Neptunes Grimaldi have become well-steeped in making minimum use of the units at their disposal and at the same time drawing the maximum from their established guns however long they are in the water.
In yesterday’s second knock-out semi-final they added the scalp of Sirens Ritter Sport when beating them 12-7 thus earning the right to meet neighbours and holders San Ġiljan in the final on Saturday, August 27.
This was again another clinical performance from the Balluta team which saw them carrying more threat when in possession.
Invariably, their chief marksmen, were four-goal Stevie Camilleri, yesterday presented with the July Player of the Month award, and lethal left-hander Cosmin Radu, their Romanian signing this season with three.
The other five goals were shared by captain Niki Lanzon, the dependable Jordan Camilleri and the ever-improving youngster, Jeremy Abela.
Sirens could only stay with Neptunes until the first session although it was only 5-3 by the halfway mark. After that they went further adrift and to make matters worse Luke Caruana was excluded without substitution for four minutes late in the third quarter when his team were 5-9 in arrears.
Ironically, Neptunes eased off then, netting just one goal from five extra player sets. That was an irrelevance as the Reds were able to ease home comfortable winners.
Sirens had the tireless Gabriel Pace and sharp-shooter Marc Grech netting a hat-trick each, with Sergi Mora, who was closely shadowed by Steve Camilleri, scoring the other goal.
Marsaxlokk Fischer survived a marathon semi-final against Ta’ Xbiex Amigos to proceed to the final against Marsascala after their 13-12 victory.
The tie was decided on penalties following two extended sessions which had both teams locked on 8-8. During the match the lead changed hands several times.
The decisive sudden-death penalty was missed by Ayrton Camenzuli after Sean Meli had scored his team’s fifth goal from five metres.
After the match Claudio Spiteri Debarro was presented with the First Division July Player of the Month award.
Ta’ Xbiex 12
(0-1, 2-2, 4-2, 1-2; 0-1, 1-0; 5-4 pens)
Marsaxlokk: A. Xuereb, C. Spiteri Debarro, L. Calleja, K. Galea 1, C. Gialanze 1, C. Bugeja, S. Meli 3, I. Vuksanovic 5, B. Buhagiar 2, R. Scerri 1, K. Navarro, G. Busuttil, D. Abela.
Ta’ Xbiex: J. Tanti, A. Maklari 4, A. Camenzuli 4, B. Grech, E. Meli 2, K. Mock, M. Mifsud 1, J. Zerafa Gregory 1, G. Attard, D. Fenech, R. Attard, M. Camilleri, J. Micallef.
Referees: A. DeRaffaele, A. Petronilli.
(3-4, 0-1, 2-4, 2-3)
Sirens: N. Grixti, Z. Mizzi, S. Mora 1, G. Pace 3, M. Grech 3, I. Riolo, M. Balucci, D. Cutajar, J. Napier, J. Sciberras, L. Caruana, N. Farrugia, J. Cremona.
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 2, C. Radu 3, M. Cutajar, T. Agius, M. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 4, J. Camilleri 1, J. Abela 2, M. Zammit, B. Lanzon, M. Azzopardi, M. Castillo.
Referees: A. Goncharenko, R. Colombo.
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