Cheltenham win British title after dramatic penalty shoot-out
23 February 2014
Cheltenham beat City of Manchester 12-11 after a penalty shoot out to win their first British Gas Men’s Water Polo Championships title.
The 2014 competition at Manchester Aquatic Centre was filled with drama as Cheltenham held Super 5 winners Manchester to an 8-8 (4-2, 0-2, 4-0, 0-4) draw at the end of the fourth period.
Cheltenham dominated the first and third quarters, but were shut out by a strong Manchester team in the second and fourth. Both sides converted penalties and Cheltenham’s Bernat Jakupovic was sent off for four minutes in the final quarter for brutality.
Both goalkeepers made important saves in the final quarter to take the match to penalties.
Manchester’s Joe O’Regan was the first to take a penalty putting a powerful shot bottom left to beat Cheltenham’s Sam Legge. After nine penalties the score was still tied at 11-11 but a winning goal from Adam Legge’s ensured the Cheltenham victory.
Commenting after his winning shot, Adam Legge said: “There was a lot of pressure on that last penalty. Sam had made it easier by saving a few but I put my faith in God and my own ability and that was the difference.”
Brother Sam added: “The team has worked really hard at training this year so to come here and win the British Champs is brilliant. It was a great team performance and I’m ecstatic to have saved two penalties.”
In the men’s third place playoff 2012 champions Portobello beat London Invicta 9-6 (0-0, 2-3, 1-1, 6-2).
There was nothing between the two teams in the first quarter but Invicta took the lead in the second by converting a penalty.
The teams were tied in the third period but Portobello’s experience and determination showed in final quarter as they pulled ahead with two quick goals. A late penalty for Invicta was converted but two goals from Portobello ensured the win for the Scottish side.
For all the match information including goalscorers click here.