Steve Camilleri achieved another milestone in his career when his side AS Roma Nuoto won promotion to Serie A1 at the third time of asking, on Saturday.
Camilleri played a key role in the Rome-based club’s promotion to the Italian top Division after topping the goal-scoring charts of A1 South Round (Girone Sud) of the Serie A1.
He scored 66 goals from 22 matches for his team, an average of 3 goals per match.
AS Roma Nuoto finished first in Girone Sud and then brushed aside the challenge CS Plebiscito 13-5 to secure a play-off final against President Bologna.
After a 7-5 win in the home leg, Roma headed to Bologna with a positive frame of mind, despite missing out on the promotion in the previous two consecutive attempts.
Bologna poured cold water on Roma’s promotion hopes as they maintained the upper hand in the opening sessions to take a 5-3 before change of ends.
But Camilleri brought hope in the Roma camp, converting a penalty to bridge the gap to 5-4.
Bologna kept nosing in front, only for Camilleri to maintain the cat and mouse trail for a 7-7 score, when he potted from a distance.
The last session started on Bologna still ahead on 8-7.
A goal rush made it an extraordinary last session when Michele De Robertis equalised and Camilleri gave Roma the lead for the first time with a quick counter-attack.
Claudio Innocenzi gave them a two-goal cushion at which point, ironically, Camilleri was expelled for protests. Bologna made it 9-10 but Michele Lapenna’s goal sparked off wild celebrations from the Giallorossi.
Camilleri’s gamble to go and play one division down paid off as the Maltese player’s scoring ability and all-round skills proved decisive for the capital city side to win promotion back to Serie A1 after failing in consecutive attempts in the last two years.
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