This is the latest report of the 2017/2018 BWPL season.
British Water Polo League Division 3
Haberdashers School, Elstree.
4th/5th November 2017
The first phase of the national league season saw our senior team return to the excellent deep water pool at Haberdashers school in Elstree.
After the first two weekends we had won three of the four matches that we had played and as result we only required 1 win form the remaining 3 fixtures to secure a top five finish. This would guarantee a place in Championship 2 in the second phase of the competition which would give us the opportunity of promotion to division 2 for next season.
The three game weekends are always hard work but we were confident that we could secure the results that we required.
Match 1. Saturday 14.15
Worthing 7, Portobello 16
Quarter scores; – 2-5, 0-3, 2-3, 3-5
This looked to be the toughest game of the first phase of the season against a Portobello team that features a number of players who have experience of playing at the top level in British water polo.
The game proved to be very difficult but we really didn’t help ourselves with a below par performance when we struggled to play with any energy for long periods.
We made a slow start conceding a number of goals that really should have been avoided and we never really played the type of water polo that we are capable of.
It was a disappointing start against the best team we have played but all of the squad realised that we hadn’t really done ourselves justice.
Scorers; – Matt 2, Ben 1, Toby 1, Dave 1, Jacob 1, Alastair 1
Exclusions; – Toby 2, Dave 2, Archy 1, George 1, Ben 1, Stefan 1, Jacob 1, Alastair 1
Match 2. Saturday 18.00
Worthing 12. Ealing 10
Quarter scores; – 4-3, 3-0, 2-5, 3-2
A win was required and a win was eventually secured after a nervous finish to a game that we should really have won comfortably after leading 7-3 at half-time.
We played well at times, particularly in the second quarter when our high pressing game gained possession on many occasions. Matt was a constant threat at centre forward and by half time we looked as though we would secure a relatively simple win.
A poor third quarter let Ealing back into the game and made for a nervous finish to the match which really should have been avoided. At one stage in the final period Ealing had reduced our lead to 10-9 but Ben Curtis came up to with two good goals to make the game safe.
The win was what we required and as a result we secured the top five finish with a game to spare. It also meant that the match against Cambridge on Sunday morning would decide who finished second in the division.
Scorers; – Matt 5, Joao 4, Ben 2, Toby 1
Exclusions; – Jacob 3, George 2, Richard 2, Toby 1
Match 3. Sunday 12.45
Worthing 9, Cambridge 9
Quarter scores; – 3-2, 3-3, 1-1, 2-3
Another close match that we really should have won but we missed too many chances and we also contrived to concede a number of goals that really should have been avoided.
We always looked the better team but we seemingly couldn’t convert this into a comfortable lead and we kept trading goals throughout the match.
Cambridge worked hard but we really should have built a lead by half time. In the end a draw was probably the right result, particularly as we fell behind with only
20 seconds remaining but in a frantic finish Matt scored with 5 seconds left to secure the point.
This was a game that we probably should have won but the third game of the weekend is always tough and we all knew that we could have played better. That said, the draw was enough to secure second place in the division which we would have definitely settled for before the season started.
Scorers; – Matt 3, Joao 3, Ben 2, Richard 1
Exclusions; – Richard 2, Joao 2, Ben 1, Toby 1, Alastair 1
Squad in full; – Henry Elwell-Sutton, Archy Burnell, George Wood, Richard Hooper, Ben Curtis, Stefan Berechet, Joao Martins, Toby Underwood, Dave Hinder, Jacob Nash, Akos Hausknecht, Matt White, Alastair Hardinge
Overall this was a satisfactory weekend when we secured the results we required which was by far the most important thing. We now don’t play again until January when we will play the first matches of the second phase of the season. We know that this will be tough but all of the squad are looking forward to the challenge of trying to secure promotion to division 2.