2015 – 2016
After a studious opening by both teams the first chance of the match fell to The LightShop Hotsticks when on 16 minutes Silas Plaehn hit the Rabat cross bar, after meeting a cross from the right flank. Rabat, well marshalled at the back were dependent on counter attacks which were well orchestrated by their midfielder Kevin Micallef. Hotsticks did not take advantage of two penalty corners towards the end of the first half, the whistle sounding with the score unopened.
The second half provided better fare. After not availing themselves of a penalty corner in the 39th minute, Hotsticks went ahead on 46 minutes when Shaun Grima netted as a result of another penalty corner action. They continued to apply pressure dominating midfield exchanges and were awarded a penalty stroke on 55 minutes – Keith Scicluna hitting the post with his effort. Hotsticks went 2–0 up in the 60th minute when Portelli hit a reverse stick shot from the top of the D, the ball entering the net off the post. The game almost boiled over, due to some tough tackling during the final phase with The LightShop Hotsticks playing out time to seal a 2–0 victory.
Umpires: Raymond Micallef & Andre Ghio
A match which lived up to its billing. On seven minutes Luke Borg Costanzi shot Young Stars into the lead finding the net from the top of the D. Continuing to exert pressure down their opponent’s left flank, Young Stars created several chances through teasing crosses across goal. On 20 minutes Chris Attard of Young Stars hit the bottom of the post from a penalty corner action and on 27 minutes Mark Camilleri shot them into a 2–0 lead following another penalty corner award – a lead which they held until the half time whistle sounded.
The majority of thrills were reserved for the second part of the match and on 47 minutes Lukas Plaehn pushed home to reduce the deficit to 2-1 and bring Hotsticks back into the game, however in the 52nd minute Camilleri grabbed his second goal from yet another penalty corner action to send Young Stars 3-1 up. Hardly had two minutes elapsed when Jonathan Micallef picked his spot shooting low into the net to send Young Stars into a 4–1 lead. Hotsticks reduced the arrears to 4–2 when on 61 minutes Shaun Grima pushed home from the centre of the D. Hotsticks then continued to apply pressure even hitting the base of the post on 65 minutes but Young Stars ran out winners at the end of this entertaining encounter.
Umpires: Paul Brincat & Glen Bonello
As early as the second minute Julian Zahra shot The LightShop Hotsticks into the lead after a flowing move which started in midfield. White Hart reacted immediately and forced three penalty corners by the seventh minute, missing a goal scoring chance in between. Hotsticks then dominated proceedings in midfield but White Hart were always dangerous on the break and kept testing Hotsticks’ rear guard with counter attacks. The half time whistle sounded with Hotsticks holding on to their one goal lead.
White Hart spurned three penalty corners early in the second half and the game then developed into a hard fought encounter with no quarter asked or given. Defences were very alert and on top of their game with midfield play the dominating tactical feature. Both teams missed a couple of chances on and around the 60th minute, the game drawing to a finish with The LightShop Hotsticks playing out time and maintaining their one nil lead.
Umpires: Shawn Mifsud & Glen Bonello