Unforgiving Neptunes rout Sliema

Sunday, September 2, 2012, 21:15

BOV Premier Final 2

Sliema McDonalds 5 - Neptunes Emirates 11
(2-3, 1-3, 0-3, 2-2)

Alexander Ciric - Neptunes' trump card in the finals

Alexander Ciric - Neptunes' trump card in the finals

Neptunes obtained a handsome victory in the first final, and in this match they went a goal better, beating their rivals by a margin of six goals. Sliema couldn’t keep up with the champions’ fluent play, from the second session onwards, with Neptunes also missing an early penalty, soon after the start of the match, when Istvan Gergely saved off Steve Camilleri. It was only a minor setback for Neptunes, who increased their first period advantage in the next session, to enjoy a 6-3 lead at the interval.

It was worse for Sliema after the break, when the champions struck three times without any reply from Sliema, to close down the encounter. The last session was just a formality, with Neptunes on such an advantage.

Sliema experienced difficulty in piercing their opponents’ defence throughout the game, but the Neptunes players seemed to find themselves in positions to have clear shots at goal, enabling them to steer clear of their adversaries as the game progressed.

Tamas Molnar is in splendid form at the moment, for Neptunes, and he helped himself to a poker of goals, with Steve Camilleri and Michele Stellini netting two goals apiece. For Sliema it was Jerome Gabarretta who scored a brace.

Neptunes could close down their season next Wednesday, when the third final is played, with Sliema now needing to win all three of their remaining games, to overturn the advantage now in Neptunes’ hands.

Sliema: I. Gergely, J. Gabarretta 2, N. Lubrano 1, P. Privitera 1, M. Meli, J. Soler, D. Paolella, J. Brownrigg, C. Debono, F. Salamon, J. Falzon, M. Spiteri Staines 1, R. Coleiro.

Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 1, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini 2, B. Lanzon , A. Ciric 1, S. Camilleri 2, J. Camilleri, G. Pace, S. Gravina 1, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 4, C. Mercieca.

Referees: M. Angileri, F. Collantoni

BOV Div 1 Final 1

Marsascala Mor€ 14 – Valletta Sterling 12
(2-3, 6-2, 4-3, 2-4)

Marsascala are on their way to a treble of victories, as they won the first match, in a best of three. Valletta had a good start to the match, and they were ahead till the start of the second session, but when Marsascala went in front for the first time, they didn’t look back.

Valletta had fallen three goals behind at the interval, on a 5-8 score, and suffered more goals after the break, before they rallied back to two goals in arrears. Marsascala soon restored their previous advantage, and were in control in the final session, but the Citizens made a final spurt, to crawl back to two goals down, but that was as far as they got, and Marsascala played out the remaining time, to draw first blood.

For them there were Joseph Kayes and Stephen Micallef with a hat trick each, whilst the two Hungarians grabbed the major part of the goals for Valletta, with David Zoltan on a nap hand, and Robert Kovacs with a poker of goals.

At the end of the match there were heated exchanges between players on both sides, before order was restored, for the next match to be played.

Marsascala: K. Schembri, G. Hedegus 2, M. Pace 1, K. Navarro, J. Kayes 3, L. Grixt 1, J. Licari 2, J. Cremona 1, S. Micallef 3, R. Scerri 1, D. Cassar, M. Fenech, B. Muscat

Valletta: A. Sammut, JC Farrugia, R. Calleja, An. Galea 1, T. Agius, S. Cachia 2, Al. Galea , M. Cordina, R. Kovacs 4, D. Zoltan 5, A. Arrigo , E. Arrigo, K. Hyzler

Referees: P. Giordano, S. Scollo



  1. Supporter veru says:

    Naqbel mieghek Wenger. Nahseb li Jordan Camilleri ta sehmu ukoll ghax huwa bla dubbju wiehed mill-ahjar defenders li hawn .


    Wenger Reply:

    Of course. My apologies to Jordan…a terrible lapsus!! I will offer him a beer on Wednesday night!


    Ma ninsewx Reply:

    I think that one must thank the Neptunes President, Matthew Bonello for masterminding and putting together such a strong team over the past 3 years…. People like him work in the background and don’t score the goals, but they ensure that the team can function properly.


    Wenger Reply:

    Without doubt. Bonell’s reaction which led to his eventual suspension rocked a number of quarters but lessons have been learnt. If the 21st championship is earned, this should be dedicated to Matthew for being harshly censured.


  2. 100th says:

    I think you’d need about 4/5 James Falzons to make up for Stevie. yesterday with him and Aleksander Ciric leading the team and Tamas Molnar back to his usual self sliema stood no chance. Lets hope this trio can lead the way again on wednesday to secure neptunes’ their title.


    Spiderman Reply:

    I agree up to a certain point. Stevie performed well against all teams this year except when it mattered against Sliema … Gergely is his bestia nera!! thERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Hopefully he can overcome this on Wednesday and close this chapter with the sliema goalie.

    Otherwise i agree that Ciric and Molnar have proven to be excellent choices by Neptunes. Ciric was solid and has peaked perfectly. Molnar was in the shadows all season but in the finals exploded into his former self.

    Sliema have themselves to blame as Salamon was out of the picture in the finals so far, and Gergely in goal can only save a percentage of goals. Coleiro would have been slightly worse than him, but putting him in goal would have given Sliema the chance to get a power forward to complement Salamon who can bring in the goals.


    100th Reply:

    I do not agree with you . Stevie scored 5 in the first game and im sure after that the players were given strict orders by Sergio not to allow him any comfortable shots. stevie has a much more important role than just scoring . last game he completely forced Salomon out of the game and still managed to make a difference in attack with a couple of goals and constantly being a threat upfront


    Wenger Reply:

    It is an undeniable fact that  Neptunes do not have any steady  goalkeepers, But Ian Bugeja showed that when the defence in front of him do sufficient covering  he was up to it and could not be beaten easily. Of course Ryan Sciortino  could have performed the same as the defending by all players in the last two games was second to none. Despite their deficiencies Neptunes persisted with these goalkeepers all season and I do not think they fared badly.
    Sliema, on the other hand, have to admit that their experiment to sacrifice Ryan Coleiro for a ‘world class’ goalkeeper was a total flop. Another player was needed to complement the others as apart from Gabaretta, a Neptunes product by the way, I did not see any other player on a par with the Neptunes players.
    By not scoring many goals does not mean that Stevie underperformed. On the contrary, in the last match for example he  drew two three and even four Sliema players to tackle him, leaving other players a free way to attack Sliema. And besides scoring two goals himself, he denied Sliema’s ‘wonder boy’ Salamon from finding the net. Sunday’s match spoke volumes of Steve’s capabilities.
    Mind you, Neptunes team did not only consist of Ian, Steve and the two foreigners. What about captain Lanzon, Shaun Gravina, Michele Stellini and Clint Mercieca (besides Cocci Aquilina,  and Gabriel Pace who were good substitutes)? 
    You have to admit that Sliema did not live in the same street as Neptunes these past three years.
    One thing I almost forgot to mention was the “excellent’ refereeing so far. Mistakes were made but these appeared to be genuine and acceptable by one and all. 



  3. John A Gauci says:

    Having a foreign goalkeeper only worked in flashes but  Sliema cannot play a whole programme with a foreign player short in the flow of the game. Also I believe when Neptunes have in Steve Camilleri a player with vast experience in a the Italian league we needed James Falzon earlier in the season.

    I also think the new set up when one team goes straight to the final and has a good rest,  and an extra week training,  whilst the other finalist has to play at least two hard games if not three to enter the final is unfair and should be scrapped.

    Sliema have only themselves to blame for losing to Sirens in the fourth session –  a Sirens  team who really had no interest  but still  came out fighting like lions and this favoured Neptunes.


  4. Spiderman says:

    Sliema’s supporters are already admitting on social media that Neptunes deserve the league. The blame lies on whoever chose the foreigners and on Afric for mismanaging his team.

    And without Clint Debono as captain I;m sorry but Sliema have lost their grinta. No leader in the water.

    Only a miracle can win them the league in this historic centenary year.


    julrach Reply:

    it ain’t over till its Over


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