Valletta McDonald’s started the Premier Division bottom pool play-offs with a 7-4 victory over bottom side Exiles Ferretti who are still seeking their first points of the winter campaign.
It was the third win for the City team and their second in a row after they beat Sirens in the last match.
Their edge was beyond question, resulting from superior shot efficiency and a wider array of potential scorers, five in all.
Exiles, this time guided by Matthew Pisani from the bench, were unconvincing, especially on extraman sets, failing to find the net on each of six occasions.
Valletta were thus able to ease their way home after taking a 7-1 lead early in the last quarter.
Michael Rizzo and Michael Cordina each scored a brace, with Andrea Bianchi going one better for the losers when scoring a hat-trick.
In the lower division match, Marsascala Nutrition Empire’s clean sheet of victories was not in any way under threat when they beat Otters Nivea 13-7, the damage on the Gozitan side being inflicted mainly in the middle sessions.
An early deficit for the southerners was quickly turned around, with the team under the charge of Pierre Borg consolidating their advantage until the third session.
Otters were then able to make it a less gaping scoreline when winning the final quarter 5-2.
The winners had nine players on their scorers’ list, with Jean Claude Cutajar leading the pack with a hat-trick.
(1-2, 0-1, 0-3, 3-1)
Exiles: I. Bugeja, J. Rizzo Naudi, S. Vassallo, D. Pace Lupi, D. Borg Millo, L. Felice, S. Gravina 1, K. Grixti, N. Paris, A. Bianchi 3, G. Ciappara, L. Felice, K. Lanzon
Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius, M. Rizzo 2, A. Mifsud, R. Mock 1, D. Paolella 1, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina 2, C. Zammit, J. Paolella, D. Spiteri, M. Spiteri Staines 1
Referees: P. Balzan, R. Spiteri.
(2-1, 4-0, 5-1, 2-5)
Marsascala: K. Schembri, J.C. Cutajar 3, J. Bajada 1, C. Bonello 1, C. Mifsud 1, L. Grixti 1, J. Busuttil 1, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef 2, M. Pace, D, Cassar 2, O. Zammit, B. Dougall.
Otters: F. Buhagiar, M. Borg Millo 1, R. Greco 2, L. Hyzler, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi, M. Borg 1, G. Debono 2, C. Martin 1, R. Bon-nici.
Referees: A. De Raffaele, A. Goncharenko.
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