Article published on 29 March 2012
Hibs Melita Gardens 59
McDonalds Depiro 72
(13-20, 7-19, 21-16, 18-17)
Depiro forgot their mishap against Athleta, and went right back to the top of the standings, through direct encounters, with their third win in five games over their rivals.
It was a well planned win, with the Paolites in difficulties in most of the match, and a heavy deficit prevented them from gaining ground over their adversaries. When Hibs were making their efforts, they were hit hard by triples, and their exertions came to nothing, with their four wins’ positive run stopped. Both sides were at full strength for this encounter.
After Hibs’ opening basket, the Depiro reaction consisted of a 7-2 run, with an Antoinette Borg triple. Then it was the Paolites’ turn, with a 7-2 run, and a Lucienne Bezzina trey, as they grabbed another advantage. The game then swung Depiro’s way, when Hibs had difficulty in piercing their opponents’ rearguard. On the other hand, Depiro managed a good 11-2 run, with another Borg triple, to open up a better lead.
In the second session, Depiro’s surge continued. Hibs could not cope with their opponents’ pressure, and wilted under a solid 16-0 Depiro run, which began and ended with treys, from Sam Brincat and Francesca Bianco. The Paolites fell far behind, and their task became more difficult. They reacted with a 7-2 run, mainly from Lena Gipson, but at the interval Depiro held a sound 39-20 advantage.
Depiro held a tight rein after the break, and a Steffi De Martino triple at the start pushed them further in front. Hibs then began to click, and their efforts bore fruit, with a solid 14-2 run, which had Gipson putting in her points. When it looked as if Hibs were going back into the reckoning, Brincat nailed a brace of triples, and Hibs were right back in the mire, chasing their adversaries, this time on a 41-55 adverse score.
In the last period, Depiro made sure with another 8-0 run, and two more treys, from De Martino and Brincat. It was too much for the Paolites, although they cut down on their deficit, and Gipson continued to pour in her points. At the other end Brincat made enough points to keep her side on a heavy lead, which served them till the remainder of the match.
Hibs: J. Xerri, 4 E. Cassar, M. Zammit,7 L. Bezzina, F. Mifsud, M. Desira, K. Gatt, R. Scerri, 6 N. Arrigo, 10 K. Baldacchino, 5 J. Cardona, 27 L. Gipson
Depiro: A. Mifsud, G. Mifsud, J. Xuereb, 27 S. Brincat, 5 V. Woods, 6 F. Bianco, T. De Martino, 14 A. Borg, C. Sammut, M. Bonett, S. Micallef, S. De Martino
Referees: E. Mangani, S. Gouder