Field Hockey: Championship at a neck to neck race between Qormi and Hotsticks

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 8:22

Rabat   4        White Hart Laferla Insurance    1           Umpires  Manuel Imbroll      Paul Brincat

In the 8th minute White Hart forced Rabat’s custodian into a double save, the rebound off his pads being hooked high over the bar.     Both teams did not take advantage of two penalty corners awarded to them by the 20th minute during a period of fast flowing open play.    After Karl Tua missed a chance for White Hart, Jonathan Micallef shot Rabat ahead in the 25th minute, pushing home from close range.   The half time whistle sounded with Rabat enjoying their one goal advantage.

Two minutes in the second half, Matthew Buhagiar scored to send Rabat into a two goal lead and in the 46th minute Micallef scored his second and his team’s third , finishing off a Charlot Antonelli assist.   Antonelli inserted his name on the score sheet in the 51st minute to register Rabat’s fourth goal, while David Agius grabbed White Hart’s only goal with the last hit of the match leaving Rabat winners by four goals to one.

Qormi   Poiatti     0          Hotsticks   0     Umpires    James Mizzi         Luke Busuttil Leaver

This match lived up to its billing and provided the best hockey played this season.   Pace, passion and total commitment from start to finish was manifested by both formations.    Qormi did not take advantage of six penalty corners awarded to them in the first half and could not break down the Hotsticks defences, the latter being content to operate by fast counter attacks down the flanks.   In fact half time was reached with no side being able to open the score.

In the first minute of the second half, Alessandro Amore chased a loose ball down the right flank and crossed into a favourable position but Hotsticks were unable to capitalize as Qormi’s goalkeeper smothered their effort on goal.    On 38 minutes Ramon Chircop,  Qormi’s goalkeeper,  brought the house down when he affected a save diving full length to his right  preventing a certain goal. Almost immiediately,  at the other end, Emile Borg saved Hotsticks from falling behind with a timely intervention.   Play flowed from end to end with both teams going for the jugular  but the final whistle blew with Hotsticks pressing hard but having to be content with a goalless draw, leaving Qormi with equal points and a game in hand.

The two teams cross swords again on Thursday 16th at 19.30 when they meet in the final of the HAM Knock Out.

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