Se­cond Star­lites win over the Pao­lites

Malta Independent - - SPORT - ■ Wil­lie Vas­sallo

Hiber­ni­ans 43

Star­lites Naxxar 49

(10-11, 14-18, 6-15, 13-5)

Hibs just failed to land the Su­per Cup a week back but their se­cond meet­ing with Star­lites was not on the same level and they paid the price.

True they were not the dar­lings of the gods. Raisa Vella cried off in the warm up be­fore the start of the match and Emma Mi­callef and Trudy Arm­stead also suf­fered in­juries which had them los­ing time on court but no one can deny Star­lites’ per­for­mance as Joey Grima’s pres­ence has given them a huge fil­lip and Pa­tri­cia Ar­guello’s con­tri­bu­tion did the rest.

Star­lites can al­ready boast of beating the Pao­lites twice so early in the sea­son.

With Vella’s omis­sion, Hibs lost their height fac­tor and Grima could ex­ploit her zone play at the other end. Star­lites also had their ab­sen­tee the in­jured Kirsty Galea who had to watch from the bench.

A slow start to the match had the lead chang­ing hands five times as Ar­guello sank her first triple for Star­lites. Hibs tied the score but they again fell be­hind al­though they man­aged to go to within a point till the end of the pe­riod.

A three hoop run had the Pao­lites forg­ing ahead in the next ses­sion but Star­lites replied with a solid 14-2 run mainly from Grima as they over­turned the score once more. Elena Cas­sar and Iona Agius net­ted Hibs triples but Star­lites an­swered with their hoops to hold on to their ad­van­tage on a 29-24 score at the in­ter­val.

Af­ter the break, Star­lites re­lied on more Grima hoops to eke out another 7-2 run. Arm­stead re­acted for the Pao­lites with a brace of hoops but the rest of the ses­sion had Star­lites inch­ing for­ward to a bet­ter ad­van­tage with another 8-0 run as Grima and Ar­guello put in their triples for a bet­ter 44-30 lead.

The Pao­lites made a de­ter­mined ef­fort in the last quar­ter as they started off with a long 10-0 run with Arm­stead mak­ing nearly all the hoops. They were fi­nally stopped with another Ar­guello trey and though they came back in con­tention a last Ar­guello hoop set­tled the out­come of the match leav­ing Star­lites the vic­tors.

Hibs: E. Mi­callef 2, E. Cas­sar 12, N. Vella I. Agius 5, K. Caru­ana 4, R. Vella, K. Por­tanier Mif­sud, N. Far­ru­gia 2, T. Arm­stead 16, J. Scerri 2

Star­lites: D. Agius, J. Mi­callef, J. Doughty 2, S. Tabone 2, M. Zam­mit Cor­dina , K. Pirotta 4, J. Grima 20, P. Ar­guello 15, E. Ma­grin, S. Davies 2, A. De­manuele 2

Ref­er­ees: G. Bar­bara, K. Djor­niczak

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