Poor third quarter proves costly to Exiles

Neptunes 17 Exiles 8

(4-1) (2-2) (9-2) (2-3)

The second round started with another defeat – the fifth consecutive one- at the hands of a strong Neptunes outfit. A slow start in the first quarter saw our opponents strike four times against a solitary goal of Radovic. The set defence marshaled by goalkeeper Ian Bugeja avoided a higher margin as the Reds pressed to pile up goals and kill the encounter. The second session saw both teams scoring two goals each for the Balluta team to maintain the teams three goal apart. In the first minute of the third session Exiles reduced the gap to two goals but were twice penalized for dubious contra fouls awarded to our opponents when the boys swam towards the Neptunes fort. These harsh decisions proved to be fatal as the gap widened to four and was a prologue to a deluge of nine goals conceded – a negative record. Unlike previous outings, it was evident that the tactic used by our team to construct the attacks  seemed well-drilled with none of the boys tonight being goal-shy as the seconds ticked towards a change in possession.  Overall the number of shots fired at the Reds’ goal was definitely higher even though the accuracy lacked the right sharpness. Most of the goals conceded in the third quarter were from fast breaks. With the last session starting 15-5 down, the French Coach Cousin ‘risked’ a press defence but was rewarded as the Exiles team reacted to win the last session 3-2 and finish the match on a high and a much respectable final score.

The match was flowing with very few expulsions: three for Neptunes and seven for Exiles. Scorers for Exiles were Sasha Radovic who  made a strong debut with 4 goals,  whilst Julian Rizzo Naudi (photo), Vojislav Cupic, Kurt Griscti and Peter Borg put their names on the scorer’s list with one goal each.

All Exiles players on the match card were utilized including youngster Mark Magri. Two other positive notes were the return of Simon Vassallo to the squad after an injury sustained last month and the inclusion by Aurelien Cousin of promising youngsters  in the initial seven players for the first swim-up.





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