Overseas defeat Stompers as Kavallieri win championship

Kavallieri are the Cisk Lager League Champions for 2012.

18 March 2012, 12:00am
Kavallieri went on to win the championship. Photo by Ray Attard
Kavallieri went on to win the championship. Photo by Ray Attard

By Mike Turner

Although they were equal on points to Overseas, the championship was decided on the two head to head encounters earlier in the season, which Kavallieri won.

The Cisk Lager Cup was presented to Kavallieri by Sir Cameron Mackintosh immediately after the game, as Kavallieri had beaten a Valletta side earlier on. Valletta had much to be proud of as they made the champions work hard for the win.

Sliema Stompers 20
Overseas 27

Against Overseas, Stompers started at a frenetic pace and enjoyed early territorial advantage, taking the lead with an Attard penalty. Overseas posted an early warning by fearlessly attacking from behind their own try line; Stompers posted their warning by having the better of the early forward exchanges. The early match was somewhat marred by a whistle solo by the referee, as both teams seemed to lack discipline. Slowly Overseas worked a territorial advantage with their well timed offloads.  Finally they took the lead after long driving pressure released quick ball along the line and Buttigieg scored, Du Toit converted. More  strong pressure and a wild clearance was caught by the hooker Cole, who ran straight through the defence from 40 metres, Du Toit converted.

A telegraphed, soft pass by Overseas gifted Alvarez with a soft interception try for Stompers, converted by Attard, which . a huge cheer from the 500 crowd. The Overseas support and offloading enabled them to  and Du Toit caught Stompers full back Fountain on the line after a chip kick through, and more desperate defending was called for by Stompers. Wright came close byt Stompers cleared after Gatt won a valuable set scrum against the head. Finally another series of offloads and recycling saw McDonald score for Overseas who ended the half with a 19 – 10 lead.

Stompers started the second half as they had the first half by scoring an early penalty through Attard, and this put a little more lead in their pencil. After a lovely penetrating run by Camillieri, Attard flipped the ball to Morton on the burst and he ran right through a hole to score under the posts – a perectly timed move which shredded Overseas. Attard converted, and suddenly, for the first time since the opening minutes Stompers retook the lead.

Still Overseas had the territorial advantage and Cassar was imposing his strength more and more in driving runs. Barnard of Stompers was given  10 minute sin binning and after a huge sequence of Overseas offloads, twisting and turning in all directions, Du Toit was released to score in the corner to regain Overseas lead.

The next yellow card was Wright of Overseas and Stompers began a last desperate effort to wrest the lead back again. Attard  drilled a brilliant kick into the corner, but  Oversseas were actually able to drive them away at the lineout. A big drop out by Du Toit relieved their line again and finally Stompers indiscipline gave away a penaly which Du Toit converted from 50 metres and Overseas were 7 points ahead again. Stompers  attacked desperately and Davey was sin binned, but it was all too late, and the League championship slipped away into the eager hands of Kavallieri.

A good, fast running and entertaining match which Overseas took deservedly and were a little unlucky not to be named champions themselves.