Exiles slump against Neptunes

Neptunes 16 Exiles Elia Caterers 13

Partial scores (3-1) (7-3) (4-5) (2-4)

Exiles were cut down to size when earlier this evening they were beaten by a well-drilled Neptunes side who were lethal in their finishing in the first part of the match when Marco Cuk’s team opted for a zone defence but found the Reds’ strikes clinical with perfect shots to nose ahead comfortably 10-4 at the close of the first two quarters. It was when Exiles switched to a press that their opponents found it harder to shoot at goal under pressure. The Exiles rearguard leaked for most of the match.

One positive aspect of Marco Cuk’s  approach is the rotation of the team by introducing new young faces – tonight was no exception when he made use of all the players available.

There was no doubt as the final outcome  with both coaches changing formations.  Had Exiles’ players not made three blatant and costly mistakes in the final quarter with ample time to the final horn, the spectators present at the pool might have witnessed a different twist to the match.

Exiles’ centre Nikic was double-marked, forcing the final shot from outside the five-metre area. Too much time was wasted to take up positions in the opposing area, leaving a few seconds to finish hastily the attack.

Neptunes converted half of the eight man-ups as well as a penalty awarded after the excluded Exiles player interfered with play. Exiles succeeded in scoring all their seven man-ups in the match.

The Exiles line-up was Matthew Castillo, Mark Fenech (2 goals), Andrea Bianchi, Michele Stellini (2 goals), Timmy Sullivan (4 goals), Sean Xerri de Caro, Slobodan Nikic (2 goals), Kurt Griscti, Nicky Paris (1 goal), Aurelien Cousin (2 goals), Benji Lanzon, Philip Paris and Gianni Ciappara.

Meanwhile Exiles finish their first round commitments on Wednesday 27th June 2018 when they meet neighbours Sliema at 20.00 hours



photo by Adrian Farrugia shows Philip Paris (blue cap) being challenged by Neptunes’ Petar Muslim (white cap 7) and Niki Lanzon (white cap 2)



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