Six teams made their league debut yesterday with Marsaxlokk Fischer beating Otters Nivea 18-7 in the First Division and Neptunes Grimaldi and San Ġiljan Salini Resort having the better of Exiles Jet Freight and Sirens Ritter Sport 16-8 and 11-4 respectively.
In the first match, the southerners were easy winners over the young Gozitan outfit who could make no impression on stronger opponents. Ivan Basara and Claudio Spiteri De Barro scored the bulk of goals for Marsaxlokk followed by new signing Karl Galea.
Marsaxlokk made a strong start and kept up their scoring tempo throughout against opponents whose main scorer was four-goal Marko Jelaka.
In the opening top division clash Neptunes steadied their ship after a shaky take-off to romp home convincing winners despite making use towards the end of 12 of their mostly young components after a barrage of seven goals from Steve Camilleri and a poker from Cosmin Radu had put the result beyond the reach of their opponents.
In the last match of the day, champions San Ġiljan’s power and deadly finishing found no answer from a generous but brittle Sirens who had Italian Marco Baldinetti guiding them from the bench for a second time in recent years.
The Saints, on their part, had their suspended coach, Marko Orlovic, replaced by Igor Vukanovic. Nevertheless, their superiority was never in doubt as Dino Zammit netted four goals and Boris Vapenski three.
(6-1, 5-2, 4-2, 3-2)
Marsaxlokk: D. Abela, C. Spiteri Debarro 4, L. Calleja, K. Galea 3, C. Gialanze, C. Bugeja, S. Meli 1, G. Busuttil 2, B. Buhagiar, R. Scerri 1, I. Basara 6, K. Navarro 1, A. Xuereb.
Otters: R. Bonnici, M. Borg Millo 1, R. Greco, L. Hyzler 2, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi, M. Jelaka 4, S. Dimech, G. Debono, M. Borg, R. Gauci, M. Xerri.
Referees: S. Licari, M. Sponza.
(3-3, 1-4, 0-4, 4-5)
Exiles: I. Bugeja, J. Rizzo Naudi, S. Vassallo, D. Pace Lupi, D. Borg Millo, E. Gravina, S. Gravina 1, K. Griscti 2, N. Paris 1, A. Bianchi, G. Ciappara, M. Vukicevic 3, K. Lanzon 1.
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, C. Radu 4, M. Tabone, T. Agius, M. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 7, J. Camilleri 2, J. Abela, M. Zammit 2, B. Lanzon, M. Azzopardi 1, M. Castillo.
Referees: M. Angileri, B. D’Alessio.
San Ġiljan 11
(1-2, 0-2, 1-4, 2-3)
Sirens: N. Grixti, Z. Mizzi, S. Mora 1, G. Pace 1, M. Grech 1, I. Riolo, M. Balu-cci, D. Cutajar, J. Napier 1, J. Sciberras, L. Caruana, N. Farrugia, J. Cremona.
San Ġiljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg, A. Galea, B. Vapenski 3, Darren Zammit, M. Zammit, K. Galea, C. Mercieca 1, B. Plumpton, A. Cousin 2, P. Fava 1, Dino Zammit 4, D. Camilleri.
Referees: P. Balzan, M. Sponza.
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