England beat South Africa on opening day of Water Polo Champs
6 April 2014
A great individual performance by Centre Forward Ciaran James earned England a win in their first game at the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships in Aberdeen.
England and South Africa were evenly matched at the start of the game but it was the England Men who took the lead through a well worked Ciaran James goal. Their lead was soon doubled thanks to some nice play from Tom Curwen.
South Africa struck back with a quickfire double of their own thanks to goals from Richard Downes and Lood Rabie. There was just enough time for England to regain the lead as Ciaran James scored his second goal of the match making it 3-2 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Supported by a strong following, the South Africans quickly turned things around early on in the 2nd quarter with goals from Downes and Nick Hock giving them a 4-3 lead.
Unfortunately for the South Africans their fightback sparked the English into life and they raced into a 11-5 lead before half-time, Ciaran James scoring another three goals to take his personal count to five.
The third quarter was more like the first with the South Africans attempting to get back into the game. Lood Rabie leding the way scoring his own hat-trick. Towards the end of the third South Africa started to see rewards for their efforts as they pulled the deficit back to 12-8.
South Africa took their momentum into the fourth quarter, bringing the score back to 13-10 with three minutes to find three goals.
England's defence held on and a late Adam Scholefield goal helped to seal the 14-10 (3-2, 8-3, 1-3, 2-2) win.
Both teams face New Zealand in their next game, South Africa play them tomorrow and England get Sunday off and play next on Monday.