BOV National Premier League
Neptunes Emirates 9
Sliema McDonalds 10
(4-2, 2-1, 3-5, 0-2)
In the space of a week the champions suffered back to back losses, losing their hold on the top position, now shared by Sliema and San Giljan, with Neptunes a point behind. The Saints have played a game more.
The two sides are now on two victories each this season, both clinching an honour over each other, with Sliema bagging the President’s Cup, and Neptunes winning the BOV K.O.
It looked odds on a victory for the champions, midway through the encounter, when Neptunes were enjoying a three goal advantage, at 6-3, after opening up well in their man ups. Later on they started to miss, ending up with five from twelve. Sliema were also having difficulty in their favourable expulsions, netting only three from ten.
The tide turned after the interval, when Sliema were more incisive, as they crawled back to a goal in arrears, 8-9, with a session to go. The Blues then managed to even the score, before a series of failed opportunities, with a player more in the water, befell both sides.
Sliema then eked out a lead, with a Ferenc Salamon goal, his fourth in the match, and they grimly held on, to reach San Giljan at the top.
Michele Stellini again had a happy time against the Sliema defence, netting a further poker of goals, but he still finished up on the losing side.
Surely the champions will do a lot of soul searching in the next few days, before their next encounter.
Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon , E. Aquilina , M. Stellini 4, G. Pace , A. Ciric 2, S. Camilleri 2, J. Camilleri , B. Lanzon , S. Gravina , R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 1, C. Mercieca
Sliema: I. Gergely, J. Gabarretta 2, N. Lubrano , P. Privitera , M. Meli , J. Soler , D. Paolella , J. Brownrigg 2, C. Debono 2, F. Salamon 4, M. Rizzo, M. Spiteri Staines , C. Cluett
Referees: M. Dalli, P. Bensaia