San Ġiljan 11 – Neptunes 17
(2-3, 3-3, 4-7, 2-4)
This was another excerpt of sweet music for our fans. The great Magyar tandem of Peter Biros and Tamas Molnar conducted what turned out to be a Hungarian Rapsody in consonance with their lofty status in their country’s waterpolo regime.
Their rendition was of the highest order as they constantly pulled the trigger score-wise to ram twelve shared goals past our neighbours San Ġiljan.
That together with a commendable team effort helped our lads to again overwhelm the Saints, whose pressure-free mental condition was in contrast to that of our players who badly needed a positive result in order to keep marching on in our bid for yet another championship crown.
Again it was Sergey Markoch who masterminded the victory which gathered momentum in the latter sessions. He expertly made use of ten of our outfield units who were deployed in ‘musical chairs’ fashion, with the exception Stevie Camilleri and Molnar never mind the fact that he wisely relieved Biros from duties towards the end to avoid unwanted repercussions after the latter’s altercation with Dino Zammit a few seconds before.
Apart from that Markoch rotated his players in different roles thus bringing out their undoubted versatility.
Our opponents took the lead twice early on but soon we moved into gear to end the first session 3-2 in front.
That advantage was extended to 6-2 midway in the second part of the game, only for the Saints to pull back three goals, with our damage being caused mainly by Aleksander Radovic, scorer of a nap-hand of goals and Zejlko Kovacic, and to a much lesser extent by Matthew Zammit.
We were good enough to respond when early in the third session San Ġiljan levelled matters on six goals apiece.
That was the spark that we needed to fly off the blocks, with Molnar and Biros each netting three times and Stevie nicking in another to take us into the last quarter 13-9 ahead.
We hammered home that advantage against frustrated opponents and were 4-2 to the good in the final eight minutes to register another comfortable 17-11 win.
The result has helped us make another positive step towards our cherished goal of lifting the coveted league title for the 23rd time in our history and, of course, a landmark fifth uninterrupted championship success.
Again on the technical side, our man-up reading was once more a healthy seven on nine in contrast to that of our opponents who found it hard to pierce our rearguard ably led by a steady Alan Borg Cole.
S. Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, C. Spiteri Debarro, A. Galea, B. Plumpton 1, K. Dowling 1, M. Zammit 2, A. Radovic 5, Darren Zammit, Keith Galea, Z. Kovacic 2, P. Fava, Dino Zammit, J. Sammut
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 1, G. Mizzi, M. Stellini 1, T. Agius 1, M. Zammit, S. Camilleri 2, J. Camilleri, A. Zarb Cousin, P. Biros 6, B. Muscat, T. Molnar 6, C. Mercieca
Referees: M. Dalli, G. Sorgente