March 15th 2014: Malta continued their dominance of the EU 8 Nations Water Polo Tournament in Limerick today with a resounding 17-7 win over Ireland in tonight’s semi-final encounter.
Having finished second in group A Ireland was pitted against Group B winners Malta in the first semi-final of the evening. Already this weekend the very physical Malta team have had massive wins over Wales, Denmark and Czech Republic and the game against Ireland was no different.
Ireland started well with the score at 3-2 after six minutes following goals from Eoin Nolan and Ben Matthews but Malta’s Michele Stellini and Gert Lanzon hit the back of the Irish net in the last minute to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter.
Malta extended their lead to 9-4 in the second quarter adding another four goals to their tally with the only Irish scores coming from Russell Simkins and Josef Kresak. A tired Irish side could not get past Maltese goal keeper Alan Borg Cole in the third quarter as they were kept scoreless while Malta added another 4 goals from Stellini (2), Matthew Zammit and Jordan Camilleri to strengthen their score to 13.
A much better performance from Ireland in the final quarter saw a second goal from Kresak and two more from Nolan to end the game 17-7. Ireland will now play for Bronze tomorrow against Austria in a re-match of today’s earlier pool game where the Austrians came out on top with a 15-7 win.
Austria tonight lost the second semi-final of the championship to Denmark by a score line of 13-8. Following their win, Denmark move on to play Malta in the Gold Medal Game.
In this evening’s other games Scotland beat a tired Wales side 15-4 while Switzerland were victors over Czech Republic 11-8.
Game 13: Switzerland 11 (K Muller 3, A cAssina 2, R Pleyer 1, H Caleta 1, M Herzog 1, A El Mahrek 1, P Bjelajac 1, O Frohli 1) Czech Republic 8 (S Rezek 1, R Brusak 2, P Holes 2, K Holibka 2, O Lundak 1)
Game 14: Scotland 15 (A Campbell 4, J Scobie 3, F Rutherford 3, C Campbell 2, K Anderson 1, M Speed 1, E Grundy 1) Wales 4 (C Taylor 2, L Jones 1, S Williams 1)
Game 15: Ireland 7 (E Nolan 3, B Matthews 1, R Simkins 1, J Kresak 2) Malta 17 (M Zammit 3, C Lanzon 6, J Gabarretta 3, M Mali 1, J Camilleri 2, M Stellini 2)
Game 16: Austria (F Makray 1, B Henge 4, S Donis 1, J Gratzl 1, P Kovac 1) Denmark ( B Sigurdsson 1, E Morgen Hansen 5, M Bagenkop 3, A Lyster 4)
Group A Group B
Game 1: Ireland 9 Switzerland 7 Game 3 Denmark 11 Czech Republic 9
Game 2: Austria 11 Scotland 8 Game 4 Wales 8 Malta 23
Game 5: Austria 11 Switzerland 11 Game 7: Denmark 21 Wales 8
Game 6: Scotland 9 Ireland 12 Game 8: Czech Republic 6 Malta 18
Game 9: Scotland 11 Switzerland 9 Game 11: Denmark 9 Malta 18
Game 10: Austria 15 Ireland 7 Game 12: Wales 6 Czech Republic 13
2014 EU Nations Water Polo Tournament, UL Sport, University of Limerick 14-16 March 2014
Sunday 16th March
17 0900 Czech Republic v Wales 7th/8th Place
18 1015 Switzerland v Scotland 5th/6th Place
19 1130 Ireland v Austria Bronze Medal Game
20 1300 Malta v Denmark Gold Medal Game