Holders Balzan overcame a resilient Vittoriosa side 9-2 in the FXDD Knock-Out final competition to retain the competition. It was a fine performance by Balzan as they claimed the second honour of the season after winning the Super Cup earlier.
The Cottonera side tried to bridge the technical gap with their opponents through sheer determination and hard work but they were overwhelmed by the more experienced Balzan.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg
Balzan went ahead through Boycho Marev but this goal proved to be an injection for the Cottonera side as they levelled matters thanks to Sean Vella in their first real scoring opportunity. Balzan regained the lead through another goal by Boycho Marev found the net but Vittoriosa restored equilibrium thanks to another goal by Sean Vella.
Boycho Marev, Emil Raducu and Carlos Scicluna scored three without reply for Balzan to end the first half 5-2 ahead. As the game resumed after the break, Glenn Bonello scored a quick hat-trick to put victory beyond any doubt. One minute from the end, Balzan added another goal through Giancarlo Sammut.
After the game, FMA president Donald Spiteri presented the trophy to captain Carlo Scicluna as a proud club president Mario Vella joined his team’s celebrations.
In the FXDD First Division, Valletta, Gzira United and Zebbug Rangers won their respective matches to gain the necessary points for a Premier Division berth next season. It was a deserved reward for these promoted teams after their impressive run in this division.
Gzira United defeated Naxxar Lions 7-4 in a match where Italian striker Alessio Restuccia pushed his team forward after hitting a hat-trick. Josh Parry, Robert Zammit, Jurgen Mifsud and Gordon Mizzi added more goals for the Maroons.
Zebbug Rangers defeated Kalkara 10-3 to assure themselves of a Premier Division spot . It was a great performance by the Rangers who had their Jamie Portelli in fine form after scoring five goals. Ricky Zammit, Alan Zammit, Bernard Bonnici, Steve Mifsud and James Bonnici scored the other goals for the Rangers.
Valletta emulated their promotion rivals and saw off Santa Lucia 6-1 thanks to a hat-trick by Renald Formston, a brace by Clayton Felice and a goal by Dassier Borg.
Premier Championship Pool:
Hibernians 55, Balzan 52, Luxol 50, San Gwann 36, Pembroke, Zabbar 30, Hamrun 27, Qormi 22.
Premier Relegation Pool:
Birzebbugia 22, Mosta 19, Melita 17, Vittoriosa, Swieqi, Zurrieq 16, Luqa 13.
Zebbug, Gzira, Valletta 49, Qrendi 41, Naxxar 37, Fgura 33, Marsascala 29, Sirens, Kalkara 28, Msida 25, Siggiewi 19, Mqabba 17, Sta Lucia 8.