Neptunes draw first blood in Playoff Finals

Saturday, September 3, 2011, 10:01

In a game that lived up to its expectations, Neptunes Emirates beat Sliema Mc Donalds to the tune of 13-11 in the first match of the BOV First Division Final playoffs series that this year is being played on a best out of five basis.

Niki Lanzon - 5 goals for him against Sliema

Niki Lanzon - 5 goals for him against Sliema

Sliema played one of their best games this season, showing more compactness within the team while Neptunes faced what was their sternest test so far. The centre players from both sides were very closely marked, with only one goal shared between all of them. Neptunes also had to deal with a large number of fouls against them, with the Reds losing Tamas Molnar early in the third session for allegedly directing foul language at the referee.

Neptunes’ top scorer Steve Camilleri was also very closely marked, limiting his damage to one goal, but captain Niki Lanzon and Vladimir Gojkovic made up by scoring nine goals between them. Sliema relied on Bogdan Rath and Rajmund Fodor to score the bulk of their goals.

Niki Lanzon opened up the scoring with two shots from the five metre mark to put Neptunes ahead, but Rath and Debono levelled matters, while Fodor made it 3-2 until Lanzon got his third. Fodor sent both teams to rest after the first session with the score reading 4-3 in Sliema’s favour. Markoch’s men reacted in the second session, winning it 4-2 to edge their opponents by one goal at half time.

The game took a sway in the third session as Neptunes took an important 3 goal lead before Sliema reduce the arrears to make it 9-7. At this point Molnar was sent out with substitution sending the Sliema supporters and their bench in celebration, while the Reds complained heavily with the referees. Rath and Fodor capitalised on the moment and scored two goals to make the score 9-9. But the nervous Neptunes players somewhat calmed down and an unmarked Edward Aquilina scored from the three metre mark while Gojkovic lobbed the ball over Coleiro to send both teams into the fourth session on an 11-9 score and with a double man up for Sliema at the start of the fourth session.

In the last session, Neptunes had Lanzon and Jordan Camilleri on two fouls but maintained their composure to take their first victory in this important series and end the game 13-11.

Neptunes 13 -  Sliema 11
(3-4, 4-2, 4-3, 2-2)

Neptunes : I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 5, E. Aquilina 1, M. Stellini 1, J. Camilleri, B. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 1, V. Gojkovic 4, K. Debattista, S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 1, M. Pisani.

Sliema : R. Coleiro, J. Gabaretta, N. Lubrano, R. Fodor 3, M. Meli 1, J. Soler 2, D. Paolella, M. Rizzo, C. Debono 1, P. Privitera, B. Rath 4, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Abela.

Refs: M. Angileri, A. Severo.

Marsascala players celebrating their success

Marsascala players celebrating their success

Marsascala win 2nd Division Championship

Marsascala were crowned 2nd Division champions when they beat Valletta in their deciding match with an 11-6 score. This game also marked the retirement of Marsascala captain Joe Cremona who meritedly raised the Cup at the end of this encounter.

It was a balanced match in the first eight minutes before Marsascala pulled ahead 6-3 in the second session, with the Valletta players and supporters complaining heavily due to the referees’ decisions. Alan Galea brought the Citizens back into the game, but the Koralji brothers ruined their show scoring 7 goals between them and John Licari also leaving his mark with a hatrick.

Marsascala 11 – Valletta 6
(2-2, 4-1, 2-2, 3-1)

Marsascala : E. Arrigo, C. Spiteri de Barro 1, M. Pace, S. Farrugia, D. Caruana, Mil. Koralji 4, J. Licari 3, J. Cremona, S. Micallef, R. Scerri, D. Cassar, A. Zammit, Mih. Koralji 3.

Valletta : A. Sammut, G. Sammut, A. Di Somma, C. Bonello, R. Muncaksy 1, S. Cachia, A. Galea 2, K. Micallef, T. Agius 3, S. Cini, A. Arrigo, G. Ghirxi, K.Micallef.

Refs: I. Sciriha, A. Severo.


  1. True_Red says:

    Pawlu Privitera and John Soler constantly complain to the refs (including foul language) and get nothing, while Molnar get’s set off with substitution without any hesitation on the part of the ref – the refs have to be more consistent, and teams have to be treated equally.

    The refs were poor yesterday – Ancillieri gave Neptunes some rather dubious decisions in their favor, while the Italian ref refused to grant Neptunes any man-ups up until late in the third session; he gave a number of dubious ‘kontra’ fouls against Molnar, and then sent him off controversially.  If this is going to be the standard of Italian refs, then we might as well keep the Maltese; ASA should evaluate the performances of the Italian refs, to ensure that those who don’t perform will not be brought over again.

    Well done Neptunes, we showed great heart, determination and composure, especially when Molnar was sent off and Sliema scored 2 quick goals to draw level at 9-9.  But then Gojkovic shouldered all the responsibility, took the team on his shoulders, and scored 3 vital goals at the end, and led the team to victory; what a leader he is.  Well done to Niki Lanzon who is having the best season of his career, and also to Ian Bugeja, who after an uneasy start, pulled off some spectacular and essential saves.  Stevie was closely marked and wasn’t in top-form, but he has been brilliant in every other game this season, so its only natural that he might have a slight off-day – he will be stronger next game.  Bring on game 2!


    Tru Blu Reply:

    hatta game 2 buffu, who ur gona blame now


    san pawl Reply:

    tru blue tindahalx !! and go celebrate yest win u daqshekk ax dik lunika loghba li ha terbhu u anke jekk terbhu ohra MINTKOMX  ha terbhu il league (sakemm  there wont be ‘controversial fouls’ in d next 3 games u ifimni) we’ll talk end of the league ;)


    True Red 2 Reply:

    Tru Blu loghba wahda biss erbahtu. mandekx tifrah. erbahtu ghax ir-refs kienu fil-favor taghkhom.


    True_Red Reply:

    ajma jahasra li ghad hawn nies bhalek true blu…………read what I said well, I said that Ancillieri gave a lot of dubious and controversial decisions in favor of neptunes, I have no problem pointing it out, unlike most sliema fans I attempt to be objective……..the ref sent out Molnar without any problems, while Soler and Privitera constantly complain to the refs and get nothing……….did you watch game 2?  did you see Bogdan complaining to Balzan during the 1st session?  did you see clint jumping up and down, and shouting every 5 mins on the bench?  what did they get? nothing, no keccija, ahsebwara with substitution and a straight red…….

    sliema players are untouchable, especially certain players like Soler – as captain of Malta he has to set an example, and not complain to the ref everytime a decision goes against him, he has to learn to keep his mouth shut and just play the game cause he is 1 of the best players in Malta – I would ask him to look at Niki Lanzon, and take some advice on how to be 1 of the best players in Malta and to be respected at the same time…………..

    but why are we surprised that Sliema players get away with murder?  do half the maltese refs still work for Tony Psaila?  and are the Italian refs still all staying at the Galaxy Hotel, which is owned by the Soler family?  who’s the buffu now, ja mdejjaq, mur ghodd il-gols li-dahlu l-bierah………

    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 GOL!


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