Ath­leta win the Shield for the first time

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Gzira Ath­leta 53 Depiro 43 (13-16, 14-7, 8-6, 18-14)

Both sides had beaten the cham­pi­ons, and hold­ers of this hon­our, on their way to the fi­nal.

They had also met each other once, in the In­de­pen­dence Cup, with Ath­leta be­ing the win­ners. They also won this fi­nal, to put their names down for the first time, on the Shield.

A solid run, in the last quar­ter, gave Ath­leta the boost they needed to break away from their ad­ver­saries.

Depiro did make a late surge, but it fell short, and Ath­leta could hold on to win, in their sec­ond fi­nal this sea­son, after hav­ing tasted de­feat in the In­de­pen­dence Cup, to Luxol.

Ath­leta were miss­ing their Ser­bian player, Mil­ica Ste­fanovic, and Depiro in­cluded the Welsh girl, Hay­ley Acre­man.

Ath­leta's first points of the match were an­swered to by Depiro's triples, by Sam Brin­cat and Gaby Mif­sud, as their side went in front.

The lead then changed hands four more times, be­fore Christina Grima sank an Ath­leta trey. Ath­leta's ad­van­tage didn't last long, as Misud's sec­ond triple and Clau­dia Camil­leri free shots put Depiro ahead.

In the next pe­riod Amelia Sim­mons points, and a triple, took Ath­leta in an­other ad­van­tage, with Depiro twice tak­ing the score on level terms.

Grima's sec­ond trey gave Ath­leta an­other lead, and though it was all Shameeka Murray points for Depiro in this ses­sion, Ath­leta were still in front till the in­ter­val, on a 27-23 score.

After the break Ath­leta en­hanced their lead with a three bas­ket spread, with the points then be­com­ing scarcer.

Depiro cut back on their deficit slightly, with Ath­leta still in front, after three ses­sions of play, on a 35-29 score. Depiro re­acted to Ath­leta's next hoop, with a brace of their own, but then they were hit by a long Ath­leta spurt, which gave them a good 11-0 run, which threw Depiro way be­hind.

They came surg­ing back, to make up a 10-0 run, end­ing with a cou­ple more Gaby Mif­sud triples. Ath­leta then closed down the match their last free throws of the match, from Denise Said Hol­lier and Leanne Sciber­ras.

At the end of the en­counter the Ath­leta skip­per, Leanne Sciber­ras, was pre­sented the win­ning tro­phy by the MBA gen­eral sec­re­tary, Joseph Mus­cat.

Ath­leta: C. Grima 13, M. Pol­lacco, S. Pisani, L. Sciber­ras 12, A. Sim­mons 14, D. Said Hol­lier 5, A. Borg 7, J. Schem­bri, S. Vella 2, E. Pace , C. Mif­sud

Depiro: A. Mif­sud, G. Mif­sud 12, N. Agius, S. Brin­cat 7, M. Bonett 5, C. Camil­leri 2 S. Murray 9, M. Sci­cluna, M. Mi­callef, H. Acre­man, T. DeMartino 4, C. Ciantar 4 Ref­er­ees: G. Bar­bara, I. Mar­janovic

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