Exiles in KO final after Sliema defeat

Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 11:37

Neptunes ones step away from claiming second final berth

Exiles 3CX gained a well deserved win over Sliema Mc Donalds in their second semifinal clash of the ASA’s knockout competition. Sliema had already beaten Exiles 14-10 in the first leg and it looked like an uphill struggle for their neighbours, but the latter showed their true mettle to win 13-7 and win the tie 23-21 on aggregate.

Sliema were missing John Soler, who is currently suspended, and Jerome Gabarretta. Exiles’ had their foreigners in fine form, particularly Marco Cuk whose name appeared five times on the scoresheet.

Both teams missed over 50% of their man-up situations, but Exiles were always in control of this game, taking a 4-2 lead in the first session and never looking back. They scored an additional four goals in the second session to Sliema’s sole goal, thus building a healthy 8-3 lead by the half way mark.

In the third session, the tune prevailed, with Sliema being erratic in front of goal and Exiles looking more confident, scoring another two goals while Sliema got one back to end the session on a 10-4 scoreline. This meant that Exiles were two goals ahead on aggregate, with only eight minutes of play separating them from their first ever Knockout final.

The fourth session started off with a Sliema revival, with Paul Privitera and John Brownrigg scoring three goals in succession to tip the scales back in Sliema’s favour. With the scoreline reading 10-7, Sliema would have won the tie by 1 goal on aggregate. Exiles kept their composure as Bogdan Rath was fouled out, and managed to score three more goals through Paris, Cousin and Cuk to dump the Cup holders out of the competition and secure their final berth.

Sliema 7 – Exiles 13
(2-4, 1-4, 1-2, 3-3)

Sliema: R. Coleiro, N. Bonello Ghio, N. Lubrano 1, R. Fodor, M. Meli, M. Spiteri Staines, D. Paolella 1, J. Brownrigg 2, C. Debono, P. Privitera 2, B. Rath 1, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Abela.

Exiles: A. Borg Cole, J. Rizzo Naudi, K. Rizzo Naudi, D. Pace Lupi, T. Sullivan 2, M. Calleja 1, M. Cuk 5, K. Grixti, A. Zarb Cousin, A. Cousin 3, J. Paris 1, A. Sciberras, K. Lanzon 1.

Refs: P. Balzan, M. Piano.

In another game played this week, Neptunes Emirates have practically secured their place in the Knockout final when they swept away the challenge of Sirens in the first leg of their semifinal clash. The match ended in a 17-5 victory for the Reds, with the St Paul’s Bay outfit now needing a victory with a 13 goal difference in their second semifinal to make it through to the final.

The result was never in peril for Neptunes, with Sirens trying to stifle the incentive of Tamas Molnar, leaving various openings for the likes of Stevie Camilleri, Nicki Lanzon and Vladimir Gojkovic to strike from outside. Sirens also missed two penalties and never capitalised on their man-up situations while fumbling a number of possessions.

With the score reading 13-4 at the end of the third session, Marcoch gave time to Neptunes’ fringe players, resting his big guns for game 2 this evening and for the eventual final on Saturday.

Sirens 5 – Neptunes 17
(2-4, 0-4, 2-5, 1-4)

Sirens: J. Sammut, A. Attard, P. Micallef, P. Borg, C Kiss, R. Mock, J. Borg 1, D. Cutajar 1, G. Krstonosic 1, C. Zammit, N. Grixti, L. Zammit, C. Mercieca 2.

Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 3, E. Aquilina 1, M. Stellini, J. Camilleri 1, Z. Mizzi, S. Camilleri 5, V. Gojkovic 2, B. Buhagiar, S. Gravina 1, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 3, M. Pisani 1.

Refs: M. Dalli, F. Ricciotti.

Other results:

Otters 13 – Ta’ Xbiex 14
(4-2, 3-4, 4-5, 2-3)

Otters: J. Cremona, G. Attard 2, G. Zammit, Z. Radocs 6, D. Schembri 2, K. Scicluna, M. Balatoni 1, S. Dimech, J.P. Buttigieg, M. Dimech, S. Scerri, G. Xuereb, K. Grima Scott 2.

Ta’ Xbiex: L. Borg, M. Paris, S. Vassallo 1, C. Cluett 2, D. Borg, B. Muscat, T. Gyrovath 3, E. Bonello, M. Cordina 2, M. Agius, R. Attard 1, M. Spiteri, Y. Szeles 5.

Refs: A. De Raffele, S. Licari.

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