Play Offs Premier S/F 2
San Giljan Giuseppe’s 8
Sliema McDonalds 8
aet (15-16 on penalties)
(2-1, 3-3, 1-1, 2-1)
What a rollercoaster of a match, a marathon game, which was finally decided after no less than twenty two penalties were taken, after a stalemate between the two sides, which went on into extra time, with no definite result.
Sliema, who trailed for most of the match, could have made it theirs when San Giljan’s Andrea Bianchi was sent off without substitution for four minutes in the final session. Sliema not only made no progress in that time, but also conceded an early goal. In the remaining time both sides lost players on fouls, John brownrigg for the Blues and Matthew Zammit for the Saints. Sliema were in front at the end, but Christian Gialanze saved the match for San Giljan, and extra time had to be played.
Sliema then also lost Jerome Gabarretta and Ferenc Salamon on fouls, leaving them with no foreigners in open play. The Saints also had three man-ups in their favour in these two extra periods but failed to score and the match dragged on into the taking of penalties.
In the first set of five, both sides scored three times, and sudden death came into the reckoning. In the second set of five the teams were still locked, with four strikes each and a third set had to be taken. Sliema here scored , but San Giljan’s Boris Letica struck his penalty against the bar and Sliema were finally through to the final, the first of which, in a best of five, will start next Wednesday, between the current champions Neptunes Emirates and Sliema McDonalds.
San Giljan: D. Camilleri, JC Cutajar , N. Sutic 2, K. Galea 1, K. Dowling , M. Zammit 1, B. Letica 3, A. Bianchi , K. Mock , C. Gialanze 1, P. Fava, D. Abela , M. Pisani
Sliema: I. Gergely, J. Gabarretta 1, N. Lubrano 1, P. Privitera , M. Meli 1, J. Soler 3, D. Paolella , J. Brownrigg , C. Debono , F. Salamon , J. Falzon , M. Spiteri Staines 2, R. Coleiro
Referees: P. Balzan, D. Saeli