BOV Premier Final 3
Neptunes Emirates 8
Sliema McDonalds 11
(1-2, 2-4, 3-1, 2-4)
Sliema were better prepared for this third encounter, and they seemed to have more adrenalin flowing than their opponents. They pulled a game back, after their two heavy defeats, and the two teams now go into a fourth encounter, at least, next Saturday.
The Blues were ahead throughout the whole match, with Neptunes twice getting to within a goal in the course of the game, but Sliema were adamant in keeping their advantage, and they finished on a top note, also with an extra man in the water, because of Michele Stellini’s definite expulsion, in the last minute of the match.
Sliema took a double lead in the opening period, but the champions pulled a goal back. The second period saw the Blues edging away from their adversaries with long range efforts, for a 5-1 lead.
Steve Camilleri, who won the August Player of the Month, finally replied for Neptunes with a brace of goals, but in between Sliema scored again, to obtain a valid 6-3 advantage, midway through the encounter.
Neptunes put Ryan Sciortino in goal, in lieu of Ian Bugeja. Sliema extended their lead, but the champions found some inspiration, and Alex Ciric’s two goals, had them on three goal burst, and the game opened up once more, as Sliema’s advantage went down to single goal, at 7-6. The Blues struck back in the last session, with Ferenc Salamon and Paul privitera, Sliema’s top two strikers in this match, taking their side away in front again.
Neptunes did reduce their arrears twice, but Sliema always held a double advantage. Their victory was complete in the final minute, with Salamon’s penalty throw, after Stellini’s ejection, which left his side playing out the game with a player less.
The game was replete with stoppages, because of the damage caused to the electronic clock, after last Monday’s storm.
Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon , E. Aquilina, M. Stellini, Z. Mizzi, A. Ciric 3, S. Camilleri 4, J. Camilleri, G. Pace , S. Gravina, R. Sciortino, T. Molnar 1, C. Mercieca
Sliema: I. Gergely, J. Gabarretta , N. Lubrano , P. Privitera 3, M. Meli 1, J. Soler 2, D. Paolella, J. Brownrigg, C. Debono, F. Salamon 4, J. Falzon 1, M. Spiteri Staines , R. Coleiro
Referees: I. Sciriha, A. Severo