Vintage Neptunes spoil San Giljan celebrations

Saturday, August 31, 2013, 21:15

San Giljan Sir Alex and Neptunes Emirates went head to head in the final league game of the waterpolo summer league in front of a massive crowd at the National pool this evening. The Giljanizi needed just a draw to see them win their first league title since 1995, whilst Neptunes needed a win to force a decider and keep their hopes alive to win their 4th straight championship.

Tamas Molnar, match winner for Neptunes Emirates

Tamas Molnar, match winner for Neptunes Emirates

Neptunes regained their form after some very dismal outings over the past month, playing a solid defensive game and having Tamas Molnar strike the back of the net five times. On the otherhand San Giljan failed to repeat their impressive performances of late, possibly due to the pressure that the fixture presented and finding their goal scoring tempo too late in the match.

The league leaders drew first blood with a strong Paul Fava drive, but the Reds reacted strongly, scoring three successive goals through Molnar (two) and a sizzler by Sean Gravina to end the first session 3-1 in their favour.

Midway through the second session Alexander Ciric made it 4-1 for Neptunes with a fast break, Matthew Zammit got one back for San Giljan, before Molnar restored Neptunes’ three goal lead. With three seconds on the clock, Fava made it 5-3 to boost San Giljan’s confidence at the break.

In the third session both teams squandered some good chances, but captain Niki Lanzon fired the Neptunes supporters up with a fine goal, with Fava once again keping his team afloat with a tap-in, before Molnar scored a penalty, ending the third session 7-4 in Neptunes’ favour.

Ciric made it 8-4 in the beginning of the final session and Neptunes seemed to be cruising to a comfortable victory. The game took a twist when Jordan Camilleri was fouled out and Ciric and Karl Galea were excluded with substitution after an altercation in the pool between the two that progressed on the deck too. Peter Biros, who had a quiet game so far, finally got his name on the scoresheet with a soft lob, but a foul by Christian Gialanze gave Molnar his fifth goal from the penalty line to make it 9-5 with four minutes to go.

San Giljan were not beaten yet and stifled their opponents in defense, and managing to score three goals without a reply from Neptunes, twice through Zammit and one goal from Gialanze to bring the game to 9-8 for Neptunes. But with the ball in San Giljan’s possession and 21 seconds left on the clock, they failed to score the goal that would have tied the game and won the league for them.

Both teams will have their final say on Tuesday 3rd September at 18:30 as they play a decider to decide in which part of the Balluta bay the coveted trophy should go.

San Ġiljan 8 – Neptunes 9
(1-3, 2-2, 1-2, 4-2)

San Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, J.C. Cutajar, C. Gialanze 1, K. Galea, K. Dowling, M. Zammit 1, M. Avramovic, A. Bianchi, C. Spiteri de Barro, P. Biros 1, P. Fava 3, D. Zammit 2, J. Sammut.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 1, A. Sammut, M. Stellini, T. Agius, A. Ciric 2, S. Camilleri, J. Camilleri, G. Pace, S. Gravina 1, K. Debattista, T. Molnar 5, C. Mercieca.

Refs: M. Angilleri, M. De Chiara.


  1. najsu says:

    It is about time that the sports journalists and ASA officials recognize and appreciate the contribution of Neptunes’ captain Nick Lanzon. He has been outstanding in almost every game and surely deserves an award.


  2. veteran says:

    A very good performance by Neptunes to prevent an upsetting result. San Giljan suffered just five expulsions while Neptunes had eleven! I think Massimo Angilleri had an excellent match but Italian referee Di Chiara, who, in past years performied creditably in Malta, did not live up to his past standards.


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