Brits go down fighting in close match in Manchester
20th March 2012
The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team put in a strong performance in their final FINA Water Polo World League match in Manchester, losing by the narrowest of margins to an experienced Russian side with the game finishing 11-9.
They exploded from the swim off into an exciting first quarter with the Brits strong in defence and Ed Scott proving almost unbeatable in goal.
Captain Craig Figes scored the first goal for Great Britain after a penalty was awarded with just two minutes of play gone. The Russian team were looking for a quick response and didn’t fail to deliver with Ivan Nagear equalising with three minutes of the quarter to go.
The Russian attack continued for much of the final stages of the first quarter but they only managed to score one more goal as their efforts were halted by three impressive saves from Scott supported by a goal from Glen Robinson. The two teams were evenly matched and at the end of the quarter the score was two all.
They played well and it was a much improved performance from the team
The Russian’s took an early lead in the second quarter, scoring just 10 seconds after the restart but Alex Parsonage got his first goal of the night to level the match.
Another Russian goal put the visitors ahead but Parsonage retaliated within 30 seconds. Despite the Russians taking the lead again, Parker got his second with just 0.9 seconds on the clock.
At half time the scores were five apiece and it was all to play for as the team swapped ends.
The penultimate period saw the Russian team start strongly and with just two minutes to go they were two goals ahead thanks to consecutive goals from Vishyakov.
On form Parker clawed a further two impressive goals back for the team and Robinson added another to equalise for Britain.
With three minutes to go the British team called a time out but the Russians returned to play launching a sustained period of attacking play. They came back to finish the period with another goal in the final seconds of play. They led with a score of 9-8 going into the final throws of play.
The final period of the game saw the Russian goalkeeper finding his form, saving a barrage of British attempts on goal.
The experienced Russians proved to be slightly stronger finishing with a flurry of goals in the final minutes of the game.
At the final hooter the final score was 11-9 to Russia but the British team’s performance was much improved on their last meeting.
Cristian Iordache, Head Coach for the British team said: “I would like to thank the players for their efforts tonight. They played well and it was a much improved performance from the team.
“This was a benchmark match for us, it is good that we are close but the players and I are still disappointed we didn’t take the win.
“The Russian team are much more experienced than our team, a number of their players have played in two Olympic Games.
“We did make mistakes and we will learn from them tomorrow and look to further improve in the next few months.
“We played much better here than we did in Russia, it was a good game and we’ll do everything we can in our preparations for the Olympics in London.”
- Click here for a team list and more details of the British team.