The first 2 teams in the league gave local hockey fans something to shout about as the clash lived up to its top billing. The match started at a brisk pace but both teams restricted the movement of opposition’s advances by strengthening their midfields. The first chance of the game fell to Steve Tanti who deflected a through pass slightly over the bar. By the 15th minute, Qormi seemed to have gained some territorial advantage as they penned Hotsticks in their half. In this period they even managed to win the first penalty corners of the match. They seemed to have scored from their first one but the goal was disallowed as Sarcia’s powerful push flick was deemed to have been shot from outside the circle. The LightShop Hotsticks reacted and managed to win some penalty corners of their own but the first half ended goalless.
The 2nd half proceeded on more or less the same lines, only this time, there were goals. In the 7th minute, after a prolonged action on the left, Hotsticks’ Christian Sammut, crossed to Shaun Grima at the top of the circle who flicked a ball for the unmarked Matt Black to tap in at the side of the goal. Qormi reacted, winning a couple of short corners but they weren’t dangerous enough. Hotsticks doubled the score in the 15th minute when a Steve Tanti, Qormi’s captain, tried to stop Steve Portelli’s tomahawk but the ball still trickled over the line.
Qormi tried to react again but their frenetic pace failed to bring results. Emile Borg in the Hotsticks goal managed to save excellently from Sarcia’s and Keith Calleja’s strikes. Hotsticks fell back but managed to mount a couple of counter attacks but the Qormi custodian Mifsud saved well especially from Zahra. These misses proved costly as first Thomas Degiovanni managed to push a rebound in and then from a penalty corner, Keith Calleja found Jonathan Aquilina unmarked who tapped in the equaliser. The game was not over before each team could have nicked a win with a penalty corner each but both failed to score to earn a draw each.
Umpires: Luke Busuttil Leaver & James Mizzi