Sliema McDonald’s, despite having some long-term absentees, managed to avenge their first-round defeat against San Ġiljan Giuseppe’s yesterday to move to within two points of their opponents and thus consolidate their third place.
It was a reassuring perfor-mance from the confident Blues which should be a fillip for their sporting battles ahead.
Indeed, they played more cohesively than of late and Sliema’s near-perfect eight-on-nine sheet on numerical advan-tages, as well as their deadly finishing, should boost their confidence levels.
As for San Ġiljan, they were a pale shadow of the team that performed so well in the last match against the Blues.
Their four-on-12 scoring rate on man-ups contrasted sharply with Sliema’s.
Converting their first man-up set, and scoring two more, Sliema took a 3-0 lead before the Saints started wasting their extra-man occasions.
However, they reduced the arrears only for Sliema to restore their three-goal advantage.
The team guided by Sergio Afric used rigid press and double marked on the centre. They continued flying off the blocks, converting their fourth conse-cutive man-up for a healthy 6-1 lead.
Two goals at each end made it 8-3 before Christian Gialanze reduced the arrears to 8-4 in extremis before ends were changed.
The Saints could not shake off their wastefulness. Nikolai Lubrano scored his third goal, beating Keith Schembri who had substituted Dean Camilleri in the Saints goal.
Lubrano added another to help his team to a buffer of 11-6 with the last quarter left.
In that last session, and with Filip Trajkovic fouled out for the Saints, Sliema brought in some of their fringe players among whom Edward Meli.
The Sliema youngster cele-brated this inclusion with the last goal for his team.
San Ġiljan 9
(1-4, 3-4, 2-3, 3-5)
San Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, J.C. Cutajar, N. Sutic 5, K. Galea, F. Trajkovic 2, K. Dowling, L. Grixti, A. Bianchi 1, M. Borg Spiteri, C. Gialanze 1, P. Fava, A. Galea, K. Schembri.
Sliema: R. Coleiro, E. Meli 1, N. Lubrano 4, R. Fodor 2, M. Meli 3, J. Soler 1, D. Paolella 1, M. Spiteri Staines, C. Debono 2, M. Rizzo 1, B. Rath 1, J. Spiteri Staines, D. Abela.
Referees: M. Angilleri, L. Castagnola.