By Alex Vella
(2-2, 0-3, 1-1, 0-2)
Come the game against neighbours San Giljan and our boys again bossed the proceedings despite the Saints’ genuine efforts to put up stiff resistance. The outcome was an expected win for our team under the tutelage of Tony Camilleri.
It may not have been the soundest of starts as our opponents refused to be cowed, replying when we took a 1-0 and then a 2-1 advantage. More than that, their zonal cover with quick crowding on the centre was rendering our attack rather ineffectual. Our rearguard was similarly disposed, but San Giljan managed to hold their heads above the water in that opening session which ended 2-2.
Not so in the second, which had the dependable Jordan Camilleri, the hardworking Clint Mercieca, deployed in all areas of the pitch, and the inimitable Niki Lanzon adding to Edward ‘Ċoċċi Aquilina’s initial cheeky brace. That three-goal buffer was sustained in the third part of the game after the teams shared two goals, ours coming from Sean Gravina. Meanwhile, the goalkeepers at each end, Ian Bugeja and Dean Camilleri, were alert to most of the shots which were being directed at them. So the last session started with our team 6-3 in the lead.
With San Giljan wary of Neptunes’ menace on the break, Karl Izzo’s instructions to his players not to be caught napping at the back, were duly heeded. Only that the Reds had more steam in their engine. As a result, two more conversions by Michele Stellini and Niki Lanzon in the final quarter set the seal on an 8-3 victory, an en plein stance and further consolidation of our top spot in the standings.
San Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, J.C. Cutajar, A. Galea, Karl Galea, Keith Galea, K. Dowling, A. Bugeja, A. Bianchi 1, R. Mock 1, C. Gialanze, P. Fava, C. Martin, M. Pisani 1, J. Cremona, E. Arrigo.
Neptunes: I. Bugeja, N. Lanzon 2, E. Aquilina 2, M. Stellini 1, Z. Mizzi, G. Pace, J. Camilleri 1, K. Debattista, B. Lanzon, S. Gravina 1, T. Agius, S. Xerri de Caro, C. Mercieca 1, M. Lanzon, L. Calleja.
Refs: I. Sciriha, M. Angileri.