San Ġiljan Salini Resort were on a double mission last night.
That of retaining the knock-out, and thus land their eighth prize in this competition, and to seek redemption after suffering a 10-6 league defeat at the hands of Neptunes Grimaldi only four days before.
Relying on their resilience, tactical diligence and newly-found spirit they accomplished their double task when defeating their neighbours 12-10 after extra time.
It looked as if they would apply on their opponents a taste of Neptunes’ own medicine when in normal time they conducted play for long stretches and in so doing led the match by four goals on no fewer than four occasions.
They covered extremely well to reduce Neptunes to frantic shooting, while also taking their chances well especially on their extra-man sets.
Their 2-1 first session lead was extended to 6-2 by midpoint with three-goal Andreas Galea expertly slotting the goals as did Boris Vapenski.
The Reds could hardly react as they suffered four double blows each within a few seconds. However, they fought back from 9-5 down in the final quarter after conceding the last goal to Clint Mercieca.
It was then that the Reds finally found some punch as they reduced the deficit to finally annul it with Niki Lanzon’s fourth of the nap-hand he scored, thus forcing the extra-time.
With the momentum in Neptunes’ favour, San Ġiljan did not fold in those extended minutes and with the Reds’ shorter squad reduced to bare bones Ben Plumpton, Mercieca and Dino Zammit applied the killer touch to send their team into raptures and in the right mood to celebrate the feast of their locality’s patron saint today.
At the end of the match Anthony Scicluna, Chief Officer BOV, presented the cup to the Saints’ captain and medals to all the players, with ASA president Joe Caruana Curran in attendance.
In the first match, Marsaxlokk Fischer put the seal on a successful season when landing the First Division double after beating Marsascala Nutrition Empire 8-5.
The side led by Ian Azzopardi have thus rubberstamped their complete superiority over Marsascala when winning the four league matches and the KO final, only losing the Journalists’ Cup in the first clash of the summer between these two teams.
Marsaxlokk owed their strength to solid collective play propelled mainly by their scoring machine Ivan Vuksanovic scorer of a hat-trich yesterday, followed by two goals from Karl Galea.
After the match Paul Gauci, BOV Executive Head, presented Marsaxlokk with the cup.
Women's KO final
(1-1, 3-3, 2-1, 1-1)
San Ġiljan 12
(2-1, 4-1, 2-3, 1-4 – 1-0, 2-1)
San Ġiljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg, A. Galea 3, B. Vapenski 3, Darren Zammit, M. Zammit, K. Galea, C. Mercieca 2, B. Plumpton 2, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava, Dino Zammit 1, D. Camilleri.
Neptunes: A.B. Cole, N. Lanzon 5, C. Radu 1, M. Cutajar, T. Agius, M. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 1, J. Camilleri 1, J. Abela 1, M. Zammit 1, B. Lanzon, M. Azzopardi.
Refs: M. Bianchi, A. Goncharenko.
(2-3, 0-1, 1-1, 2-3)
Marsascala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar, J. Busuttil, C. Bonello, K. Cremona, L. Grixti, G. Kovacs 2, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef 1, M. Pace 1, D. Cassar, O. Zammit, B. Muscat.
Marsaxlokk: FISCHER: A. Xuereb, C. Spiteri de Barro 1, L. Calleja, K. Galea 2, C. Gialanze, C. Bugeja 1, S. Meli, I. Vuksanovic 3, B. Buhagiar, R. Scerri 1, K. Navarro, K. Debattista, D. Abela.
Refs: M. Angilleri, D. Bianco.
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