San Ġiljan 14
(4-4, 2-2, 3-6, 5-3 – agg: 21-29)
San Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, J.C. Cutajar 1, D. Brguljan 8, K. Galea 1, B. Plump-ton, M. Zammit 1, B. Letica 2, A. Bianchi 1, R. Mock, C. Gialanze, K. Mock, D. Abela, M. Pisani.
Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 2, E. Aquilina, M. Stellini 2, G. Pace 1, A. Ciric 2, S. Camilleri 4, J. Camilleri, B. Lanzon, S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 3, C. Mercieca 1.
Refs: M. Dalli, C. Congiu.
It was a close score at the end , but the champions had a handsome first game lead to rest on, and this helped them through, to defend the honour won last season. The saints, who had coach, Karl Izzo, suspended, with Bogdan Rath in his place, stayed close, and were level after the opening period. San Giljan also changed their foreign line up, with Boris Letica taking Nicola Sutic’s place. Neptunes opened up another advantage in the second session, but San Giljan pulled back till the interval, for a 6-6 score.
The Saints again had to come back in the third session, but late goals had the champions on a good 12-9 lead. Neptunes increased their lead further, to a four goal one, but the Saints grimly returned, to strike four times in a row, and level the match. A late Gabriel Pace goal made it a Neptunes win, but the aggregate was heavily in their favour.
The Saints had a good six from ten man ups, but the champions were fickle in their six extra player occasions, scoring only once.
Darko Brguljan was deadly accurate for San Giljan, netting a total of eight goals. Neptunes’ reply came from the usual Steve Camilleri, with a poker of goals, and Tamas Molnar put in three more.