A three-goal start gained by San Ġiljan in the first session made all the difference between them and neighbours Neptunes Grimaldi in yesterday’s top division match which brought to a close the opening phase of the 2016 BOV Winter League.
The Saints’ victory was rubberstamped by four goals each from Aurelien Cousin and Dino Zammit who both showed opportunism, with their team as a collective unit enjoying superior shot efficiency and power.
The team led from the bench by Marko Orlovic had a standard formation replete with seasoned campaigners and this element resulted in more solidity.
Not so Neptunes who were again woeful in their extra-man situations, missing all their five sets plus a penalty at crucial moments.
Yesterday, Neptunes relied mainly on two established players in their ranks (one of whom hat-trick hitter Niki Lanzon) when in possession, having several youngsters in their list of players with the exception of the missing Sean Xerri de Caro.
Nevertheless, and as happened against Sliema on Saturday, they stayed in the game till the last session after having annulled that three-goal deficit to remain in contention on 5-5 before their opponents’ final flurry.
In the lower division match, leaders Marsascala Nutrition Empire had it all their own way when beating Ta’ Xbiex Amigos 14-5.
It was smooth-going for the holders who took a 6-0 advantage in the opening quarters after which they administered the proceedings, scoring eight more goals to their opponents’ five.
Centre Stephen Micallef and Clyde Bonello each netted a hat-trick.
San Ġiljan 8
(3-0, 2-4, 1-1, 2-0)
San Ġiljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg, A. Galea, J. Galea, M. Zammit, K. Galea, C. Mercieca, B. Plumpton, A. Cousin 4, P. Fava, D. Zammit 4, D. Camilleri.
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 3, L. Calleja, L. Gialanze, T. Agius, M. Tabone, K. Navarro 1, J. Camilleri, J. Abela, M. Zammit, B. Lanzon 1, J. Tanti, M. Martellacci.
Referees: M. Dalli, A. Goncha-renko.
Ta' Xbiex 5
(0-4, 0-2, 1-5, 4-3)
Ta' Xbiex: J. Micallef, I. Spiteri, J. Gauci, K. Mock, S. Aquilina 2, D. Schembri 2, D. Saliba 1, E. Gravina, R. Attard, N. Camenzuli.
Marsascala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar 1, J. Bajada, C. Bonello 3, C. Mifsud 2, L. Grixti, J. Busuttil 1, J. Cremona, S. Micallef 3, M. Pace 1, D. Cassar 1, O. Zammit 2, B. Dougall.
Referees: P. Balzan, M. Angileri.
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