Second Starlites win over the Paolites
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