Sliema Frank Salt Real Estate 8 San Giljan 11
(2-3), (2-1), (3-5), (1-2)
San Giljan were crowned waterpolo winter league champions for the second time in the club’s history. The first time was in 1995.
In a decider for the championship, the Saints had the better of Sliema with an 11-8 score, avenging the 7-6 defeat of last Sunday which enabled the Blues to force the decider. Their hero was Dino Zammit, who scored no fewer than five goals.
The first session was a close affair with San Giljan taking the lead from a man-up situation through Ben Plumpton but Sliema equalised through a deflected goal from Sullivan. Sliema profited from another man-up situation scoring through John Soler but San Giljan equalized seconds later through Dino Zammit, again from a man-up. Cousin put the saints ahead in the dying seconds of the session for a 3-2 lead.At the beginning of the second session, San Giljan suffered a blow as Plumpton was sent off with substitution. Sliema scored twice through Timmy Sullivan and Jerome Gabaretta to go into the lead but Dino Zammit equalised in the final seconds of the session to tie the score at 4-4 at the midway point.San Giljan turned the game on its head at the beginning of the third session, scoring three times in succession through Dino Zammit, Aurelian Cousin and Clint Mercieca.Kai Dowling pulled one back for Sliema but Dino Zammit made it 8-5 with a fine lob before Edward Aquilina reduced the score at 8-6. Nicholas Bugelli made it 8-7 as the game was swinging from end to end. In the dying seconds, San Giljan made it 9-7 through Andreas Galea to set up a nail-biting final session.However, after some minutes of tight play, San Giljan effectively sealed the encounter with two goals from Aurelien Cousin and Dino Zammit, with Bugelli replying for Sliema for a final score of 11-8 in the Saints’ favour.
Last season, San Giljan won the summer league and knock-out competition.
Sliema Frank Salt: R Coleiro, J Gabrretta (1), E Aquilina (1), C Cluett, M Meli, J Soler (1), M Fenech, T Sullivan (2), J Brownrigg, A Attard, K Dowling (1), N Bugelli (2), Z Sciberras
San Giljan: J Sammut, P Borg, A Galea (1), J Galea, D Zammit, M Zammit, K Galea, C Mercieca (1), B Plumpton (1), A Cousin (3), P Fava, D Zammit (5), D CamilleriReferees: M Dalli, M Angileri