Neptunes win Balluta derbySunday, July 31, 2011, 10:25
Ta Xbiex convince against Otters
by Gerald Fenech
Neptunes Emirates took an important step towards their second First Division title in a row when they defeated San Giljan Giuseppe’s 15-12 in a closely fought encounter.
San Giljan Giuseppe’s 12 – Neptunes Emirates 15
This top of the table clash went the champions’ way, with another strong performance. San Giljan had hopes after their victory over Sliema, but Neptunes are a tougher nut to crack. The Saints drew first blood, but Neptunes replied almost immediately, and once the champions nosed in front, San Giljan had to chase all the way to the end of the match.
The game was still undecided till the interval, when Neptunes held a double lead, at 7-5, but in the third period the champions drew away, to start the final session on a solid four goal advantage. Another two goal burst had them on velvet, and though the Saints ended the match with a flurry, they had a hard deficit to make up, and Neptunes could coast through till the end.
San Giljan fielded the same outfit that upset Sliema, and had Filip Trajkovic scoring his four goals in the second part of the game. Nikola Sutic, however, scored his side’s first three strikes. The Saints must brush up their man up tactics, scoring just three times from a dozen numerical advantages.
Neptunes had Sergei Markoch back at the helm, after his father’s demise, last week. Their two local stalwarts, Steve Camilleri and Nicky Lanzon, grabbed a poker of goals each. They were better at their man ups than San Giljan, but still not satisfactory, scoring a trio of goals from seven advantages.
This was the first clash between these two neighbours this season, and now the champions are gracing the top of the standings alone.
San Giljan: D. Camilleri, JC Cutajar, N. Sutic 3, K. Galea 2, F. Trajkovic 4, K. Dowling 1, L. Grixti, A. Bianchi, M. Borg Spiteri 1, C. Gialanze 1, P. Fava, A. Galea, K. Schembri
Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 4, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini, J. Camilleri 2, G. Pace,S. Camilleri 4, V. Gojkovic 2, Z. Mizzi, S. Gravina 1, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 2, M. Pisani
Referees: S. Licari, D. Rotondano
Ta Xbiex ASC 15 – Otters Nivea 8
Ta Xbiex recorded their third victory over the Gozitans this season, and also steered clear from the bottom placing with this win. They were in arrears after the opening session, but then they were level, at 5-5, at the interval, and dominated the second part of the encounter, as they opened up a sound advantage, and finished off the match in a confident manner.
Their two foreigners put in nine goals between them, and they converted two of their three man ups. Otters shared their goals between five players, and scored in two of their four numerical advantages.
Ta Xbiex: L. Borg, B. Muscat, S. Vassallo, C. Cluett, D. Borg 2, JC Decelis, T. Gyrovath 5, E. Bonello 1, M. Cordina, C. Saliba, R. Attard 3, M. Spiteri, Y. Szeles 4
Otters: J. Cremona, G. Attard, G. Zammit, Z. Radocz 2, D. Schembri 1, K. Scicluna 1, M. Balatoni 2, S. Dimech, G. Xuereb, S. Xerri, C. Martin 2, P. Martin, K. Grima Scott
Referees: R. Spiteri, P. Giordano