San Giljan maintain two-point lead over Neptunes with a round to play

San Giljan Crystal Finance     7     Neptunes Grimaldi     7

(3-1, 1-2, 2-3, 1-1)

After a gruelling encounter, which left both sets of players exhausted, the drawn result leaves everything as it was before, with the Saints still enjoying a two-point advantage at the top of the standings. There were three telling occasions in this awaited match, with San Giljan having the better opening, and establishing a three-goal cushion. Neptunes, who seemed inept at first, came into their own, as they wiped out their deficit to go in front after the interval. The Saints tied the score before the last quarter, with both sides then working themselves to a frenzy, but the two keepers were on top of their form. The two neighbours could only score once more, and they both lost their last possession. Goals by Guillermo Molina, Peter Borg and Aurelien gave the saints an early lead, with the champions having a Peter Biros strike in reply. In the next period Boris Vapenski lobbed into the net for a better Saints’ advantage, but Neptunes came back in the reckoning, with a brace of Steve Camilleri goals, the second from a penalty. At the interval the Saints led on a mere, and low, 4-3 score. After the break Neptunes continued where they left off, and two more strikes by Michele Stellini and another Camilleri penalty had the champions forging in front. Molina had San Giljan back on level terms, but Timmy Agius paid back his presence in the water to put Neptunes ahead once more. It was again Molina to take San Giljan on a tie, at 6-6, and that is how the last session started. San Giljan had their skipper Matthew Zammit ramming home to put them ahead, but Neptunes again brought parity with an Ivan Krapic goal. The Saints missed their lastman up, Neptunes were left with the last possession of the match, but their final shot was deflected, and the two two sides ended the game all square. Both San Giljan’s Molina and Neptunes’ Camilleri registered hat tricks. It now remains to be seen how both sides will fare against Sliema, before they will meet each other once more, in the last match of the series.

San Giljan: J. Sammut, P. Borg 1, A. Galea , B. Vapenski 1, G. Molina 3, M. Zammit 1, K. Galea , Da. Zammit , B. Plumpton , A. Cousin 1, P. Fava ,  Di. Zammit , D. Spiteri

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon , M. Castillo , M. Stellini 1, T. Agius 1,I. Krapic 1,  S. Camilleri 3, J. Camilleri , J. Abela , P. Biros 1, B. LanzonS. Xerri de Caro , C. Mercieca

Referees: M. Bianchi, S. O’Brien