Rabat win with penalties against Hotsticks

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 9:17

Hotsticks 0    Rabat  0 (after extra time)

Penalty shoot out   Hotsticks 7   Rabat  8

Umpires  Reno Cremona   Shaun Mifsud

 

A typical cup tie played with both teams tight marking in mid field developing into a ding dong battle which produced a stalemate only resolving itself in an exciting penalty shoot- out.  Hotsticks enjoyed territorial advantage but both teams did not avail themselves of a penalty corner awarded to either side around the 11thminute.  Play continued to be robust and chances were few and far between.   Hotsticks were awarded two penalty corners in the 22nd and 33rd minutes which they did not avail themselves of and half time was reached with the score still intact.

The second half continued in the same vein with both teams winning a penalty corner within a minute of each other in the 44th minute.  Defensive play dominated the rest of the match and Julian Zahra just failed to put Hotsticks ahead three minutes from time.   Another penalty corner won by Hotsticks went a begging in the 68th minute and the final whistle sounded with the score unchanged, sending the game into extra time, which petered out with both sides creating very little, sending the game into a penalty shoot- out.

This proved to be exciting with the teams finishing their first series of penalty strokes at 4 – 4.   Hotsticks then failed with their fourth stroke of the sudden death shoot-out while Rabat converted theirs to win the tie     8 – 7 on the 18th penalty stroke taken, enabling them to reach the final of the Challenge Cup.

 

 

Young Stars   2     Qormi   0      Umpires   Robert Aquilina    Manuel Imbroll

 

Qormi started this game exerting pressure on the Young Stars rear guard, not availing themselves of two penalty corners won in the first four minutes.   In the 13th minute Edward Hughes hit a delightful reverse stick shot which was saved but subsequently Young Stars won a penalty corner and Mark Camilleri slotted home to put his side 1 – 0 ahead.   The rest of the half was balanced, both sides probing each others’ defences without being too dangerous around the D, however Qormi went close in the 33rd minute when Isaac Mansueto just failed to convert an inviting cross from the right. The half time whistle blew with Young Stars leading by 1 goal to nil.

Two minutes into the second half Kyle Micallef hit the ball over the bar  from close range after a melee inside the D.   From then on Qormi gained territorial advantage and won four penalty corners between the 43rd and 47th minute but could not break down the Young Stars defence which held firm depending  solely on counter attacks.   After Ramon Chircop, Qormi’s keeper, affected a daring save in a one to one situation, his team applied another period of sustained pressure but were caught out in a counter attack when Mark Ellul met a cross delivered from the right by Edward Hughes and scored to send Young Stars 2 – 0 up, a lead which they held to the end winning their place to play Rabat in the Challenge Cup Finalnext Sunday.





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