Another heavy defeat for Exiles

Sliema 23 Exiles 11

(6-2) (7-3) (2-4) (8-2)

Last night we witnessed a dismal performance by the team. There were flashes of resistance in the first session when trailing 2-5 Sasha Radovic swam from mid-pitch but missed the target and we paid dearly for it as from Sliema’s next attack, we conceded a goal for the Blues to stretch their lead to four goals. The next sign of a reaction was seen in at the start of the third session when within the space 97 seconds effective play we found the net three times to reduce the gap to five goals – a recovery was unthinkable but could have been a dose of confidence to Coach Aurelien Cousin who in the second quarter had already given up when he changed five elements including Sasha and Voja when the going got tough as Sliema piled goals at their leisure. In the fourth session the deluge arrived.

Basic Mistakes

Most of the goals conceded originated from lack of concentration on our part when launching the attacks. As the seconds tick towards zero, those players without the ball have to prepare themselves for the retreat into a defending position. This was nonexistent last night as our opponents swam in numerical advantage on several occasions. When you make it difficult for your opponents to score in a set defence, you gain the confidence required to fight back. Every time we conceded a goal and resumed play, the player receiving the back pass had on quite a few times, problems to serving the ball to his team mates. We even suffered a goal when the last man with the ball was pressed and robbed of the ball to concede a gift to our opponents. It is hard to believe how we also managed to lose a ball from a corner in our favour (and suffered a subsequent goal) when we were expected to hold possession for the full thirty seconds. In waterpolo it is acceptable to suffer goals when the team is a man down, or when penalties are awarded against but picking the ball from the net just because players are failing to sprint back to cover, is not.

Sliema had six man-ups, missed the first two and converted the other four – they were also awarded four penalties which they scored. Exiles had eight man-ups, scoring three times and missing five.

For the record, the following players took the water Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo (1 goal), David Pace Lupi (1 goal), Nicky Portelli, Sasha Radovic (3 goals), James Spiteri Staines, Vja Cupic (3 goals), Kurt Griscti (1 goal) (photo), Peter Borg (2 goals), Diego Borg and Kayne Lanzon.

Next fixture is on Friday 23rd August against current leaders San Giljan at the National Pool at 19.15 hours.




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