Sliema Frank Salt 10
(1-4, 5-2, 2-3, 3-1)
San Giljan: D. Camilleri, JC Cutajar, C. Gialanze, K. Galea 1, J. Sammut, M. Zammit 1, M. Avramovic 3, A. Bianchi, C. Spiteri de Barro, P. Biros 3, P. Fava 1,
D. Zammit 2, M. Pisani Sliema: R. Coleiro, D. Buric 3, N. Lu- brano, T. Sullivan, M. Meli 1, J. Soler 1, G. Kiss 2, E. Aquilina 1, J. Brownrigg, J. Gabarretta 1, D. Paolella, M. Spiteri Staines 1, C. Cluett
Referees: A. DeRaffaele, R. Daniele
It was just two days ago that the Saints were soundly beaten by a confident Sliema side. The Saints, who in the meantime had lost coach Karl Izzo, who resigned, were under the guidance of the Spaniard, Svilen Piralkov. San Giljan will have Sergio Afric as their mentor, as from today.
San Giljan bounced back in earnest, as they did the league double over the Blues, and repeated their opening round score, when they netted their winning goal less than two seconds from time. Sliema replaced their veteran, Samir Barac, with his Croatian compatriot, Damir Buric. The latter began strongly, but in the next sessions was well marshalled by the Saints’ defence, as the Sliema side were overhauled by their opponents.
In the last period the Blues seemed apprehensive and their fears were compounded as the Saints finished on a top note, grabbing the game’s last three strikes to go alongside Neptunes at the top of the standings, but with a match more.
It was Peter Biros for the Saints, with the opening goal, but Sliema replied in a solid fashion, putting in four goals in a row, from Buric twice, and in between Mark Meli and Jerome Gabarretta increased Sliema’s advantage. San Giljan went to within a goal in the next period, as Matthew Zammit and a Biros penalty took the Saints back into the reckoning. John Soler doubled the Blues’ lead, but Paul Fava reduced San Giljan’s arrears. Again Sliema went two up, through Gergely Kiss, but by the interval it was a drawn encounter, as the Saints replied with Marko Avramovic and Dino Zammit for a 6-6 score. After the break Sliema forged ahead once more, with Buric and Michael Spiteri strikes. Avramovic halved San Giljan’s deficit, but Edward Aquilina put the Blues two up again. Dino Zammit put the Saints just a goal behind, at 8-9, and the last quarter began.
Kiss doubled Sliema’s advantage one more time, but the Blues began to focus more on defence, and allowed the Saints to dictate the play. San Giljan came back with another Biros penalty throw, and Avramovic brought them level. In a tense finish to the match the Saints broke away in the last seconds, with Karl Galea pushing home the Saints’ winner, practically taking Sliema out of the league title race.
San Giljan were better, man up wise, with four goals from seven expulsions. The Blues only managed three strikes from eight man ups. Hat tricks were registered by the foreigners, Biros and Avramovic for the Saints, and new boy, Buric for the Blues.