Birkirkara have won their third straight women's league title after sharing the spoils with Hibernians in a 2-2 draw that was enough for the Stripes to clinch the championship at the Centenary Stadium, on Tuesday.

With one game left, the Stripes hold a four-point lead over Mġarr United against whom they will end their league commitments. 

This is Birkirkara's eighth league crown with the first one dating back to the 2006/2007 season.

In winning the title three times in a row, the Stripes have managed to do what Hibernians did between the 2013/2014 and 2015/2016 campaigns. 

Against Hibernians, Birkirkara made their intentions clear when Ylenia Carabott latched onto a throughball but the oncoming Dorienne Grech blocked her effort. 

Moments later, the Stripes survived a scare when Samantha Zarb failed to clear the danger away, with the ball dropping onto the path of Jade Flask but the latter failed to beat Janice Xuereb.

The Stripes came close again through Alishia Sultana but her effort from the edge of the area went wide.

Yet, Sultana was not to be denied on minute 8 when she hit a curling effort from inside the box to beat Grech and put the Stripes one up.

Birkirkara doubled the score when captain Stephania Farrugia converted a penalty that was given after Mandy Debono was handled a Carabott's cross inside the box. 

Hibernians staged a reaction and they will be annoyed for not having scored when they hit the crossbar twice. First, Dorianne Theuma struck a trademark free-kick on the woodwork before Flask pounced onto the rebound but woodwork denied the Paolites for the second time. 

Nonetheless, the Paolites managed to pull one back on the 38th minute from Shona Zammit who managed to stick the ball into the far post from close-range. 

After the change of ends, Birkirkara were looking to preserve their slender lead, denying Hibernians any access into the offensive third. 

The Stripes tried to extend their lead through a Carabott freekick but she sailed her effort over the bar. 

Theuma replied for Hibs with another freekick from long distance but could not direct the ball into the net. 

Hibs managed to restore parity in the final 10 minutes when Theuma capitalised on a Zammit cross but it was not enough for them to halt Birkirkara's title celebrations. 

Birkirkara will be awarded the league trophy in their upcoming game against Mġarr which will wrap up this season's league before all eyes will be turned on the Women's Knock-Out where the Stripes will be vying to secure a domestic double.

Line-ups:

HIBERNIANS: D. Grech; K. Chetcuti, M. Debono, J. Dimech, C. Ellul, J. Flask, C. Grech, J. Schembri (68 F. Chircop) E. Sissons, D. Theuma S. Zammit. 

BIRKIRKARA: J. Xuereb; R. Bajada (60 J. Sakic), Y. Carabott, S. Farrugia, V. Mifsud, A. Said, A. Sultana, T. Teuma, Y. Vella, K. Willis (70 R. Giusti), S. Zarb. 

STANDINGS

Section A:
Birkirkara 51 points (after 19 matches); Mġarr United 47 (after 19); Hibernians 33 (after 19); Kirkop United 17 (after 19).
Section B:
Raiders 28 (after 18 matches); Swieqi United 25 (after 17); Mosta 5 (after 18); Fgura United 5 (after 19).

PROGRAMME

PLAYED MONDAY
Fgura United vs Raiders (Luxol) 1-3
Mġarr United vs Kirkop United 4-0

TUESDAY 
Hibernians vs Birkirkara 2-2

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 - 20.15
Swieqi United vs Mosta – Mġarr Ground

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