Wineport Connection with Easter Sunday in Malta 2012-04-08 19:32:00

Easter Sunday. HAPPY EASTER!
A bit of a lie-in this morning. Not down for breakfast until 8.30am. Again it was magnificent. The food has just improved so much from the first day. It is like staying in a different hotel on a different planet.
After breakfast and as we headed for the bus to play this morning's friendly game it started to rain. I know. Rain! That was not part of the deal!
Our short journey to play our friendly took us up the mountains. The scenery was spectacular.
We soon arrived at Mellieha Sport Club for our game. Once again the facilities are magnificent and shame the very best that we have at home. Again the welcome was amazing and the local people just cannot do enough for us.
Then it was out to play our game, easily the toughest game that we have played so far.

This game was not long on when it started to just pour rain. It lashed down. It was also windy and cold. We are not used to playing in conditions like that!
It was also soon apparent that this would be a tough match. They were good and strong and determined to make it hard for us.
There was little enough in it. Our best chance came on 21 minutes when a cross field ball by our best player Edmond Nolan picked out Aoife Connolly out on the right but Aoife's good shot hit the side netting. At the other end Cathal Mannion was called upon to make a few good saves.
We took the lead just on the half hour mark. Jack Bradbury Hughes raced onto a long clearance from Cathal. JBH won the foot race and then was very brave to lift the ball up and over the advancing goalkeeper for the ball to bounce into the empty net for 1-0.
Another excellent save from Cathal Mannion, diving low to his right to tip the ball away just before the break was crucial in seeing us turn around still one goal to the good.
The second half was equally competitive. We played well and needed to. Dylan Molloy and Ciaran Lennon combined brilliantly down the right with Ciaran sending in a magic cross which Michael McGloin volleyed off the crossbar.
We doubled our lead with a very good team goal. We passed and kept the ball well. Kevin Daly played a great pass into space for Ciaran Lennon who took on and beat his man, got to the end line, pulling the ball back into the path of the rampaging Dylan Molloy who finished coolly first time to the net for 2-0. It was a great run By Dylan to be there and was his second goal in three games. Not bad for a full-back. Dylan is having some week.
We might have scored a third following more great play which finished with a Michael McGloin shot that came back off the post.
But a very good win and another good performance. What was most pleasing was that we had to battle and show a bit of grit. We did that. A good day's work.
After the game we returned down the mountain to our Hotel and it was time for lunch.
Amazing! The choice and quality is fantastic. We even had Brussels sprouts and Profiteroles! Not together, you understand but only amazing
There is however a huge shortage of Easter Eggs. They don't seem to go in for the Easter Eggs much over here. Mammy, if you are out there will you put some away for me? You could melt an Easter Egg on the stones out here. If you only had an Easter Egg!
The afternoon was our leisure time. There is loads to do but most just went from pool to pool and enjoying the now incredible sun. (We thought that it was only in Ireland that you had all four seasons in the one day!). A word too for Seamus who is working so very hard in looking after all the players. (Seamus is working very hard as Sean Pettit's Assistant. Sean's elbow has that "magic touch"). This really is an amazing experience. We are so very lucky to be here and to have this opportunity.
In the evening we were back on the bus. We are invited to the very grand Phoenicia Hotel in Floriana for dinner. This is due to Irwyn's mum and to Ray Byrne from the Wineport Restaurant back home in Glasson. Theirs was and is an extraordinary generous gesture which is hugely appreciated by all the players and coaching staff and the ADSL. Thank you so very much.

The Phoenicia Hotel was just different class. We were greeted at the door by the Hotel Manager, Philip who extended to us the best possible welcome. We were escorted to a magnificent dining room where we could not have been treated any better. There was great attention to detail in every respect to include an ADSL customised menu. The food was plentiful and delicious and the staff could not have been more helpful or obliging. Before departing the players were presented with a special edible Easter gift by the staff. We then had a tour of the magnificent grounds and gardens with panoramic views of the city.
The Phoenicia Hotel was mighty impressive. If you ever go to Malta, and you should, then you must stay at the Phoenicia Hotel. It certainly has the ADSL seal of approval.
It was then back to our own Hotel with an hours free time before lights out at 10.00pm
It ends another brilliant day in Malta with hopefully more to come. Four glorious days gone, four days to go.


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