Good show by the Boys

Exiles 12 Sliema 14

The well-drilled Exiles team lead by Assistant Coach Matthew Pisani, are to be commended for their fighting spirit displayed  yesterday evening and their concentration which gained the admiration of the neutrals who were filling the stands at the National Pool in anticipation of the  the top of the table clash between Neptunes and San Giljan which followed on the night’s programme.

The first two quarters saw Exiles keep up with their stronger opponents and twice forged ahead by a solitary goal (5-4) before Sliema scored two quick goals in the last minute to edge 6-5 in their favour at the half-way mark.  In the third session the Blues stretched their lead to three goals (8-5) in their first attack, but Exiles recovered to close the gap to one goal (8-9) by the end of it. During this session Exiles suffered four expulsions but Sliema managed to score just once. In the dying seconds in between Sliema’s brace, Romain Blary seemed from the stands to have been fouled by three Sliema players but the referee waved play on. In the final quarter, the Blues scored their three man-ups and our rearguard was surprised by two goals from young left-hander Mark Fenech. Exiles missed one of the three man-ups in this session and Sliema put their minds at rest in the last minute when they scored to open a three goal lead (14-11) before Andrea Bianchi found the net with 31 seconds to the final horn for a good result for the boys (12-14).

Both teams had a 50% success rate when they had an extra man in the water but Sliema had twelve chances and two penalties given whilst Exiles had six (five exclusions awarded in the 3rd and 4th quarters). Considering that Exiles played a zone defence the amount of exclusions was higher than had they opted for a press.

Eleven players took the water – Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo (1 goal),David Pace Lupi (1 goal), Romain Blary (1 goal), James Spiteri Staines, Sean Gravina (1 goal), Kurt Griscti, Andrea Bianchi (1 goal), Marco Cuk (6 goals), and Kayne Lanzon (1 goal). Goalkeeper David Abela and Philip Paris were not utilized.




photo by Adrian Farrugia


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