Defending champions San Ġiljan Salini Resort were good enough to give Valletta McDonald’s a three-goal start before turning the game around to win comfortably by a margin of five goals as the Premier League resumed yesterday.
The City team had made the perfect start to take a 5-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, with goals coming from Dmitrii Kholod, Charlie Zammit, the returning Michael Cordina and Daniel Paolella who struck twice, the last goal coming on the stroke of session time.
Matthew and Dino Zammit were San Ġiljan’s scorers.
But then Valletta went into a long slumber, losing their early shape and surrendering the initiative to the Saints who picked up the pieces with four goals in the second session despite having Boris Vapenski hanging on two exclusions after almost six minutes of play.
Goals from Peter Borg and Paul Fava sandwiched a brace netted by Andreas Galea who later went on to collect a hat-trick.
San Ġiljan’s confidence grew as more goals from Vapenski, Aurelien Cousin, Dino Zammit, Andreas Galea and Clint Mercieca in the last session made it 11-5, before James Spiteri Staines reduced the gap to 11-7, with victory for the team guided by Marko Orlovic being rounded by Ben Plumpton.
San Ġiljan now lead the table with 20 points from nine matches, one more than Neptunes who have today’s game against derby rivals Sliema in hand.
In the First Division match, Marsascala Nutrition Empire ran out 12-10 winners over Otters Nivea to keep their very faint hopes alive of forcing a decider against leaders Marsaxlokk.
The southerners were always in front, at times by a five-goal margin. However, Paul Dimech’s young Otters team, showing some improvement on recent matches, fought back to close the deficit to two goals at the end.
San Giljan 12
(2-5, 4-0, 2-0, 4-2)
San Giljan: J. Sammut, E. Borg 1, A. Galea 3, B. Vapenski 1, J. Galea, M. Zammit 1, K. Galea, C. Mercieca 1, B. Plumpton 1, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava 1, D. Zammit 2, D. Camilleri.
Valletta : R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines 2, A. Agius, M. Rizzo, A. Mifsud, R. Mock, D. Paolella 2, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina 1, C. Zammit 1, D. Kholod 1, A. Zarb Cousin, M. Spiteri Staines.
Referees: A. DeRaffaele, G. Del Bosco.
(4-2, 5-3, 2-2, 1-3)
Marsascala : K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar 3, J. Busuttil, C. Bonello 3, L. Grixti, G. Kovacs 4, J. Cremona, S. Micallef, M. Pace 1, D. Cassar, O. Zammit 1, B. Dougall.
Otters : R. Bonnici, M. Borg Millo, R. Greco, L. Hyzler 1, K. Scicluna 1, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi 3, M. Jelaka 2, S. Dimech, G. Debono 2, M. Cacicci 1, R. Gauci, M. Xerri.
Referees: R. Spiteri, T. Pagani.
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