Qormi HC claim the Challenge Cup

Friday, November 12, 2010, 16:36

by Ramon Chircop

Qormi succeeded where they failed last year when after a long hard fought match they got the better of Floriana YS. The victory was achieved after penalty strokes as 70 minutes of normal time and 15 minutes of extra time were not enough to declare a winner. This is Qormi’s third success in the Challenge Cup and the Yellows will look to carry on their winning streak next week when the National League starts off.

Qormi HC - Challenge Cup winners 2010

Qormi HC - Challenge Cup winners 2010

Qormi started the game intent on settling the issue before the half time whistle. This was by far the best 35 minutes of Hockey seen so far in the Challenge Cup. Floriana’s players were chasing shadows as Qormi’s players were running into space and finding space behind Floriana’s defenders. As has happened in previous matches, Qormi were once again unable to take advantage of their dominance as they only created two scoring chances in the first half. In the first one, a good run on the right by Steve Tanti found Jonathan Borg waiting in the Dee only to see his first time shot miss the post by a whisker. On the second opportunity Borg managed to hit the target but this time the shot was well blocked by Floriana keeper Abdilla.

For all their dominance, Qormi did not manage to win a penalty corner. In the first half Floriana YS relied on quick counter attacks to cause problems to the Qormi defence. Floriana managed to win 2 short corners in the first half but these failed to trouble the Qormi defence. The half time whistle could not come soon enough for Floriana. While Qormi must have been pleased with their performance, they would have surely been disappointed with the fact that they had nothing to show for their efforts.

The second half started on a completely different note to the first one. One could immediately see that the flair and energy that Qormi HC had in the first half had subsided and Floriana YS took full advantage. The Yellows were no longer able to put a string of passes together and gave away possession far too cheaply. Floriana YS took the game to Qormi and pinned them in their own half for most of the time. Floriana’s best chance came when Edward Hughes found himself in space inside the Dee however he mishit his shot and it sailed high and wide to Qormi’s relief. Qormi’s best chance of the second half fell to Keith Calleja whose first time shot failed to leave his stick. The game finished goalless and 15 minutes of extra time had to be played.

During extra time Qormi found their passing game once again and it was their turn to take the game to their opponents. Very little happened during extra time and both teams were intent on defending their respective goals at all costs. The 15 minutes passed and the game went to penalties. Unfortunately for the Yellows, Borg saw his flick saved by Abdilla and Floriana took the lead. All the penalties were scored until it came to the last one where if Marvin Vella had scored Floriana would have been declared Champions. Chircop saved Vella’s flick and the game had to go to sudden death penalties. This was a big blow for Floriana as they had already one hand on the trophy. Borg scored Qormi’s sixth while Attard replied for Floriana. Halladay put Qormi’s seventh penalty away which meant that Ivan Magro Dingli had to score to keep Floriana in the game. Chircop dived to his right to block Dingli’s flick which gave the cup to Qormi and sent Qormi’s faithful supporters in jubilation. After the celebrations quietened down, HAM President Chris Busuttil Leaver awarded the trophy to Ramon Chircop.

Umpires: Manuel Imbroll and Silvano Vassallo





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