First win for Exiles

After eleven consecutive defeats, Exiles won their first match of the season when last night, the had the better of Valletta United, beating them 14-10.

Partial scores (5-1) (3-4) (3-1) (3-4)

Dorian Pisani’s work finally paid off when tactically his team played a quasi perfect game. They surprised their opponents with a strong start taking a four-goal lead (5-1) after the first seven minutes of play.Exiles played a zone defence with two players shadowing Valletta’s main spearhead Dimitri Kholod who found the net three times including a penalty but was restrained from shooting at his leisure from the seven-eight metres range. Exiles’ defence system left the Citizens with two options, either feeding their centre man or taking a shot from outside. The Valletta shooting was erratic but when the ball landed across the goalmouth, there was Ian Bugeja who, after a lean patch in the second quarter, proved his worth by blocking together with his team mates, the opponents’ finishing.

Exiles still depend on Milos Vukicevic’s presence in the hole to build their attacks, but yesterday their shooters were in form with Kurt Griscti scoring a hat-trick whilst Julian Rizzo Naudi and skipper Kayne Lanzon helped themselves with a double. The team was focussed on retaining the ball in their build-up to avoid suffering the counter attacks and opted to throwing it away in the dying seconds of the 30 second possession, rather than shoot at goal.

A difficult moment for the team was in the third session, when Valletta reduced a four-goal gap to two (8-6) but a brace of goals – one deviated and another contoversial one which raised protests by our opponents, gave the Boys another comfortable lead before adding anotherone in the last second of the quarter to end five goals up (11-6).

The Citizens went all out in the final session and managed to squeeze back into the match (12-10) after Exiles missed a few sitters to fail to seal the encounter. Two goals in the final two minutes tilted the game towards Exiles to bag their first three points of the season.

Exiles had 7 man ups, converting three and missing the rest. They suffered no less thirteen exclusions but Valletta succeeded into scoring 5 and missing the eight other chances, They were also were awarded a penalty which was converted.

Twelve players were utilzed by Coach Pisani, Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi (2 goals), Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi (1 goal), Daniel Borg Millo, Edward Gravina, Sean Gravina, Kurt Griscti (3 goals), Nicky Paris, Andrea Bianchi (1 goal), Milos Vukicevic (5 goals) and Kayne Lanzon (2 goals).

Undoubtedly it was a collective effort by the whole squad that showed signs of determination throughout the four quarters especially when Valletta got closer twice in the last two sessions. The  Boys’performance made amends to the dismal display against the Citizens in their last outing and it augurs well for the next clashes in the Relegation Pool against Sirens and Valletta United.


photo by Adrian Farrugia shows Milos Vukicevic who scored 5 goals for Exiles


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