Late comeback not enough to save Sirens against Sliema

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Sliema Betsson    11     Sirens Ritter Sport     10

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

Sliema seemed to have got over their drubbing from last week, by Neptunes, as they played confidently till the interval, to open up a good four goal cushion. They also led by five goals on two occasions, after Marco Cuk’s consecutive penalties. Sirens then staged a comeback, which very nearly paid off, with Sliema seeing their adversaries creep back.

Sirens went to just a goal behind, but there was only less than a half a minute to the final buzzer, and Cuk kept possession till the very end, to thwart Sirens’ intentions of another drawn encounter, as had happened in the first round of play, when the two sides ended their match on an 8-8 score. As regards man ups Sliema converted three from six, missing their last three, in the last quarter. On the other hand Sirens were a man up on eleven occasions, scoring in five, including their last three, also in the last session. The Championship/Relegation issue was already settled, with Sliema assured of a place in the league title play offs, and they added another three points, into the second phase of play. Sirens will play in the Relegation Pool, with their eleven points accrued.

Sliema were in front on four occasions, in the opening session, with Sirens pulling back three times. SAliema’s scorers were Nicky Bugelli, Edward Aquilina, John Soler and John Brownrigg. Sirens replied through Gabriel Pace and a brace by Sergi Mora. In the second period Sliema opned up their advantage with a trio of goals, by Cuk, Bugelli and Mark Meli, before Sirens pulled a goal back, by Marc Grech. Before the end of the session Cuk netted another Sliema goal, for a good 8-4 lead for his side at the interval.

After the break Sirens missed their four man ups, and Sliema twice enhanced their advantage, with a couple of penalties, converted by Cuk. In between Jacon Sciberras scored for Sirens, and till the end of the session they were back in contention, with strikes by Luke Caruana and Mora. In the last period another Cuk goal had Sliema seemingly on a safe stance, but they saw Sirens battle back, and in their next three man up occasions, they grabbed goals by Caruana, Zach Mizzi and again Caruana, whittling down their deficit to a single goal. Sliema opted to kill off the game with Cuk’s long possession, to ascertain themselves of the three points.

Sliema: R. Coleiro , J. Gabarretta , E. Aquilina 1, C. Cluett , M. Meli 1,  J. Soler 1, K. Dowling , T. Sullivan , J. Brownrigg 1, A. Attard , M. Cuk 5, N. Bugelli 2, Z. Sciberras

 

Sirens: N. Grixti , Z. Mizzi 1, S. Mora 3, G. Pace 1, M. Grech 1, I. Riolo , M. Balucci , D. Cutajar , J. Napier ,  J. Sciberras 1, L. Caruana 3, N. Farrugia , M. Muscat

Referees: A. Goncharenko, G. Ibba

Link – Malta Independent

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