Neptunes 18 Exiles 8

Exiles lost to Neptunes with an identical score registered in the First Round but this time, it took the Reds longer to get to grips with their opponents and control the match.

Exiles made an impressive start by taking a 3-1 lead early in the first session thanks to a well-drilled defence of zoning with a double-marking of Neptunes’ spearhead Krapic who is dangerous in the two-metre area and three scorchers which opponents’ goalie Alan Borg picked from the back of the his net. Neptunes took their measures to mark out of the game dangermen Marco Cuk and Romain Blary, leaving the responsibility to the other members of the team to finish our attacks. More accuracy in our final shot could have earned more goals for our side.

It was an open match with very few expulsions – Exiles had six players expelled and one penalty awarded against whilst Neptunes had just three men sent off throughout the match. Neptunes played at full strength using their usual nine players and a few minutes of play were spared for the rest of the bench  except towards the end of the encounter. At the half-way stage, the score stood at 9-5 in favour of the Reds. The third quarter saw Neptunes keeping their fort sealed (4-0) despite quite a number of shots which Exiles managed to pot at goal. The final session was characterized by eight goals (5-3) with Exiles scoring their three after Neptunes changed goalkeepers.

The score once again does not reflect the proceedings seen. Exiles were never outswam by their stringer opponents – this was mainly to Mirarchi’s constant changes to the team by putting in fresh players. Another positive factor was that the Boys rarely lost possession in their attacks resulting in a fewer number of steals which the Reds were able to make even though both teams adopted a zone defence. The Reds capitalized from weak blocking on the right side of the Exiles defence. There were also some precipitous shooting on our part which could have been better administered and finished more clinically. Some decisions taken by both officials did raise a few eye-brows but  now, that’s the norm.

Maurizio Mirarchi was back on the bench after serving a one-match suspension. He made use of twelve players – Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo (1 goal), David Pace Lupi, Romain Blary (2 goals) who also won the four sprints, James Spiteri Staines, Sean Gravina (1 goal), Kurt Griscti, Andrea Bianchi (1 goal), Marco Cuk (1 goal), Kayne Lanzon (2 goals) and Goalkeeper David Abela who went between the posts in the fourth session. Philip Paris was not utilized.


The next match being played at the National Swimming Pool, Tal- Qroqq next Wednesday 8th July 2015, sees Exiles face San Giljan who are sharing the top spot in this season’s Premier Waterpolo League.

Swim-up at 20.15 hours




Photo by Adrian Farrugia




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