As the Individual Mixed League is nearing its end, more honours are coming Birkirkara’s way as Song/Marija finish runners-up in division 2, Albert/Daniella wrapped up the title in division 3, whilst Matthew/Yanika finished third in division 4. The only division still undecided is division 1, which is still in its half-way mark with Stefan/Klara leading the race.
Stefan Salomone/Klara O’Berg ended the first round with full points when they beat Paola’s H. Thomsen/A. Galea 21-15, 21-13. The Birkirkara pair took early comfortable leads in both sets to win two important points for their final classification. They now lead with four clear points from their nearest rivals.
Stephen Ferrante/Fiorella Sadowski received a bitter blow for their title aspirations when they could only manage to win one point out of four from the matches played. In their first match they went down to Paola’s E. Abela/J. Cassar in a close match which ended 21-17, 21-15. With this win the Paola players overtook our pair in second place. Stephen/Fiorella were very nervous throughout, especially when they found themselves in difficulties, and were not their usual selves, committing several unforced errors which cost them the points.
The same pattern followed in the second match when they met and could only manage a draw against wooden-spoonists H. Thomsen/A. Galea of Paola. The Paolites won the first set 21-19, but then Stephen/Fiorella made a reaction and salvaged a point winning the second set 21-17.
Despite beating leaders K. Vella/P. Gambin of Paola and winning three out of four points on the night, Song Chen Jun/Marija Attard could only finish runners-up in this division. Some points lost in drawn matches cost them the title.
The Birkirkara pair met Vella/Gambin needing a victory to be still with a chance of winning the league. This they did winning 24-22, 21-15 in two balanced sets.
However in the second match Song/Marija could only draw against Shuttles pair C. Spiteri/C. Spiteri, winning the first set 21-18, but then losing the second 21-17.
With their win in their last match against nearest rivals – Paola’s G. Grech/A. Cassar – Birkirkara’s Albert Bezzina/Daniella Galea won the division 3 title. The first set was a mere formality as Albert/Daniella took control of play and won easily 21-11. In the second set they somewhat eased their pressure but still managed to win 21-15, thus making sure of the league title. Congratulations to Albert and Daniella.
Matthew Galea and Yanika Polidano produced a good performance to win their last match, enabling them to finish third, hoping that this experience helps them for future campaigns.
Matthew/Yanika met Shuttles pair Z. Cilia/R. Spiteri and won 21-16, 21-14. In both sets the Birkirkara pair went in front from the start and controlled proceedings to earn a merited win.
The second round of division 1 will be played in the coming weeks, following the Mixed Team League runner-up decider to be played on Wednesday, 11th June at Cottonera at 7 pm.