Neptunes 18 – S. Ġiljan 16
(3-3, 3-7, 7-1, 5-5)
In a match which had pride and statistics at stake the motivation from both teams may have been below normal levels. However, our unbeaten run was also to be considered as was San Ġiljan’s urge for sporting vendetta which could also open the door for a platonic second place for them in the table.
The outcome was a combative, high-scoring clash which had a volte face in the Saints’ favour in the second session after they won it 7-3, and another twist in the third, this time with a 7-1 blitz which put our team ahead into the final quarter.
The prospects looked grim for our boys after a tepid second session also tempered by Steve Camilleri’s definite dismissal for passing remarks to the referee late in that quarter. That left us without our top striker.
That was the spark that we needed to produce a stunning reaction chiefly engineered by captain Niki Lanzon, Peter Biros and Michele Stellini who netted five and four goals respectively.
We had regrouped ourselves before goal-grabber Aleksander Radovic was also red-carded for a verbal offence just before the last session started.
We opened a 15-11 lead midway in that quarter which was whittled down by our opponents to 17-16 with les than a minute left. We then administered possession, with Lanzon also grabbing his chance to seal victory by a two-goal margin.
Our fighting qualities had seen us through as we kept our unbeaten run intact going into the final outing against Sliema on Saturday 6 September.
Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 5, M. Lanzon, M. Stellini 4, T. Agius 1, G. Mizzi, S. Camilleri 1, J. Camilleri 1, A. Zarb Cousin, P. Biros 4, B. Muscat, T. Molnar 1, C. Mercieca 1
S. Ġiljan: D. Camilleri, D. Zammit, A. Galea 2, B. Plumpton 2, J. Galea, M. Zammit 1, A. Radovic 4, A. Bianchi, K. Galea, Z. Kovacic 5, P. Fava, D. Zammit 2, J. Sammut
Referees: P. Balzan, L. Bianco