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TOP TWO BOTH WIN

Leaders Qormi and second-placed Sliema Hotsticks both won in the HAM National League beating Young Stars and Rabat respectively.

Young Stars 2-3 Sliema Hotsticks

Young Stars went ahead as early as the third minute when Mark Camilleri shot low into the net from a penalty corner action.

This triggered off a strong reaction from Hotsticks but despite winning five penalty corners as well as having Silas Plaehn and Steve Portelli coming close to adding to their tally half time was reached with Young Stars holding on to their lead.

Early in the second half, Hotsticks continued to apply pressure with Young Stars depending on counter attacks and they managed to break their duck when in the 46th minute Julian Zahra equalised after a prolonged action in the D.

The game swung to and fro and in the 54th minute Camilleri notched his second to send Young Stars in to a 2 -1 lead. Hotsticks fought back and after an Andrei Imbroll effort shaved the post in the 59th minute Lukas Plaehn netted to equalise in the 65th minute.

After hitting the post a minute later Hotsticks were awarded a penalty stroke and Plaehn obliged from the spot to clinch victory in the closing stages of the game.

Umpires: Luke Busuttil Leaver and Paul Brincat

Rabat 1-3 Qormi

John Williams shot Qormi ahead within the first minute of the match. Rabat’s reaction was immediate but they did not take advantage of three penalty corners awarded to them in the next six minutes.

Midfield play dominated most of the half with Qormi controlling possession but being unable to break down Rabat’s defensive wall.

Rabat then missed a golden opportunity to equalize when they were awarded a penalty stroke in the 32nd minute but Christopher Bugeja missed from the spot leaving Qormi preserving their 1 – 0 advantage at half time.

Four minutes into the second half Charlot Antonelli equalized for Rabat and this ruffled Qormi’s feathers into a more determined reaction which resulted in De Giovanni netting following a penalty corner action in the 45th minute.

The rest of the contest developed into a cat and mouse game with Qormi content on retaining possession and endeavouring to draw out Rabat from their entrenched defensive position until the last minute of the game when they were awarded a penalty stroke and Juan Sarcia scored to seal a 3 – 1 victory.

Umpires: Manuel Imbroll and Ray Micallef

Knock Out Competition qualifying round

Qormi 4-2 Young Stars

Zachary Degiovanni shot Qormi into the lead in the 3rd minute but Young Stars missed a chance to equalize when they were awarded a penalty stroke in the 9th minute and Andrew Camilleri failed to convert.

John Williams fluffed a good chance for Qormi in the 20th minute while Andrew Camilleri cleared off the fatal line for Young Stars in the 27th minute with his goalkeeper beaten. Half time was reached with Qormi a goal ahead.

After Ramon Chircop saved off an Edward Hughes effort, Qormi were awarded a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute and Juan Sarcia scored from the spot to send them 2 – 0 up.

Following a couple of near misses and two other Andrew Camilleri clearances off the line Mark Camilleri scored two goals in the 63rd and 65th minute, both from penalty corner actions, to bring the score to read 2 – 2 and send the game into extra time.

John Williams pushed home a cross from the right in the second minute of extra time to send Qormi into a 3 – 2 lead and he grabbed his second and Qormi’s fourth towards the end of the second period of extra time to ensure his team’s victory in a typically hard fought cup tie.

Umpires: Reno Cremona and Manuel Imbroll
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Sunday, January 21, 2018
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