Hockey: Association Malta Knock Out final, Lightshop Hotsticks vs. Floriana Young Stars

Monday, May 15, 2017, 14:38

Lightshop Hotsticks vs. Floriana Young Stars

This encounter lived up to its billing. A knock out final with unexpected twists and turns, both teams giving their all and producing a no holes barred performance. A cautious start from both teams with man to man marking being the order of the day curtailed clear cut chances.   On 14 minutes the game sprang into life when Ryan Dalli deflected a shot from the top of the D into the net to give Hotsticks a 1-0 lead.   After both teams missed a couple of half chances, on 29 minutes, Young stars were awarded a penalty stroke but Andrew Camilleri saw his shot from the spot saved by Emile Borg, Hotsticks’ keeper. Young Stars exerted further pressure towards the end of the first half but did not take advantage of two penalty corner awards in the final two minutes of the first half leaving Hotsticks maintain their 1-0 lead when the whistle blew.

Hardly had a  minute elapsed in the second half when Hotsticks were awarded a penalty stroke and Shawn Grima made no mistake from the spot flicking the ball into the top right corner of the net to send Hotsticks into a 2-0 lead.  On 41 minutes Jamie Mifsud netted for Young Stars after finishing off a move down the left flank by Ryan Seychell . Game on-action became frantic and tactics ,tiring feet and strained nerves played their part, both teams  striving to score another goal and put the game to rest. On 50 minutes Hotsticks were awarded another penalty stroke when Steve Portelli was tripped inside the D but Shawn Grima saw his flick from the spot saved by Young Stars keeper James Mizzi.  Both teams failed to take advantage of a couple of penalty corner awards each and when it seemed that Hotsticks were on the way to victory, with seconds left Young Stars were awarded another penalty corner and Cornelissen Nanko flicked the ball into the bottom corner of the net to send the game into extra time.

 

In the third minute of the first period of extra time Young Stars went into a 3-2 lead when as a result of another penalty corner award Nanko grabbed his second goal . Hotsticks reacted strongly and forced Young Stars deep into a defensive mode but the final whistle blew with Young Stars running out winners of this hard fought exciting encounter despite constant Hotsticks’ pressure during the second period of extra time.





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