San Giljan Salini Resort 12 Sliema Betsson 4
(4-1, 4-1, 2-1, 2-1)
The two sides met each other for the third time this season. After a drawn, 11-11, result, in the first league encounter, the Saints beat the Blues 12-7, in the next league match. This K.O. game was in San Giljan’s control, as Sliema fell rapidly behind in the first two sessions of play, and then had a mountain to climb after the interval, which they failed to do. To make matters worse for the Blues, they lost two important players , on red cards, after the break. In fairness, they had a huge deficit to make up, by then. Sliema were also on the wrong end in their man ups. The champions netted three from six, but Sliema only managed a single goal from seven occasions, as they made an early exit from the second major trophy. The Saints are still on course to emulate Sliema’s feat, in 1998, when they won all four honours in a single season. Neptunes stand in their way in both their aims, the League championship and the BOV K.O.
The champions coasted to a 3-0 advantage, in the opening session, with Peter Borg, Andreas Galea and Boris Vapenski goals. Kai Dowling pulled a goal back for the Blueas, but till the end of the period skipper, Matthew Zammit, gave the champions another three goal advantage. The story repaeted itself in the naxt session. Vapenski struck again for San Giljan, with Mark Meli obtaining a second Sliema strike. The Saints then added another trio of goals, through Galea and a brace from Dino Zammit, to go in at halftime, enjoying a solid 8-2 advantage.
After the break the champions’ superiority was not so pronounced. Matthew Zammit shot in another goal for the Saints. Edward Aquilina managed another goal for the Blues, but later on he was shown the red card, for protests, after San Giljan went a man up, for the fourth time. Before the end of the session it was captain, John Soler’s , turn to be shown the red card, for dissent, after the Saints were awarded a penalty for his illegal entry. Vapenski made no mistake from the penalty, and the champions had a 10-3 advantage, going into the last quarter. Meli netted his second goal, and Sliema’s fourth, with the Saints scorinmg their last two goals, with a Ben Plumpton lob and an Aurelien Cousin fast break from defence. San Giljan will be meeting Exiles Jetfreight in the second BOV K.O. semi final.
S. Giljan: J. Sammut , P. Borg 1, A. Galea 2, B. Vapenski 4, Da. Zammit , M. Zammit 2, K. Galea , C. Mercieca , B. Plumpton 1, A. Cousin 1, P. Fava , D. Zammit 1, D. Camilleri
Sliema: R. Coleiro , J. Gabarretta , E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett , M. Meli 2, J. Soler , K. Dowling 1, T. Sullivan , J. Brownrigg , A. Attard , M. Cuk , N. Bugelli , Z. Sciberras
Referees: M. Dalli, M. Bianchi