Two out of two for Neptunes as Reds clinch President’s Cup

Tuesday, July 5, 2011, 23:52

by Sandro Micallef

Neptunes' captain Niki Lanzon scoring one of his four goals

The in form Niki Lanzon paved the way for the Reds in another nail biting encounter between Sliema Mc Donalds and Neptunes Emirates that saw the latter edge the Blues 12-11.

It was Neptunes who this time opened a very comfortable advantage midway through the game, contrary to what happened in the play off two weeks ago to determine the winner for the first place in the first division table.

As opposed to past editions, Tuesday’s edition of the President’s Cup did not carry any points to the table but the tension and the will to win this Cup from both parties was confirmed as both teams locked horns for the second time this season.

Sliema welcomed back Mark Meli who was immediately given the nod by Afric to start in the first seven of the Blues. But to respond to this, Markoch banked on the brilliant performance and perfect execution of his captain Lanzon who scored no less than four goals in the opening two sessions.

Neptunes went two goals up straight away with goals by Lanzon and Stevie Camilleri. Bogdan Rath then scored his first goal to make the score 2-1. Lanzon again put the Reds two goals up with another fine strike, but Fodor replied for Sliema to keep the gap to the minimum. Vladimir Gojkovic reinstalled the two goal lead by the end of the first eight minutes.

Vladimir Gojkovic (right) attempting to block Sliema's Bogdan Rath from scoring one of his four goals

With referees Peter Balzan and Stefan Licari always on the look out for punishable fouls in the centre, both coaches started the second session, and eventually decided to keep on playing, with the M zone system till the end of the game trying to avoid as many passes as possible to the opponent’s centre forward.

Lanzon opened the second session with his third personal goal with a long distance shot. Sliema made them 5-3 from a man up situation converted by Jerome Gabaretta. On the other side Michele Stellini gave Neptunes a three goal lead with a low shot from his favourite attacking position. Sliema’s Daniel Paolella made the score 6-4 but it was again a perfect execution by Niki Lanzon from almost seven meters to signal the 7-4 score line at the end of session two.

Sliema’s Afric was heard shouting at his players at half time who suddenly transformed themselves in the third session which saw the Blues scoring two goals with no reply by Mark Meli who has just returned from Canada, and Raymond Fodor to go just one goal away from their rivals 7-6. Tamas Molnar made them 8-6 for Neptunes. Afric was here yellow carded by Referee Licari for protesting persistently. From another Neptunes’ man up situation Molnar scored again and Neptunes were leading 9-6. Stevie Camilleri gave the maximum advantage at that time of the game for his team as he made the score 10-6. Paolella then scored from position two from a Sliema man up attempt. Stevie Camilleri gave the Balluta team yet another four goal lead when he netted the ball from outside the danger area. Before the end of the third session Bogdan Rath was successful in beating Ian Bugeja for an 11-8 scoreline.

The fourth and final session was won by Sliema 3-1 in what could have be a déjà vu of two weeks ago but two goals again by Rath and Lubrano were not enough as Gojkovic scored the important goal for Neptunes in response to Sliema’s initial two goals of the last session.

With the score set at 12-11 in favour of  Sergei Markoch’s team, a dramatic finale was witnessed as Sliema missed the equalizer after Fodor’s superb back hand hit the crossbar with Bugeja beaten. It was not meant to be the day for Sliema as the Blues were not awarded what seemed to be a foul in their favour in the opponent’s half pitch in the last 23 seconds of the game. This frustrated a lot the Sliema players who protested heavily as Neptunes kept the ball till the end of the game.

Soler was reported by referee peter Balzan for throwing his cap at him at the end of the match.

The President’s Cup was eventually presented to Neptunes Captain Niki Lanzon by the ASA President Joe Caruana Curran.

With this win Matthew Bonello’s Club Neptunes edge eternal Waterpolo rivals Sliema with their sixth win of the President’s Cup since this has been introduced by the ASA way back in 1996. Sliema won this Cup five times, Sirens four times and San Giljan once.

Sliema: R. Coleiro, J. Gabaretta 1, N. Lubrano 1, R. Fodor 2, M.Meli 1, J. Soler, D. Paolella 2, J. Brownrigg, C. Debono, P.Privitera, B. Rath 4, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Abela.

Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 4, E. Aquilina , M. Stellini 1, J. Camilleri, G. Pace, S. Camilleri 3, V. Gojkovich 2, B. Buhagiar, S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 2, M. Pisani.

Referees: Peter Balzan and Stefan Licari.

Għaqda Ġurnalisti Sport Cup

In Tuesday’s other match Marsascala managed to beat ta’ Xbiex in the Final of the Għaqda Ġurnalisti Sport Cup formerly known as the Għaqda Kittieba Sports Cup. As from this year, this Cup has changed its name to reflect the change in the Sports Journalists Association’s new name – Għaqda Gurnalisti Sport.





10 Comments

  1. H2o ??? says:

    why was soler missing last match ???

    [Reply]

    aru_kasa Reply:

    so was the 1st by the sirens no 9. however, both episodes passed, hopefully we won’t see more. On a positive note, it seems that John ‘untouchable’ soler is not so untouchable any more!! congrats to referee Peter Balzan, for, finally, having the guts to his duty and report Soler for throwing his cap at the referee. congrats to the ASA for suspending him. its about time that these Primadonnas are treated likle all other players, and get what they deserve. its a pity that Soler will have to watch, the possible, final between Neptunes and sliema from the stands. must be nightmare!!

    H20 – sorry, but i dont agree with what u said about national team players. the likes of the camilleri brothers, karl galea, stellini and nikki lanzon do not get the same treatment like thoae of soler, debono and co. yes, it is true that things are changing abit. the more quoted refs, might be getting better, but are still very much biased towards sliema.

    I just hope that the mistakes made by refs are geniune (Im sure some of them are)

    [Reply]

    h20 Reply:

    ifem if you throw the cap at the ref u taqlalu il **** nahseb its the least u can get??????????

    im saying for incidents happening during gameplay…….

    [Reply]

    aru_kasa Reply:

    Haqqu 10/10 ref Dalli l-bierah!!! imissu jisthi. Plejer tas-sirens bid-demm niezel min wiccu, jigbdu l-attenzjoni tar-ref, u r-referee Dalli jhalli l-loghob ghaddej!! sa fejn naf jien, suppost il-loghob jieqaf ghal 3 minuti. Tawhx xi full marks il-match inspectors/assessors!!

    [Reply]

  2. h20 says:

    i totally agree…..
    he wasnt sent off at least just with substitution and with no brutality because his name is pawlu privitera..

    other players with a less quoted name or who play for a less quoted team get chucked out with substitution for a kick under water but if you play for the national team and have a great career behind you, yuou get away with it

    [Reply]

    san pawl Reply:

    h20 soler is missing for the next 2 games also (as i heard it) he threw the cap to the referee at the game of sliema neptunes on tuesday of the presidents cup . at least he got sumtin knowing his name :)  

    [Reply]

  3. aru_kasa says:

    so was the 1st by the sirens no 9. however, both episodes passed, hopefully we won’t see more. On a positive note, it seems that John ‘untouchable’ soler is not so untouchable any more!! congrats to referee Peter Balzan, for finally having the balls to his duty and report Soler for throwing his cap at the referee. congrats to the ASA for suspending him. its about time that these Primadonnas are treated likle all other players, and get what they deserve. its pitty that Soler will have to watch, the possible, final between Neptunes and sliema from the stands. must be nightmare!!

    [Reply]

  4. aru_kasa says:

    For the second time this year, Tamas Molnar has been punched in the face by his opponents. In my books, this is clearly is act of brutality, punishable with four minutes expulsion. Could the ASA kindly let us know their interpretation of brutality? I am also amazed that nobody in the press ever mentioned these cases, as they were clearly visible.

    [Reply]

    san pawl Reply:

    aru_kasa> i totally agree with you this second time was quite obvious as it was out of the water and every1 could see it , still amazed how the referees ddnt put it down with a 4 minute expulsion :/ in malta seems like these things can happen with a normal expulsion :/ which is not going by the rules at all . i hope the asa and the ref delegates or watever they r called who look from the stands to see their perfomance do sumting about it as its not good for these things to go unpunished, as every1 will seem to get used to the idea just punch him in d face and get an expulsion of 20 secs , hope sumtin happens about it

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    ha nghidlek hawn malta sfortunament sliema u neptunes dejjem igawdu decizjonit ta referees meta jilabu kontra san giljan,sirens u exiles

    [Reply]

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