cause and kept Valletta in a precarious position especially after Michael Rizzo was excluded with substitution two minutes from the end of the second session.
Their many wasted extra player set pieces and some misplaced passing played into the hands of Exiles whose victory late in the season had a tinge of fresh air about it.
(1-5, 4-3, 1-3, 4-3)
Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines 3, A. Agius, M. Rizzo 1, A. Mifsud 1, R. Mock 1, D. Paolella, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina 1, C. Zammit D. Kholod 3, D. Spiteri, M. Spiteri Staines.
Exiles: I. Bugeja, J. Rizzo Naudi 2, S. Vassallo, D. Pace Lupi 1, D. Borg Millo, E. Gravina, S. Gravina, K. Grixti 3, N. Paris, A. Bianchi 1, G. Ciappara, M. Vukicevic 5, K. Lanzon 2.
Referees: A. Goncharenko, M. Calabro.
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