Preseason warmup at the Army tournament

The annual Army water polo tournament was re-vamped this year with a combined UK armed forces team hosting the event at the excellent 50 metre pool at the Adershot north camp sports centre.
As a result of the combined services playing with a much stronger squad, the organisers invited Watford, who like ourselves are a division 2 national league team, along with Southampton who play in division 3.
The event itself was always going to be a tough schedule with all of the four teams playing three full matches in a six hour period and all the teams found this extremely tough going.
Our squad of 12 players included debutantes Alfie Brown and Alexandru Georgescu who will be playing in our national league team in the forth coming season along with Jamie Bond who has progressed quickly from our junior squad. We were also missing a number of players who were unavailable for a number of reasons but will also be available for selection for the national league. The individual match reports are as follows.

Match 1, 11.15

Worthing 5, Watford 8
Quarter scores: 0-2, 1-1, 2-2, 2-3

We haven’t played a senior match for quite a while and it was perhaps unfortunate that we had to play Watford, who have recruited a number very experienced players, in the first match. Although unsurprisingly we looked short of match practice we actually put together a very decent performance and if we had taken a number of good opportunities that we created, the result may have been different.
We definitely took a number of positives from the performance and although it was disappointing to lose the game, we had shown at times that we can still be a very competitive team.

Scorers: Joe 3, Sam 1, Jamie 1
Exclusions: Archy 2, Toby 2, Joe 1, Ben 1, Matt 1

Match 2, 12.45

Worthing 13, UK Armed Forces 8
Quarter scores: 4-2, 1-2, 4-2, 4-2

With only a 30 minute break we were soon back in the pool in action against the combined services and the squad put together a decent performance where we really controlled the game throughout.
We actually managed the game well and we always looked dangerous on the counter attack which led to a number of the goals.
Defensively we were probably guilty of conceding a number of goals that should possibly have been avoided but after a good start to the game we never looked in a great deal of trouble.
We were obviously tired, but all of the squad put in good performances resulting in a relatively comfortable win.

Scorers: Matt 3, Alfie 3, Alexandru 2, Joe 2, Elliot 1, Toby 1, Archy 1
Exclusions: Alexandru 3, Matt 2, Alfie 2, Elliot 1, Sam 1, Ben 1, Toby 1

Match 3, 16.15

Worthing 17, Southampton 3
Quarter scores: 2-1, 5-0, 4-1, 6-1

After a relatively close first quarter we took control of this match against a tiring Southampton to record a comfortable win.
We were also tired but we were by far the better team throughout the game and the opposition really struggled to deal with our press defence and swift counter attack. On many occasions we were able to gain possession in good areas and the quality of our finishing was far too good for the Southampton defence.
It was good to finish with a very positive display against a well organised opposition who in the end were well beaten.

Scorers: Elliot 3, Matt 3, Joe 3, Ben 2, Toby 2, Alfie 2, Sam 1, Jamie 1
Exclusions: Archy 1, Joe 1, Alfie 1

Squad in full:
Marc Guimera, Joe Hazeldine, Alfie Brown, Sam Cooper, Toby Underwood, Alexandru Georgescu, Matt White, Archy Burnell, Jamie Bond, Henry Elwell-Sutton, Elliot Hurst.

Overall, this was a really good event for our senior team who will definitely have benefited from playing the three matches, and although we don’t like losing games, we can take some significant positives from the Watford game.

The national league program in the second division of the British Water Polo League commences at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on the weekend of 12th/13th October.

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