Floriana Young Stars and Qormi will face each other in the HAM Challenge Cup final after beating Sliema Hotsticks and Rabat respectively in the weekend.

Sliema Hotsticks 1-2 Floriana Young Stars

It took ten minutes of mid-field sparring before Hotsticks launched the first serious attack on goal but after added pressure they went ahead in the 15th minute when Silas Plaehn rounded up a flowing move with a final tap in.

After absorbing further pressure, Young Stars reacted strongly and in the 20th minute won a penalty corner from which Ivan Magro Dingl equalized, picking up a rebound off Hotsticks’ goalkeeper’s pads.

They then dominated proceedings for a while but did not manage to break Hotsticks’ defence although winning three penalty corners by the 31st minute.

Just before the interval Hotsticks were awarded their first penalty corner but the whistle sounded with the score level at one-a-piece.

Hotsticks started the second half on the attack but the game then provided end-to-end stuff with mid-field play in ascendance.

Young Stars then took the upper hand and around the 46th minute mark they won three penalty corners to no avail.

In the 52ndminute James Mizzi kept them in the game effecting a diving save to his right and even stopping the rebound from point blank range in the melee that ensued. A minute later he was again instrumental in keeping his team in the game.

The match took another twist as after being awarded yet another penalty corner in the 63rd minute, Mark Camilleri picked his spot to send Young Stars 2 -1 up.

Three minutes later Luke Borg Costanzi failed to put his team further ahead when he just missed the target with a reverse stick hit from the top of the D.

Hotsticks tried hard to get on terms and even went close in the final minute of the game, but Young Stars held on to register a 2 -1 victory to reach the final.

Umpires: Luke Busuttil Leaver and Paul Brincat

Rabat 1-2 Qormi 2 (aet)

The first half of the game was characterized by Rabat’s well organized defence keeping Qormi at bay and counter attacking whenever possible.

In fact Qormi won only two penalty corners in the first twenty minutes which they did not convert.

Continued pressure provided the save of the match, when, after a flowing movement down the right flank Ian Azzopardi, Rabat’s custodian produced the save of the match in the 26th minute, when he stopped a shot, pirouetted and managed to prevent the ball from crossing over the dead ball line.

Half time was reached, with neither team being able to open the score.

Qormi started on the attack in the second half and in the 38th minute Juan Sarcia stepped up to shoot Qormi into a 1 – 0 lead from a penalty corner action.

They then applied further pressure but the Rabat rear guard held firm depending on swift counter attacking down the middle of the park.

Azzopardi again came to Rabat’s rescue in the 54th minute and when all seemed lost Shawn Falzon scored to draw Rabat level throwing the game wide open.

Both teams strove to deal the final blow with Jonathan Borg going close for Qormi. The final whistle blew with the game going into extra time.

Qormi went ahead in the 3rd minute of the first period of extra time when Joseph Cuschieri netted a beauty from the top of the D. Rabat’s reacted strongly but their efforts left them 2 – 1` down at the turn.

They nearly equalised in the 5th minute of the second period of extra time and were denied drawing level by Qormi’s custodian Ramon Chircop leaving Qormi 2–1 winners to reach the final against Young Stars on Sunday – Rabat relinquishing their hold on the Challenge Cup, being last year’s winners.

Umpires: Manuel Imbroll and James Mizzi

By: Christopher Busuttil Leaver


Sunday 16th November

Challenge Cup 3rd/4th place playoff

09:00 Sliema HS vs Rabat

Challenge Cup Final

11:00 Floriana YS vs Poiatti Qormi

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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