The BOV Premier and First Division championships got off to a start yesterday evening with Sliema Betsson facing Valletta McDonald’s and Ta’ Xbiex Amigos up against Marsascala Nutrition Empire.
In the top division match Sliema ran out deserved winners against a Valletta side that fought manly to reap some dividends but in the end had to concede defeat to superior opponents.
The Blues’ better collective play and new signing Marco Cuk, well-known for his striking instincts, propelled the team to a clear victory, the Serbian player netting four of Sliema’s ten goals.
This was far from a one-man show from Sliema, whose stringent press dislodged the City team time and again, apart from managing to mark the otherwise anonymous Russian signing, Dmitri Kholod, out of the game.
After a relatively slow start by the Blues which helped them nose in front 4-3 until a minute before the end of the second session, the team guided by Dejan Milakovic managed to pull clear of their opponents, with the final six-goal victory margin mirroring Sliema’s superiority.
Meanwhile, prior to the match a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Eddie Xuereb, a former Valletta coach and ex-referee.
The preceding match resulted in an easy win for First Division champions Marsascala, with the Hungarian Gabor Kovacs picking his spot five times in his side’s 8-4 win.
Ta’ Xbiex, led by Keith Grima Scott from the bench, could only stay in the game until the middle of the second session when they were just 3-2 in arrears.
But the southerners were a more balanced outfit and their ability to blot Adam Maklari’s menace left Ta’ Xbiex with a mountain to climb.
Ta’ Xbiex 4
(0-1, 2-4, 1-1, 1-2)
Ta’ Xbiex: J. Micallef, A. Maklari, A. Camenzuli 1, B. Grech, E. Meli 2, K. Mock, M. Mifsud 1, D. Schembri, G. Attard, D. Fenech, R. Attard, A. Sammut, J. Tanti.
Marsascala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar, J. Busuttil, C. Bonello, J. Bajada, L. Grixti 1, G. Kovacs 5, J. Cremona, S. Micallef 2, M. Pace, D. Cassar, O. Zammit, B. Dougall.
Referees: R. Spiteri and B. D’Alessio.
(3-1, 3-2, 2-1, 2-0)
Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabaretta 1, E. Aquilina 2, C. Cluett, M. Meli 1, J. Soler 1, K. Dowling, T. Sullivan, J. Brownrigg, A. Attard, M. Cuk 4, N. Bugelli 1, Z. Sciberras.
Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius, M. Rizzo, A. Mifsud, R. Mock, D. Paolella 1, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina 1, C. Zammit, D. Kholod 1, A. Zarb Cousin, M. Spiteri Staines 1.
Referees: A. Goncharenko and M. Sponza.
Division One: 4.45pm Marsaxlokk vs Otters.
Premier Division: 6pm Exiles vs Neptunes; 7.15pm Sirens vs San Ġiljan.
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