Neptunes clinch 20th Knockout title

Sunday, July 17, 2011, 22:51

Neptunes Emirates won their elusive 20th Knockout cup when they beat Exiles 3CX to the tune of 9-5. The Balluta side’s last success in this competition dates back to 2005.

The Reds were tipped as favourites for the title, against an Exiles team that had little experience in such final games but who nonetheless gave a good show in front of the crowd present at the National Pool.

Neptunes coach, Sergei Marcoch

Neptunes coach, Sergei Markoch

Neptunes took off to a perfect start, leading 3-0 at the end of the first session, with many thinking that it would be another avalanche of goals as witnessed against Sirens. The Reds kept the pressure in the beginning of the second session, scoring another two goals, but after Molnar missed a penalty, Exiles got their game going with Cuk scoring their first goal of the game. With the inspirational Borg Cole in between the posts, Exiles grew in confidence and reduced the deficit to change ends at 6-3 in Neptunes’ favour.

The third session was a low scoring affair, with Neptunes being frustrated by their opponents as they could not find the back of the net, until Gojkovic’s trademark shot finally made it 7-3 with only a few seconds remaining on the clock. In the final session the Reds made sure of the result, scoring a further two goals with Exiles scoring another two to end the tie at 9-5, sending the Reds fans in jubiliation as captain Nicki Lanzon lifted the BOV Knockout Cup

Neptunes 9 – Exiles 5
(3-0, 3-3, 1-0, 2-2)

Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini 1, J. Camilleri, Z. Mizzi, S. Camilleri 3, V. Gojkovic 1, B. Buhagiar, S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 4, M. Pisani.

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

Referees: M. Angilleri, P. Bensaia.

In the BOV Division 2 Knockout competition, Ta’ Xbiex had the better of Marsascala when they beat them with the odd goal in 19. It was a tense affair but the Ta’ Xbiex outfit meritedly won the tie and their first honour this season.

Ta’ Xbiex 10 – Marsascala 9
(2-3, 5-2, 1-3, 2-1)

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

Marsascala: S. Farrugia, C. Spiteri de Barro 1, M. Pace, Milos Koralji, D. Caruana 1, E. Arrigo, J. Licari, J. Cremona 1, B. Plumpton, R. Scerri 3, D. Cassar 3, K. Navarro, Mih. Koralji.

Referees: P. Balzan, S. Licari.

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