Neptunes get 2nd star for 5-star season

Sunday, September 11, 2011, 9:17

by Sandro Micallef

Niki Lanzon kick starts the Neptuens celebrations

Niki Lanzon kick starts the Neptunes celebrations

Neptunes Emirates yesterday claimed the BOV 1st Division Waterpolo title, the 20th in the club’s history, with a hard-fought 13-11 victory over eternal rivals Sliema McDonalds in the deciding game 5 of the playoff finals. Neptunes thus completed the double, following their success in the Knockout competition, their first since 1988.

It was a well deserved accolade for the Reds who dominated matters at Tal Qroqq throughout the Summer League, with Sliema giving them a very good run for their money in the final deciding week.

Yesterday all was set for the grand finale, with hundreds of fans flocking to cheer their team on. The afternoon started on a disappointing note for Neptunes whose number one goalkeeper, Ian Bugeja, injured himself during warming up. Youngster Ryan Sciortino stood up to take his place in what was more than just a baptism of fire, and after a shaky start demonstrated his true potential, including a providential save on Rajmund Fodor at a critical point in the match.

One must mention that although the stakes were high in these finals, both sets of players played very tough but clean waterpolo. This is also partially due to the high standard of refereeing that was demonstrated by the Maltese and Italian referees who kept the encounters under control.

In the first session both teams played at par, responding to each other’s goals to end it 4-4 with the second session following in the same vein, to send both teams to the break at 7-7. Sliema relied on Mark Meli, Daniel Paolella, Bogdan Rath and Rajmund Fodor to get their goals while an improved Michele Stellini, captain Niki Lanzon, Vladimir Gojkovic and Steve Camilleri took care of keeping Neptunes’ title hopes alive. John Soler was well marked by the Balluta defence and for the first time did not score a goal in the finals.

The Reds finally pulled away from their rivals in the third session with a Gojkovic lob followed by a powerful strike by the Montenegran, while Tamas Molnar and Lanzon made sure of putting Neptunes further in the driving seat. Sliema tried their best to get back in the game and it was veteran Paul Privitera who fired a trademark shot past Sciortino to make it 11-8 at the end of the third session.

Neptunes were determined to avoid a Sliema recovery in the fourth session, as was the case in Game 2 of this final series, and this time ably managed their advantage till the end of the match, sending their delirious fans in celebration as they watched Lanzon lift the trophy for the second year running.

Stay tuned to sportinmalta.com for more details from these finals including a series of photo galleries.

Neptunes 13 – Sliema 11
(4-4, 3-3, 4-1, 2-3)

Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 2, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini 2, J. Camilleri, B. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 4, V. Gojkovic 3, B. Buhagiar, S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 2, M. Pisani.

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

Refs: I. Sciriha, M. De Chiara.





15 Comments

  1. Mark Gatt - Wixu says:

    kemm niccara haga, jiena Mark Gatt (il-wixu, ex membru tal kumitat tan Neptunes) ma ghandil-ebda konnessjoni ma ‘Mark Gatt’ li qed jikkummenta fuq dan is-sit. Tant biex tkun cara.

    U prosit lin-Neptunes ghar-rebh tat-unuri kollha li rebhu din is-sena, seniors, juniors u anke tal-ghawm. Prosit lil President, kull min hadem biex intrebhu dawn l-unuri kollha.

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  2. Silvio says:

    Kulma ghamiltu fil-Waterpolo hu li kkuppjajtu x’jigri fil-Basketball u xejn aktar…..fil-Basketball ilha ssir hekk mis-snin 90………imsomma l-Ewropa kollha tuza s-sistema tal-Play-Offs, ahna narawha differenti ghax il-Futbol ghadhom ma juzawx dis-sistema. Pero’ hija sistema li biex tirbah trid tibqa’ sal-ahhar u ma tista’ taghmel l-ebda preparamenti li ser nirbah zgur. Ara s-sapport fil-pixxina kif kien fil-Play-Offs!! Anke l-MFA tnaqqas il-punti f’nofs l-istagun ghax inkella jahrab tim u addio sapporters hlief tal-belt li nimmagina jibqghu fuq quddiem sal-ahhar!!

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  3. Mark Gatt says:

    Kampjonat b`format ridikolu. Mela l-ewwel tilghab group stage biex jintghazlu it-top 5 li jmorru “first” division u tghati bonus points biex bhal speci tippremja lil min mar l-ahjar f`dawk il-loghbiet li qabel kienu kwazi bla sens, imbaghad tilghab league fuq zewg rounds bejn 5 teams biex minnhom ERBGHA jghaddu ghal playoffs – semifinals best of 3 u final best of 5, fejn it-team li jispicca fir-raba post xi 20 punt wara ta l-ewwel (fuq 8 loghbiet dan !) ghandu cans jirbah il-league jekk jelgheb lil leaders fis-semifinal!!

    Ara vera ahna irridu inkunu biex naghmlu xi haga hekk ! Playoffs fejn jidhol kampjonat diga huma ingusti f`kampjonati fejn idumu xi 9 xhur bejn xi 22 team, ahseb u ara fuq kampjonat ta bejn 5 teams li jintlghab f`xahrejn.

    Ma nistax nifhem din l-ossessjoni li ghandna hawn Malta li irridu inzommu l-interess bilfors sa l-ahhar. Jekk hemm team li huwa ahjar minn kulhadd fil-league, ghandu jiehu il-kampjonat – kemm jekk jirbhu fl-ahhar round u kemm jekk jirbhu f`nofsu – ghax allura bl-istess ragunament ma nafx ghalfejn inghataw il-bonus points wara l-ewwel fazi biex imbaghad fl-ahhar tal-league phase l-4 teams li ghaddew ghas-semifinal bdew indaqs.

    U l-iktar haga redikola hija li issa l-ASA ghandha president li gej mill-qasam tal-football u li min jaf kemm gerger u qered kontra is-sistema li jinqasmu il-punti wara l-ewwel 2 rounds fil-kampjonat premier ghax tippenalizza lil min ikun konsistenti, u issa gie fil-waterpolo u qishu tahtu skoprejna xi formula magika li biha nimlew il-pixxina.

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    waterpolo Reply:

    mark gatt gilik segwejt waterpolo ta ewropa inti?,plays off siru kull pajjiz f ewropa ta

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    Mark Gatt Reply:

    iva insegwi waterpolo u kwalunkwe sports iehor fejn jidhlu team sports. Nahseb imkien fl-ewropa ma issib first division maghmula minn 5 teams (maghzula wara mini league minn 10 teams) li minnhom wara zewg rounds jghaddu 80% taghhom ghal playoffs. Fil-principju league huwa competition ta konsistenza kontra it-teams kulhadd u allura ghandu jkun din li tippremja lir-rebbieh. Fejn ikun hemm xi 20 team li minnhom jintghazlu 4 ghal playoffs forsi tasal biex tifimha – ghallkemm xorta nara ingusta ma min iku nmar ahjar fil-loghbiet kontra kulhadd u jinzerta gurnata hazina fil-playoffs, imma ahna ghandna 4 minn 5 li jghaddu playoffs !! U bl-istess argument tieghek li anki fl-ewropa jsiru playoffs (semmili pajjiz li jahmel playoffs bejn 4 minn 5 teams imma), ghidli fejn fl-ewropa jinghataw il-bonus points wara fazi li fl-ahhar mill-ahhar ma jfissru xejn. X`jiswa li taghmel differenza bejn min gie l-ewwel u min gie ir-raba fl-ewwel fazi meta imbaghad jekk jibqghu hekk wara it-tieni fazi, jibdew on equal terms qishu qatt ma gara xejn u qishu qatt ma kien hemm bahar ta punti bejn iz-zewg teams ?

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    waterpolo Reply:

    kiku din sena gara kif adt inti kieku ,din sena kien jispica league wara ewwel round,b play offs final kien hem 5 finals ta,fejn hadtu bonus points malta?barra jamlu league bejn 18 ez,ewwel 4 postjiet jilghabu play offs,li ija tajba hafna ta

    Mark Gatt Reply:

    Jekk Neptunes kienu daqshekk ahjar mill-avversarji li kien jirbhu il-league wara l-ewwel round, good luck to them. Ghalhekk qieghed LEAGUE – ghax min igib l-aktar punti meta tilghab kontra kulhadd. Jekk l-ohrajn ma kienux ta livell ta Neptunes allura ma haqqhomx li wara li jitilfu maghhom 3 darbiet f`season – u f’perjodu differenti tas-season mhux fl-istess gimgha – ikollhom cans li xorta jirbhulhom il-league.

    Bonus points f’Malta ? Tajjeb mela staqsejt lili jekk insegwix waterpolo ewropew minhabba il-playoffs meta int tidher li lanqas ta Malta ma issegwi imma qieghed biss tikkumenta (forsi ghax li ma kien ghal playoffs it-team tieghek ilu minn nofs Lulju li qata qalbu). Insejt li wara l-ewwel fazi it-teams, tnehhew il-punti kollha li kellhom it-teams u minflok bdew b` +5, +3, +2, +1 u 0 ??

    Int stess qed tghid li barra minn 18 teams ikun hemm 4 li jmorru playoffs: ahna le, ahna specjali – nilghabu b’5 teams u 4 minnhom imorru playoff. L-aqwa li team li inzommu l-interess sa l-ahhar halli nibqghu nimlew il-pixxina ! Tajjeb hafna. Kull ma kien jonqos kien li tal-5th place ikollu playoff ma tal-4th place halli miskin anki hu ikollu cans sa l-ahhar hux.

    waterpolo Reply:

    ili segwi waterpolo mi pixxina ta mscala jien mark gatt,fuq ta play offs ,mhux ha naqblu qatt,hafna mi clubs din jaqblu maha ta.jekk ma tafx din gatt qabel adit ivutaw clibs stess ta, fl ahar mi ahar min gie ewwel 2 postjiet tela final ta ,ma telax final min gie 4 post ta,

    PLayoff Reply:

    Playoffs hija idea tajba u tamel sens hafna, pero irid ikun hemm sistema jew ftehim li jekk team ikolli vantagg ta numru sostanzjali ta punti (li jrid jigi deciz minn qabel bejn il clubs) wara li jispiccaw iz zewg rounds jew dak it team jirbah il league hemm, jew ikollu vantagg sostanzjali fil playoffs 

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  4. True Red says:

    true blue i wouldnt talk. sliema supporters as well as players are known for their bad taste 

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  5. Supporter Belti says:

    BTW did anyone from the victors side stick out the bull’s horns with his/her fingers? Big surprise if someone didn’t but I greatly doubt.

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    Timothy Xuereb Reply:

    i didn’t :D  

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  6. waterbug says:

    Congratulations and well done to Neptunes! Without a shadow of doubt the superior team throughout the whole league AND the play offs. Sliema will no doubt whine and bleat that it was because of injuries and absentees. But even with them in the team, they still couldn’t match us. Mourinho (from yesterday’s comments), if you really wanted to go car-cading yesterday, you may have realised that you were supporting the wrong team!

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    true blue Reply:

    All credit to the winning team on the day – however the obscene and undignified gestures directed at the Sliema supporters by supposedly ‘professional’ players – surprisingly Gojkovic, but expectedly from Stellini, do nothing to promote sportsmanship and respect that a Championship Final demands.

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    kif suppost Reply:

    Such gestures were also carried out by sliema players and their coaching staff after both their wins so I wouldn’t go pointing fingers….

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