After their gusty performance against current leaders Luxol, Swieqi next faced another hard challenge this time from Hamrun Spartans, the team in second place.
Hamrun started off the match brightly however they couldn't make their dominance count and had to wait for the 5th minute to take the lead through Michael Melo Jose after a Swieqi defensive mishap. Keith Cassar Jackson produced a good save to push the ball round the post. Diego had a number of good chances to equalize for Swieqi, however it was Bobo who grabbed the equalizer on the 11th minute which was truly deserved by Swieqi. A minute later and Hamrun had their lead restored thanks to Andy Mangion who headed over the Swieqi custodian. Diego managed to put his name on the scoresheet 4 minutes from the end of half time when he blasted the ball home from the side. Wizu tried his luck with a long range effort, however the Hamrun goalkeeper saved his shot and both teams headed into the half time break 2-2!
The second half started on a more ferocious pace by both teams. First it was Fred and Omar who had good chances to score, followed by Hamrun's Peter Pullicino and George Frendo. On the 3rd minute Hamrun got luck when a shot from Madson Caetano de Abreu took a wicked deflection off from Bobo and wrong-footed Cassar Jackson to put Hamrun in the lead. This unsettled Swieqi who further conceded two quick goals from an own-goal by Cassar Jackson and George Frendo. Swieqi coach Kenneth Fiteni subbed Cassar Jackson for Karl Balzan. Diego had a great chance to reduce the scoreline but had his shot well saved. Bobo reduced the deficit when he blasted the ball in from a corner pass 5-3! Dylan Micallef had a great header saved from the keeper who had to run backwards to keep the ball out. Karl Balzan produced two great saves to keep Hamrun at bay however on the 12th minute Hamrun extended their lead to 6-3 through Michael Melo Jose.
Swieqi responded through Fred and Bobo who both had decent chances of scoring. Swieqi's spirits were further dented when they conceded another goal from Daniel Mifsud. Wizu and Fred combined well, only for the Swed to see his shot go just wide. With four minutes remaining Hamrun grabbed another goal thanks to Michael Melo Jose, who himself grabbed a hat-trick. Diego, Wizu and Jean Bert Gatt (making his SUFC debut) all had chances to reduce the scoreline but fine goalkeeper from Hamrun's Clint Mifsud kept them out.
As the seconds ticked down, referee Franco sent off Dylan Micallef for a second yellow card and Hamrun club official Edward Psalia for dissent. Hamrun added their ninth and final goal with seconds to spare.
Swieqi next face Sliema on Friday 12th February at 9.45pm. The Owls just need one more point to secure their place in Malta's elite competition.