Exiles fizzle out to lose their opening match

Sliema 14 Exiles Elia Caterers 7

Partial scores (2-3) (1-3) (6-0) (5-1)

Exiles disappointed in their debut match played earlier this evening when against neighbours Sliema, they faded in the final two quarters. Exiles had a steady start to lead their opponents by three goals (6-3) at the end of the first two sessions. This advantage¬† reflected a strong rearguard as their opponents fumbled their attacks whilst Exiles’ finishing was lethal to change sides with a comfortable margin.

At the half-way stage no one in the Exiles camp imagined that Igor Vukanovic’s team would throw the match away in the last two quarters (1-11) to end on the losing end 7-14 at the final horn.

It was evident that Sliema changed tactics by leaving more initiative to Exiles who were erratic in their finishing as the team showed evident signs of fatigue as the match progressed.  The Blues drew level (6-6) three minutes into the third session. Another factor visible from the stands was the lack of rotation in the Exiles team seen in the first two quarters when fresh legs from the Exiles bench were being utilized. Exiles suffered goals on the counter as Sliema were quicker in their attacks in the latter part of the match. Exiles could not break a crowded Sliema fort.

Sliema missed their first man-up in the first session but converted the next five numerical advantage situations as well as two penalties awarded.

Exiles converted a penalty but missed six of their seven man-ups – five of these situations occurred in the third and fourth quarter when the team lacked character to react even when at the start of the final session they were three goals behind.

Matthew Castillo, Michele Stellini, Andrew Magri, Marco Jelaka (3 goals), Timmy Sullivan (1 goal) Sean Xerri de Caro, Mark Fenech (2 goals), Kurt Griscti, Milos Vukicevic (1 goal), Aurelien Cousin, Nicky Paris, Philip Paris and Max Martin.

The second match of this Preliminary Round is scheduled for next Saturday the 22nd June 2019 when Exiles take on Marsascala at 16.45 hours.







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