San Ġiljan 9
(1-1, 2-2, 2-4, 2-2)
Paulo Obradovic played a key role as San Ġiljan stretched their impressive run to 44 games after overcoming Sliema in a balanced encounter at the National Pool.
The Croatian livewire found the opponents’ net five times and also had a hand in two other goals as the Saints maintained their perfect start in the competition.
Sliema came into the match with their morale sky high following their thrilling derby victory over Neptunes on Saturday.
However, the Blues’ hopes of upsetting the champions was jolted in the third session when Obradovic came to the fore to hand the Saints a vital two-goal cushion with they administered in the final session.
The scores were level at the end of the opening session with Obradovic giving the Saints an early lead only for Christian Presciutti restoring parity for the Blues.
The match remained evenly balanced in the second quarter when four goals were shared.
Goals from Jerome Gabaretta and Michael Spiteri Staines put Sliema 3-2 ahead with Peter Borg pulling San Ġiljan level at the interval.
When ends were changed, it was Obradovic who started to make the difference as the Croatian scored a well-taken hat-trick that enabled San Ġiljan to start the final quarter 7-5 ahead.
Presciutti bridged the gap for Sliema early in the fourth quarter. But San Ġiljan all but ended their opponents hopes as goals from Dino Zammit and Obradovic gave them a 9-6 advantage.
That left Sliema with a mountain to climb and they could only pull a goal back to Zach Mizzi as San Ġiljan bagged their third successive win.
Sliema: J. Sammut, J. Gabaretta 1, C. Prescutti 2, J. Saliba, M. Meli, K. Dowling, M. Spiteri Staines 1, D. Fenech 1, M. Cordina 1, J. Gambin, Z. Mizzi 1, N. Bugelli, Z. Sciberras
San Ġiljan: J. Tanti, P. Borg 1, A. Galea, B. Grech, C. Farrugia, M. Zammit, B. Plumpton, Darren Zammit, C. Said, P. Obradovic 5, P. Fava 1, Dino Zammit 2, T. Micallef
Referees: Mario Dalli, Victorio Frauenfelder.
Ta’ Xbiex 9
(2-3, 2-1, 3-2, 2-4)
Ta’ Xbiex: M. Vassallo, R. Greco, M. Manara, L. Hyzler 1, B. Cachia 1, K. Mock, N. Dedovic 5, L. Galea 2, G. Sammut, K. Tanti, N. Saliba, A. Theuma
Birżebbuġa: D. Abela, M. Borg, N. Cassar, D. Pace Lupi 2, D. Brguljan 5, J. Rizzo Naudi, S. Vassallo, D. Cutajar 1, S. Micallef, M. Cutajar, K. Rizzo Naudi 1, J. Zerafa Gregory 1, D. Spiteri,
Referees: Massimo Angilleri, Giuseppe Fusco.
First Division: 5.30pm Marsaskala vs Otters.
Premier Division: 6.45pm Sirens vs Neptunes; 8pm Valletta vs Exiles.
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