Champions Birkirkara unperturbed by closing defeat

Sylvano Comvalius said "this title means everything to me" after Birkirkara FC collected the Maltese Premier League trophy following a 4-2 defeat against nearest rivals Valletta FC.

Birkirkara captain Michael Galea lifts the Premier League trophy
Birkirkara captain Michael Galea lifts the Premier League trophy ©Domenic Aquilina

It was appropriate that the last fixture of the Maltese Premier League season for 2009/10 pitted together this year's two major protagonists – champions Birkirkara FC and National League 100 Years Cup winners Valletta FC.

The Stripes were crowned last weekend after taking an unassailable four-point lead over Valletta. The runners-up were therefore seeking revenge and did find some solace with a 4-2 win that leaves them just a point off the summit at the end of the campaign.

Victory for Valletta came thanks, in part, to a hat-trick from Terence Scerri which takes his tally for the season to 20 – behind just Qormi FC's Camilo in the league's top scorers' chart. The visitors did at one point pull the score back to 3-2 thanks to goals from Michael Galea and Sylvano Comvalius but were unable to restore parity.

They were awarded the trophy nevertheless, much to the delight of Comvalius. "This title means everything  to me," he told "After a difficult period I gave everything to win this title with Birkirkara."

Qormi had earlier beat Maltese Cup holders Sliema Wanderers FC 3-0 to join the Wanderers in third position. If Valletta go on to lift this season's National Trophy, a play-off will determine who is awarded the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round berth for next season.

Dingli Swallows FC and Msida St. Joseph FC will play Division One football next season while second tier Champions Marsaxlokk FC bounce back to the Premier League after only one term away. Vittoriosa Stars FC join them in the Premier League for the 2010/11 campaign. Tarxien Rainbows FC ended their Premier League commitments with a 1-0 derby win against Hibernians FC that ensures them fifth place in the final standings.

The spotlight now turns to the Maltese Cup, in which Valletta will be facing Hamrun Spartans FC in one of the two semi-finals on 17 May. The other last-four tie pits Qormi against Tarxien Rainbows FC, with the showpiece to be played at the National Stadium on 23 May.