Exiles pip Sirens to win the points

Exiles 12 Sirens 11

By far this was the best result obtained by Maurizio Mirarchi’s team this season. Yet there were times in the third session when the team seemed to let go and within just over 108 seconds of actual play when the scoreline was 6-6, Sirens piled four goals in a row. Three of these goals conceded originated from poor passing and subsequent breaks. The team somehow managed to narrow the gap to two (8-10) by the start of the fourth quarter. One minute in the fourth session Exiles went one down and equalized from a man-up situation (10-10). The Boys had another two man-ups but failed to score. Sirens took the opportunity of a double man up to nose ahead 11-10 with the seconds ticking. This was forty seconds away from the final horn. Romain Blary won a penalty after 10 seconds’ play and Marco Cuk converted (11-11). It was the Northerners turn to end the match with the ball in their posession but a move by Marco Cuk who swam away  whilst Sirens were setting for a final shot, somehow disoriented  our opponents’ plan to change tack but the finishing was weak with the ball ending in Exiles keeper  – Ian Bugeja’s hands 4 seconds to go. In two quick passes the ball floated to Marco Cuk who despite being tackled by three crowding defenders, managed to flick the ball at the back of the net. There were protests by the Sirens bench but the officials convalidated the goal.

Yesterday’s performance by Mirarchi’s team was varied with both teams practically at the same level in the first half whilst the third and fourth session were contrasting from Sirens opening what was considered as an unassailable lead to the final rush of the Boys  to pull it at the wire. It was a great team effort with the defence inspiring the build-up of the attacks finished by a deadly Marco Cuk who with 10 goals spearheaded the team to a well-earned victory over the revelation team of this year’s Premier waterpolo season. Other factors contributing to this merited win were a steady defence marshalled by Ian Bugeja, the conversion of four straight man-ups at the crucial moments in the third and fourth session and the instructions by Mirarchi to switch of marking of our opponents’ foreign players at the half-way mark.

Exiles found the net four times out of the eight man-ups situations and were awarded three penalties which were converted whilst Sirens scored 5 out of their 11 man-ups and had also a penalty which was scored.

Maurizio Mirarchi  Exiles Coach, made use of just ten players – Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi, Romain Blary, James Spiteri Staines (1 goal), Kurt Griscti, Andrea Bianchi (1 goal), Marco Cuk (10 goals) and Kayne Lanzon. Goalkeeper Steve Galea Pace, Philip Paris and Jake Bajada were not utilized.




photo by Adrian Farrugia


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