Sweet and sour for Under-14 teams

Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 17:09


Stelmar end first round with Convincing win

Stelmar Hotsticks ended the first round of the U-14 National Hockey league with an emphatic 5 – 0 win over Floriana Young Stars. From the initial stages, Stelmar dominated the game in all parts of the field with the tactical change of moving Perth Grech up the field of play paying dividends after just a couple of minutes when he converted an excellent cross from Nicky Farrugia into the first goal of the game. The early goal left Floriana disoriented and this allowed Grech to double the score a few minutes later also adding a second goal to his name. At this point Floriana ventured out of their defensive play with Stelmar keeper Bonnici and central defender M.Cutajar intervening well on a couple of occasions to deny Floriana from pulling one back. The first half ended on the score of 2 – 0 with Stelmar being by far the better team.

The second half started very much on the same note with Stelmar’s game looking even more organized. Benji Farrugia was looking particularly sharp in his game and quickly added a third goal to the score line after some excellent work from midfielders Vella Vidal, S. Cutajar and Bonnici. The Stelmar clan kept on the pressure particularly through repeated sorties from Nicky Farrugia on the right flank who looked unstoppable on the day, however it was Grech who added a 4th goal to the score line and his personal hat-trick. Towards the end of the game, Micallef’s work resulted in a well taken short corner which captain Nicky Farrugia transformed into the final and 5th goal of the game, giving Stelmar momentum for the start of the second round.


Bad injuries to Sliema players determines final score

After the promising game against Floriana YS, Sliema were looking to secure further points for themselves to move further up the table. Sliema immediately looked the livelier side with Team Captain Amore looking particularly inspired on the day, recovering several balls in midfield and quickly launching fast counter attacks. This resulted in the first short corner of the game being assigned to Sliema, piling up further pressure on the Qormi side. Amore passed the ball to Bonello who passed it back to the unmarked Amore who missed the impact on the ball and lost the best chance to open the score for the Sliema side. Sliema did not lose heart and kept on the pressure through Bonello and Amore who were very well covered by an excellent defensive trio.

After several attempts though it was Qormi who scored the first goal after Falzon failed to clear the ball and Schembri finding himself unprepared thus allowing a very soft goal. Soon after this goal, Sliema did not manage to react as they lost captain and key player Alessandro Amore through an injury to the head  from a high ball. This was immediately followed by a similar injury to De Marco which left the team without their captain and vice captain. This was too much to overcome for Sliema which even though they kept on fighting till the end, even missing a few good goal mouth chances from Axiaq and Bonello, lost the game with a 4 – 0 score line. Sliema will now start the second round against Stelmar with just 1 point yet conscious that on the day they could beat anyone.

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