Hockey Association Malta Knock Out Semi finals

Monday, June 10, 2013, 11:40

Young Stars    1       Hotsticks   0       Umpires    Paul Brincat    John Williams

Despite the heat, this match turned into a typical cup tie, played at a high tempo, where tactics were sacrificed for sheer pace and endeavour .     Hotsticks started brightly and in the fourth minute Young Stars goalkeeper James Mizzi was called upon to stop his side from falling behind.   After a period of balanced play, when neither side gained territorial advantage,  Hotsticks cleared off the line after a melee in front of their posts, in the 14thminute.    Three minutes later Young Stars’ Mark Camilleri was stopped just outside the D after a glorious run from half way as he led a counter attack following a Hotsticks penalty corner that had been beaten away by Mizzi, the Stars’ goalkeeper.    In the 29th minute Andrew Camilleri saved Young Stars by  diving full length to his right to clear off the line with his goalkeeper beaten.     The half time whistle blew with nobody being able to forge ahead.

Young Stars started the second half on a gallop and as a result of their second penalty corner in the 40th minute Mark Camilleri hit a tremendous shot from the top of the D to put his team one up.   Hotsticks reacted strongly and Lukas Plaehn was denied by a point blank save by Mizzi in the 47thminute.   Hotsticks then won three penalty corners in succession but were again denied by three tremendous saves by the Young Stars keeper.   It must be noted that his performance denied Hotsticks an equalizer and in the 62nd minute he made another diving save off Steve Portelli.  In the end, after a shot was deflected just past the Young Stars’ post, they managed to hold on to win by a tight margin and earned their place to play Qormi in the Knock Out final.


Rabat    0     Qormi    3       Umpires   Luke Busuttil Leaver    Manuel Imbroll

What promised to be an intriguing encounter at the outset ended in Qormi winning comfortably by three goals to nil on a hot Sunday morning when the heat sapped into the players’ energies.After a studious start by both teams Qormi went ahead in the 14th minute when Juan Sarcia netted from the first penalty corner awarded to his team.  Rabat reacted immediately and won three penalty corners in a row around the 22nd minute to no avail.     After young Thomas Degiovanni missed a chance in the 27th minute he hit a delicious reverse stick shot which nearly hit the target  a minute before half time.    There was still time for Qormi to force two penalty corners before the half time whistle blew seeing Qormi lead by one goal to nil.

Barely a minute into the second half Thomas Degiovanni scored to send Qormi two up.   Rabat won two penalty corners again to no avail but Qormi scored their third goal when John Williams netted from close range in the 55th minute, as a result of yet another penalty corner action.  The game was over as a spectacle and Qormi continued to control the rest of the match winning a further five penalty corners also denied by a solid performance from Ian Azzopardi, Rabat’s custodian.   As a result they will meet Young Stars in the final on Saturday 22nd June at 6.00pm


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