Title challengers Hibernians and Balzan cruised to important victories when they eased off past Zabbar St. Patrick and Pembroke Athleta respectively to maintain their challenge for the championship. Hibernians defeated Zabbar St Patrick 10-5 to stay on top.
It was a great win by Kevin Mifsud’s boys who produced a great performance that stunned the Zabbar side. After a 5-1 advantage before the end of the first half, Hibernians added another five goals to make sure of the three points. The Paolites scored their goals thanks to a hat-trick by Levan Kobaidze, two braces by Jose Carlos Careca and Celino Alves and a goal for Xavier Saliba, Kurt Bartolo and an own goal. Omar Toutoungi, Radoslav Kovachev and Frankie Xerri were among the scorers for the Southsiders.
Balzan beat Pembroke Athleta 7-3 to go temporarily second in the table having played one match more than Luxol. Balzan tried to impose their style of play with Pembroke players defending boldly their opponents’ continuous attacks. Gabriel Dobre and Andrea Dan scored two each with Jovica Milijic, Rennie Tanti and Boycho Marev scoring the other three goals. Pembroke managed to score thanks to Christopher Azzopardi, Stefan Cauchi and an own goal by Andrea Dan.
Zurrieq clinched their second win in a row after beating Luqa St. Andrew’s 11-2. It was a great win for the Zurrieq side who had nippy striker Tyron Borg netting five goals. Larson Mallia scored a hat-trick while Gary Zerafa, Gareth Magri and Lawrence Vella added more goals for the winners.
Mosta narrowly beat Birzebbugia St. Peter’s 5-4 to register their fourth win of the season while struggling Swieqi United stunned Vittoriosa Stars, beating them 1-0.
Meanwhile three teams lead the way in the FXDD First Division after Zebbug Rangers, Valletta and Gzira United disposed of their respective opponents to challenge seriously for the Premier Division status next season.
In their direct encounter for promotion, Zebbug Rangers stunned Qrendi 8-5 to register their fourteenth success of the season and recover from the shock defeat to Gzira last week. Alan Zammit netted a hat-trick, Jamie Portelli and Karstin Cilia scored a brace while Matthew Agius added another one for the Rangers who are in high spirits after this vital win.
Valletta won comfortably 3-0 against Mqabba to return top of the table once again. Dylan Agius, Dassier Borg and Robert Magro put their names on the score sheet for the Citizens who achieved their fourteenth victory of the campaign.
Meanwhile even Gzira United took advantage of Qrendi’s defeat to regain the summit of the table after seeing off Marsaskala 7-3. English striker Josh Parry marshalled his team to another important victory after netting four times during this match. Chris Bezzina, Aurelio Burgio and Noel Bilocca completed the mission for the Maroons.
Premier: Hibs 52, Balzan 49, Luxol 47, Pembroke, San Gwann, Zabbar 30, Hamrun 24, Qormi 22, B’Bugia 19, Melita 17, Zurrieq, Mosta 16, Vittoriosa 13, Luqa, Swieqi 10
First: Zebbug, Gzira, Valletta 43, Qrendi 41, Naxxar 34, Fgura 32, M’Scala 28, Kalkara, Msida 25, Sirens 22, Siggiewi 19, Mqabba 14, Sta Lucia 8
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg