NEPTUNES 8 – SAN ĠILJAN 7
(0-0, 5-2, 0-3, 3-2)
In our team’s previous match against Sirens, the established players had the result wrapped up thanks to ten out of the 11 goals we scored. In the match against San Ġiljan the balance tilted towards our tailenders and middle order units when we overcame the much stiffer challenge of our neighbours.
Only three out of the eight goals we scored in our 8-7 victory over the Saints were netted by our thoroughbreds this time. This was an encouraging indication that all our players can rise to the occasion when the maximum is demanded from them.
Our influential all-rounder Jordan Camilleri was expelled with substitution shortly after the start of the second session and that meant that eventually our coach was forced to rotate our resources utilising almost all our younger players. But this turned out to be a source of satisfaction for our clan and Dorian Pisani.
The fighting qualities of these players, helped by Alan Borg Cole, Niki Lanzon, Michele Stellini and Clint Mercieca, emerged as the duel entered its final phases.
Our 5-2 lead by midpoint after a barren opening session had been neutralised by the end of the penultimate quarter even if the Saints also had definite casualties in Andrea Bianchi and later on Karl Galea.
Sean Xerri De Caro and Marc Lanzon scored vital goals in the second session and these strikes complemented the brace netted by an in-form Timmy Agius. Jordan Camilleri had opened our scoring account, but a last-session rally saw Michele Stellini score the sixth goal followed by that of the energetic Andrew Zarb Cousin, with captain Niki Lanzon providing the salvo with an opportunistic flick in a pulsating finale after both teams were locked on seven goals apiece.
Our next assignment is a showdown against Sliema for the winter title on 17th May.