Luqa St Andrew s winners of the Scicluna Cup B’ 1949 50
The first and only winners of this trophy
It still stands as a reminder of the time when the Luqa club was in the First Division.
The Forties were great years for Luqa St Andrew’s. One of the least fashionable Maltese clubs, St Andrew’s not only reached the First Division for the first• and only time in their history, but also won a trophy in the bargain.
The Scicluna Cup was very popular in the Fifties and Sixties. The competition was introduced in 1950 with the proceeds distributed among the Clubs.
In the first edition of the competition, the First Division teams were divided into two groups. Group A was made up of the top four teams and Group B of the other four. A cup was donated by Mr Carmelo Scicluna of the Stadium for the winners of each group.
In Group A, Sliema Wanderers beat Valletta 1-0 in the semifinals, while Hamrun Spartans sprang the surprise of the season when they beat Floriana 3-0.
The group A final left much to be desired Neither team presented any semblance of an ordered, smooth-running team Ninu Calleja of Sliema Wanderers celebrated his return to the team after a long injury with two fine goals. He was easily the best forward in view; It was his goals which gave the verdict and the cup to the Wanderers.
The Spartans ambled through the first period, letting the initiative pass into the hands of their opponents. Sliema were soon rewarded for their efforts with their first goal. In the second period the Spartans woke up to their responsibilities but lack of steadiness in front of goal denied them the equaliser. Later the Blues came back again into the game and Calleja scored his second goal.
In those days; Hibernians had still to win a major trophy. They had a good team, but they were unpredictable as hell. In one game they could reach dizzy heights but in the next they were likely to drop down to earth with a bang. This therefore, was their chance to win their first trophy. Judging by the opposition they were not expected to miss their chance.
In the semi-finals, Hibs beat Birkirkara United rather easily by 5 goals to 1. The other semi- final was much more interesting, with Luqa St Andrew’s just managing to beat St George’s by the odd goal in three.
The final was a match to remember. As expected Hibs had much more of the play but Luqa St Andrew’s proved to be no mean opponents. Hibs twice snatched the lead, first by Gatt and then by Censu Friggieri, only to see St Andrew’s draw level straight from the kick-off! With the score level at 2-2, Hibs piled up the pressure but the Saints somehow managed to contain the fury of their opponents.
Hibs were always ahead-of their opponents but all their attacks broke down on approaching the Saints’ penalty area. The Saints on the other hand, created fewer attacks but they were more-effective -and this is what counts in football. The team who scores the goals wins the match. Only one minute was left for the end of the game, when the Saints inside-left Calleja snatched the ball and placed it underneath the Hibs’ goalkeeper.
It was a winner, all the way. The Saints had the trophy! It was a great moment for them and a rare occasion to celebrate. The trophy was taken proudly to Luqa, where it still stands to this day. A proud remainder of a past era when the Luqa club mixed with better company. Hibs on their part had to lick their wounds and wait for another day.