There were wins for Valletta, San Ġiljan and Sliema over Exiles, Neptunes and Sirens respectively when the BOV Winter League went into its fifth day yesterday with a programme of three matches.
The derby between San Ġiljan and Neptunes turned out to be a relatively easy affair for the Saints although their 5-2 victory looked close in waterpolo terms.
Despite their two on six success rate on extra-man sets, Marko Orlovic looked calm and assured throughout as his side, without ace-scorer Dino Zammit, were in total command.
More than missing all their three man-up, Neptunes were unable to make any lasting impression on their more experienced opponents.
They could not quite service their centre and neither could they steady themselves for an effective shot at goal. In the end, the holders emerged comfortable winners.
Valletta kept Exiles at an arm’s length when winning 9-6.
Except for a brief moment early in the second session, when Exiles led 3-2, the City team always conducted the scoreline with Keith Galea hitting two early goals, followed by a hat-trick from speedster Andrea Agius and a brace from James Spiteri Staines who was very often deployed as last man.
After beating Neptunes on Wednesday, Sliema continued to recharge their batteries when they eased away to 13-5 win over Sirens.
Displaying more grit and aggression, the Blues were never in danger of relinquishing their grip on the proceedings. They carried more threat when in possession while they were able to close their ranks more effectively.
The St Paul’s Bay team were unable to stem the menace of left-hander Michael Spiteri Staines, scorer of four goals.
Sliema’s clear edge was evident in the number of scorers, eight in all. They also had a good success rate on their numerical advantage, at least when it mattered most.
San Ġiljan 5
(0-1, 1-2, 0-1, 1-1)
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan, J. Culic, T. Agius, M. Tabone, S. Gravina, J. Camilleri 1, J. Abela 1, M. Zammit, M. Martellacci, M. Azzopardi, I. Bugeja.
San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, P. Borg 1, A. Galea 1, B. Grech, D. Zammit, M. Zammit, B. Plumpton 2, J. Galea, T. Said, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava.
Referees: P. Balzan, R. Spiteri.
(2-5, 1-5, 1-2, 1-1)
Sirens: N. Grixti, M. Sciberras, N. Farrugia, J. Sciberras 1, M. Grech, J. Zerafa Gregory, N. Lubrano, D. Cutajar, J. Napier, J. Brownrigg 1, L. Caruana 1, O. Gauci, C. Mercieca 2.
Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabaretta 2, E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett 2, M. Meli 1, K. Dowling 1, M. Spiteri Staines 4; B. Cachia, L. Galea, A. Attard 1, Z. Mizzi, N. Bugelli 1, Z. Sciberras.
Referees: A. DeRaffaele, P. Balzan.
(2-2, 2-1, 3-1, 2-2)
Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines 2, A. Agius 3, M. Rizzo, M. Fenech, R. Mock 1, D. Paolella 1, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina, D. Fenech, K. Galea 2, O. Zammit, F. Buhagiar.
Exiles: M. Castillo, J. Rizzo Naudi, J. Bajada, M. Stellini, T. Sullivan 2, S. Xerri de Caro 1, D. Borg Millo, K. Griscti 1, N. Paris 1, A. Bianchi 1, C. von Brockdorff, L. Felice, S. Galea Pace.
Referees: A. DeRaffaele, S. Licari.
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