Luxol leave it late to win the match
Starlites Naxxar 53 Caffe Moak Luxol 56 (17-12, 12-10, 15-17, 9-17)
The champions had an easy victory over Starlites early on in the season but this time they ran a grave risk of ending up empty handed in their opening league match of the season.
Starlites wouldn’t have stolen anything from the match. They made a good start and led for three whole sessions of play only to succumb in the last one when Luxol applied the pressure.
Starlites included a new face, Diane Revol, but Luxol were welcoming back nearly half the side who had missed their semi final debacle to Athleta. Sarah Pace Mandi mercieca and Noelene Vella were back in the side and Beverlee Zammit entered into the fray after her rib injury which kept her out for weeks.
Christine Curmi netted Luxol’s opening hoop but Starlites took over and subjected their opponenst to a heavy 13-2 run as Patricia Arguello and Joey Grima sank their triples.
Luxol finally reacted with an 82 run before Grima put in another Starlites hoop for a first session advantage. Starlites were still keeping the upper hand in the next period with the luxol lasses trying hard to overturn the score.
They did go quite near but late Jean Doughty and Arguello treys had Starlites on a better advantage with a 29-22 score at the interval.
After the break, Starlites were in full cry even though Pace netted a Luxol triple but Starlites managed a 12-3 run with further Arguello and Grima treys for a heavy advantage at 41-25.
A time out brought the champions to their senses and they started their long way back putting in a solid 14-3 run a brace of Steffi DeMartino triples. Doughty also netted a trey for Starlites but their lead had gone down to a 44-39 score.
Luxol kept on in the last session and an 8-0 run had them jumping in front mostly from Curmi hoops. Starlites found ways to claw their way back and tied the score with a fourth Arguello triple.
Pace also netted a trey soon after and the champions were again ahead and though Starlites were breathing down their necks till the end of the match a Martina Darmanin hoop gave them just enough leverage to go past the winning line.
Starlites: D. Agius, K. Galea, J. Doughty 8, S. Farrugia 7, D. Revol, K. Pirotta, J. Micallef, J. Grima 16, P. Arguello 19, E. Magrin, S. Davies 1, A. Lupo 2
Luxol: S. Pace 12, B. Zammit, M. Mercieca, I. Baena Medina, M. Darmanin 7, S. DeMartino 16, K. Portelli, N. Vella, P. Ellul, L. Lessard 6, C. Curmi 15
Referees: S. Micallef, Z. Dobrosavljevic