Thrilling match ends all square

Exiles 9 Valletta United 9

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

Last Friday 4th July, Exiles won their first point in the Premier League when they faced a more-fancied opponent Valletta United at the National Pool.

Exiles drew first blood with Luka Sekulic but three quick goals by our opponents when playing with equal men saw Valletta take the lead and after Simon Vassallo was sent out for the second time, they increased the gap to three before Gergerly Katonas reduced the score with  12 seconds to the end of the first quarter when Valletta had two players sent out. The second session was a balanced affair but Exiles squandered two man-up situations and a one on zero chance. The Citizens increased their lead to three before Peter Borg scored in another man-up situation one minute before the half-way mark.

In the third session Exiles managed to level the score at 6-6 when in numerical advantage but three seconds to the end of the quarter, Valletta called a time-out and when play resumed, Milos Korolija scored a back-hand from eight metres which caught the rear guard of Exiles napping to nose ahead again. One minute in the final session,  Valletta made it 8-6 but Exiles kept their cool and their defence set up saw three goals being scored on the counter attack against one of our opponents to end the match all square.

After a dismal start, the boys settled down to a double marking system on our opponents’ main spearhead Korolija who scored just one goal through a powerful backhand. Damaged from the other Valletta foreigner was also minimal with with one goal suffered through loose marking. Ian Bugeja marshalled a good defence  with constant instructions to the whole team when defending.

The team’s performance would have satisfied Coach Mirarchi had we not missed two one on zero situations and a penalty by Gergerly Katonas who must still be commended for the five goals he managed to score.

A double expulsion in the dying seconds of the first session could have had a twist to the match but the referees ruled otherwise.

Exiles had their players sent out on seven occasions and conceded three goals. We had nine man-ups (including a double one) and scored four. One of the two penalties awarded was scored.

Maurizio Mirarchi made use of the following players Ian Bugeja, Julian Rizzo Naudi, Simon Vassallo, David Pace Lupi (2 goals), Gergerly Katonas (5 goals), James Spiteri Staines, Kurt Griscti, Luka Sekulic (1 goal), Peter Borg (1 goal), Benji Lanzon and Kayne Lanzon.


Next match is against Sliema on Friday the 11th July 2014 at 20.00 hours at the National Pool.





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