Birkirkara opened their title defence on a positive note after chalking up a comfortable 8-0 win over a young Hibernians squad in the final game of Match Day 1.

Led by Melania Bajada, the Stripes opened a six-goal lead by half-time before adding two more goals after the break to wrap up their victory and collect their first three points of the season.

Maya Cachia was handed a debut between the sticks, replacing Malta’s number one Janice Xuereb. In addition, coach Bajada deployed new signing Loza Abera in the starting XI.

The Ethiopian forward made an instant impact on the match as she scored on the 18th minute after the Stripes had forged ahead through an own goal inside the first seven minutes.

Birkirkara extended their lead through Raina Giusti and a Kirsty Paris own goal before Kailey Willis netted a brace in a span of four minutes between minute 40 and 44 minutes.

After the restart, Birkirkara left it until the 75th minute to add another one through Mariah Sciberras before Abera grabbed her second of the night three minutes from time.

Last year’s runners-up Mġarr United collected the three points after overcoming Kirkop United 4-0 on their home ground.

Led by experienced coach Patrick Curmi, the Greens were without star striker Haley Bugeja who was left on the bench. The previous Sunday, Bugeja scored six goals in a 10-1 win for the Greens over Birkirkara in the U-19’s league.

Francesca Chircop, who joined the club from Hibernians, opened the score after ten minutes with the Greens doubling the lead through Roxanne Micallef six minutes later.

The other goals arrived before the break through midfielder Amber Grech, who grabbed a brace.

Elsewhere, Swieqi United and Raiders Għargħur shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Led by Keith Gouder, the Oranges had opened the score after ten minutes through Ruth Steer Chetham, who joined the club from Hibernians.

Nonetheless, Raiders managed to level terms five minutes before half-time through Anna Aloiso to deny Swieqi and start the new season with a point in the bag.

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