Birkirkara claim double to end season on top notePublished: 17-05-2018 11:15
BOV Women's 1st Div
Birkirkara ended their season on a top note as they completed a league and cup double. They did it the hard way, beating Mġarr United 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the women’s KO final, played on Tuesday at the Centenary Stadium. Mġarr United, led by experienced coach Patrick Curmi, started the match as the brighter side. They were denied an early lead by Birkirkara goalkeeper Janice Xuereb. Moments later, Birkirkara’s Stephania Farrugia produced a long-range effort which came off the woodwork. The Stripes continued to push forward, Veronique Mifsud squandering a glorious chance when shooting wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. After the change of ends, Tracy Teuma tried to surprise the Mġarr United goalkeeper but her angled drive was off target. As the second half progressed, Curmi’s team increased their attacking incursions. They came close to opening the scoring but Roxanne Micallef’s close-range shot was stopped by Xuereb. However, it was only a matter of time before the Greens managed to find the net. They did so with 18 minutes remaining, Claudette Xuereb showing great persistence by dashing towards goal to push the ball over the line after her initial effort had come off the crossbar. Mġarr’s joy was short-lived. The Stripes levelled terms four minutes later as defender Maida Debono deflected the ball into her own net in an attempt to clear a cross from the right. The Stripes had two clear-cut opportunities to seal the issue but Teuma and Alishia Sultana failed to profit. On the other hand, Mġarr United replied with an effort from Amber Grech which came off the side-netting. No goals were scored in extra-time, meaning that penalties had to be taken to decide the winner. Birkirkara converted four penalties through Gabriella Zahra, Samantha Zarb, Stephania Farrugia and Sultana while Mġarr could only score three. The Stripes thus secured the double to make it a memorable season for coach Melania Bajada who emulated her predecessor Shawn Meilak’s double success in season 2016/17. Louis Micallef, the Malta FA Deputy General Secretary, presented the KO trophy to Farrugia, the Birkirkara captain in the presence of club president Frank Zarb.