British Water Polo League Division 3
20th/21st October 2018
We travelled to the picturesque Wiltshire market town of Marlborough to play the second round of the fixtures in the 2018-2019 national league campaign having won 2 of our 3 matches at Sheffield three weeks ago.
This was always going to be a key weekend for our senior team with crucial fixtures against the much improved Southampton on Saturday and CheltenhamSpartans on Sunday.
These are the individual match reports; –
Worthing 5, Southampton 4.
Quarter Scores; – 0-1, 3-1, 2-1, 0-1
This was a tough game against our south coast rivals who were unbeaten after the first weekend at Sheffield and are now a very awkward team to play.
We made a strong start and we created a number of excellent chances but we missed when we should have scored and almost inevitably Southampton scored the only goal of the first quarter with a break away.
We found a better rhythm in the second period and quick goals soon saw us take a 3-1 lead at the mid-point. The remainder of the match was a very cagey affair with both defences on top but we maintained a two goal advantage until relatively late in the final quarter.
This was a very hard match but we always looked the more attacking team and if we had taken our chances we would have had a more comfortable victory.
All the squad made good contributions and played a part in what was a vital win.
Scorers; – Joe 3, Joao 2
Exclusions; – Richard 2, Elliot 1, Matt 1, Joao 1, Vytas1, Guglielmo 1.
Worthing 10, Cheltenham Spartans 4
Quarter Scores; – 3-2, 2-0, 2-2, 3-0
This was a really, really tough match but we came up with a good performance when it mattered.
Cheltenham have been one of the dominant teams in UK water polo in recent years winning the league and cup competitions on several occasions. The Spartans are their second team that was entered into the league to offer younger players the chance to play in national league water polo before progressing potentially to the first team. The team that we faced was short on younger players but did include many members of the successful Cheltenham teams of the past few years most who had played international water polo.
As a result we developed a game plan that was very different to how we played against Southampton but looked to make the most of our quick counter attacking.
For long periods we controlled the game and our zone defence meant that Cheltenham
were forced to shoot from distance on many occasions and Marc was in excellent form in goal.
We made an excellent start and George scored two excellent goals in the first quarter with Vytas adding a third. Cheltenham scored twice to reduce the margin but the pattern of the game had been set and we extended our lead to 5-2 at the mid-point. The third period was 2-2 but we controlled the match in the final quarter cleverly taking time out of the game maintaining possession.
This was an excellent win and was very much deserved for a really well disciplined performance where our tactics worked really well. Once again, all of the squad made good contributions in what was a really tough encounter.
Scorers; – George 3, Ben 2, Joao 1, Vytas 1, Joe 1, Alastair 1
Exclusions; – Joao
2, Alastair 2, Elliot 1, George 1, Richard 1, Ben 1, Matt 1, Joe 1, Jacob 1, Guglielmo 1.
Squad in full; – Marc Guimera, Elliot Hurst, George Wood, Richard Hooper, Ben Curtis, Joao Martins, Jacob Nash, Alastair Hardinge, Guglielmo Sportelli, Joe Hazeldine, Vytas Liubertas, James Poole, Matt White.
This was an excellent weekend for us and the two wins mean that we have already secured our place in division three for next season and we will also have a chance to possibly gain promotion when the second phase of the competition starts in the new year.