Neptunes 14 – Valletta 3
(6-1, 2-0, 4-1, 2-1)
It was an easy exercise for our lads as they faced Valletta in their last preliminary round winter league match which they won 14-3. They thus finished their preliminary commitments at the top of the standings with a clean sheet and the best goal difference.
Victory against lowly opponents was definitely a foregone conclusion even with an initial line-up comprising some fringe players. That formation was good enough to help us take a 6-1 cushion which would help us freewheel our way home.
Neptunes had captain Niki Lanzon unavailable. That did not prevent another all-rounder, Jordan Camilleri, from taking over as our striking talisman despite his generally covering duties. His poker of goals attested to his scoring abilities.
He was followed by two other dependable players, Michele Stellini and Edward Aquilina with three and two conversions respectively. Clint Mercieca, the fast emerging all-purpose performer, potted a single as did tailenders Zak Mizzi, Gabriel Pace, Timmy Agius, and Benji Lanzon for a comprehensive sweat-free victory.
The next assignment is a semi-final play-off against fourth-placed San Giljan who pipped Sirens at the post.
Neptunes: R. Sciortino, D. Debattista, E. Aquilina 2, M. Stellini 3, Z. Mizzi 1, G. Pace 1, J. Camilleri 4, K. Debattista, B. Lanzon 1, S. Gravina, T. Agius 1, C. Mercieca 1, I. Bugeja, L. Ellul.
Valletta: A. Sammut, S. Meli, K. Hyzler, A. Galea 1, K. Mock, S. Cachia, A. Galea 1, K. Falzon, K. Scicluna, R. Calleja, A. Arrigo 1, M. Asciaq, D. Spiteri.
Referees: P. Giordano, M. Angileri.