Positive start for Exiles not enough

Exiles 8 Neptunes 16

(3-3) ( 1-4) (0-4) (4-5)

Exiles had a flying start forging ahead in their first attack, potting a well executed man-up and after a building a two-goal lead (3-1), missed a good opportunity to increase their margin for Neptunes to catch up to end the first quarter six goal apiece. Our opponents took longer to settle thanks also to a better disciplined Exiles rear-guard and their accurate passing in their attacks. The match was balanced until five minutes into the second quarter when the Reds turned the deficit into a two-goal lead (4-6) before a fluke goal by Cosmin Radu saw their lead increase to three by the end of the half-way mark.

The third quarter proved fatal for Exiles when three expulsions were converted by our opponents to widen the gap by seven goals (4-11) to close the contest. In the last quarter, there was more free swimming and Exiles managed to find the net four times after Neptunes put in between the sticks their second goalkeeper whilst¬† Exiles’ custodian Ian Bugeja was also substituted later in the session to give Gianni Ciappara a few minutes’ experience for a final score of 8-16.

Considering their opponents’ squad, Exiles could have fared better and once Neptunes were forced to double mark Vukicevic, more initiative was expected from the rest of his team mates in the attack. The final accurate pass to the centre that is so crucial for an exclusion or a scoring opportunity, was lacking as the match progressed. Swimming back into a defensive position was well executed and the team hardly suffered goals on the counter attack.

Exiles had eight players excluded and two penalties were awarded against with the Reds missing just one man-up. They did convert three of their eight extra-man situations.

Dorian Pisani and his deputy Matthew Pisani had the full squad at his disposal and all the players on the score sheet were utilized namely Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo David Pace Lupi, Daniel Borg Millo, Edward Gravina, Sean Gravina (1 goal), Kurt Griscti (2 goals), Nicky Paris (1 goal), Andrea Bianchi, Milos Vukicevic (3 goals), Kayne Lanzon (1 goal) and second goalkeeper Gianni Ciappara.




photo by Adrian Farrugia


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