Luxol leave it late to win the match

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Wil­lie Vas­sallo

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

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