Malta Independent

Sirens win the first game in dramatic fashion

- Stewart Said

Exiles Elia Caterers 6 Sirens Greentube 7 (2-1), (2-2), (0-1), (2-3)

A goal by youngster Jacob Sciberras gave Sirens Greentube an important advantage as they edged Exiles Elia Caterers 7-6 in a balanced affair.

Exiles were coming from two splendid performanc­es against Neptunes and Sliema, but they failed to live up to their hype as they started this game as favourites.

This was the first time that Sirens won against Exiles as Marco Cuk’s team won the first round match 98 while the match in the second round ended 8-8.

Exiles had a two-goal advantage in the first session and looked to be in the usual shape. But a goal from John Brownrigg right at the end of the session, changed things as Sirens started the second session better and turned the table with two goals from Clint Mercieca and Marc Grech.

Exiles were concentrat­ed enough to finish the session in front with two goals from Mark Fenech and Nicky Paris. Sirens equalised from Nicolas Bicari with the only goal of the third session.

Marc Grech put Sirens again in front with their first action of the last session. Serbian Slobodan Nikic made it 5-5 and a minute later Mark Fenech scored his third personal goal to give Exiles the lead. But Luke Caruana had other plans and equalised to make sure that there will be a nail-biting finish.

With 43 seconds till the end of the game, Sirens coach Sasko Popovski called a time-out and from the resultant action, Jacob Sciberras scored the winner, as Sirens defended the last attempt from Exiles.

Exiles: M. Castillo, M. Fenech (3), A. Bianchi, M. Stellini (1), T. Sullivan, S. Xerri de Caro, S. Nikic (1), K. Griscti, N. Paris (1), A. Cousin, B. Lanzon, P. Paris, G. Ciappara

Sirens: N. Grixti, P. Privitera, E. Aquilina, N. Bicari (1), M. Grech (2), I. Riolo, C. Mercieca (1), J. Sciberras (1), J. Napier, G. Sammut, L. Caruana (1), J. Brownrigg (1), G. Galea Curmi

Referees: Mario Dalli, Alessandro Severo

Neptunes Leo Vegas 15 Valletta Videoslots 6 (2-0), (6-2), (4-1), (3-3)

After two rounds of the league, the prediction of the game surely put Neptunes Leo Vegas with a clear advantage to advance to the play-offs semi-finals.

They recovered from two consecutiv­e defeats against Exiles and San Ġiljan to ease past Valletta Videoslots with a commanding 15-6 win to practicall­y seal their place against Sliema as the second game will be a formality.

Neptunes had already won the game by the end of the second session but as the regulation­s stand, they needed to win by a big margin to assure themselves of qualificat­ion as it is almost impossible that Valletta will win by ten goals.

Michele Mifsud’s goal in the beginning of the second session could have given a different picture to the game, after Neptunes had won the first session 2-0.

But Neptunes upped their tempo to exploit the weaknesses of their opponents and took a comfortabl­e 8-2 lead by the end of the second session, courtesy of a hat-trick by Stevie Camilleri and a goal each by Gabriel Pace, Jordan Camilleri and Petar Muslim.

After the break, the rhythm of the game slowed down but Neptunes kept playing to win by a bigger margin without a huge effort.

Gabriel Pace, Matthias Azzopardi and a brace by Petar Muslim widened the gap to nine goals.

Marthon Toth scored the only goal for Valletta.

Neptunes continued to control till the end of the game as Valletta tried to limit the damage.

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon, K. Erdogan, G. Pace (2), P. Muslim (4), N. Zammit, S. Camilleri (3), J. Camilleri (4), J. Abela (1), M. Zammit, J. Muscat, M. Azzopardi (1), J. Parnis

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, A. Agius, M. Mifsud (2), T. Agius, R. Mock, D. Paolella, M. Toth (3), N. Bonello Ghio, C. Zammit (1), N. Farrugia, L. Gialanze, M. Lanzon. Referees: Massimo Angileri, Fabio Riciotti

Referees: Massimo Angileri, Fabio Riciotti

 ?? Photo: Domenic Aquilina ?? Marc Grech (R) of Sirens Greentube scores during his side’s 7-6 win over Exiles Elia Caterers
Photo: Domenic Aquilina Marc Grech (R) of Sirens Greentube scores during his side’s 7-6 win over Exiles Elia Caterers

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