Men’s Water Polo blog - the Danube Cup
27th June 2011
The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo team have just finished playing in one of the oldest tournaments in Europe - the 50th edition of the Danube Cup.
Competing against the experienced nations of Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the competition was an ideal preparation for the British men's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Georgia at Manchester Aquatics Centre on 2nd July.
Team Manager Tony Strong reports from Bratislava:
Match 1 - Great Britain 5 - 14 Romania (2-3, 1-5, 2-2, 0-4)
The game started quickly with the Romanians pressing hard and although Ed Scott pulled off some great saves, Romania eventually pulled ahead with a couple of well-taken goals. But British heads didn't drop and we scored a couple ourselves through Craig Figes and Alex Parsonage.
The Romanians scored again right at the end of the quarter to lead 3-2 at the end of the first quarter.
After an early score in the second quarter, the Romanians' experience started to show and they bagged a further four goals before Figes popped up on the stroke of half time to make the score 8-3 at the interval.
We came flying out of the blocks after half-time and quickly scored through a well-worked Parsonage goal. This was followed by arguably the goal of the game from a tireless Adam Scholefield.
We were defending well against some strong Romanian pressure but eventually their possesion paid off and they added a couple of goals to their tally.
The Romanians piled the pressure on the young British team in the final quarter, scoring four more goals to finish the match 14-5 winners.
Head Coach Cristian Iordache commented afterwards on how much experience the team was gaining through playing high-quality teams and although they lost, he was pleased with their overall level.
Match 2 - Great Britain 7 - 14 Slovenia (2-2, 3-5, 1-3, 1-4)
The second day in Bratislava saw us take on Slovenia. The pool had suffered a heating malfunction which meant all the athletes were suffering from the cold.
Nevertheless we got off to our usual quick start with a well-worked goal from Adam Scholefield followed by another from Jack Waller. However, patience and a slow build-up from Slovenia saw them draw level at the end of the first quarter.
The British players continued to build on the work from the first quarter and scored three in the second quarter through Rob Parker, Alex Parsonage and Richard Lawlor.
But the Slovenians matched them goal for goal and after Craig Figes had his penalty saved, they added another couple to lead 7-5 at half-time.
We were noticeably suffering from the cold water in the third quarter and while we managed one goal, Slovenia scored three after a few lapses in our concentration.
Waller scored another goal to start the fourth quarter but again the Slovenians came back and scored four unanswered to seal a 14-7 victory.
While it was disappointing to lose, the team met their pre-match objective with six different players finding the net.
Match 3 - Great Britain 7 - 12 Slovakia (1-3, 2-3, 1-2. 3-4)
The final day of the competition saw us take on the hosts Slovakia with the British team carrying a number of injuries.
We started well again with Adam Scholefield scoring for the third succesive match. But the Slovakians were proving to be a formidable team and scored two quick goals and a penalty to lead 3-1 at the first break.
We put some good attacks together in the second quarter and a Sean King goal was followed by another great effort from Scholefield. The Slovakians responded with three goals of their own and finished the quarter 6-3.
Slovakia burst out of the blocks in the second half and scored two quick strikes before Richard Lawlor earned a penalty which was converted by Joe O'Regan.
The final quarter saw the Slovakians pull away with four quick goals but despite a long weekend, we fought back with two of our own through Scholefield and Alex Parsonage.
We continued to apply pressure and although we failed to turn round the result, we finished the game with an absolute screamer from the impressive Sean King.
The British team now return to Manchester to prepare for their Euro 2012 qualifier on 2nd July at Manchester Aquatics Centre.
British Gas GBR Men's Water Polo team from 50th Danube Cup in Slovakia
1 Ed Scott
2 Mike Bourne
3 Glen Robinson
4 Sean King
5 Craig Figes (capt)
6 Jack Waller
7 Alex Parsonage
8 Jake Vincent
9 Dan Laxton
10 Adam Scholefield
11 Sean Ryder
12 Joe O'Regan
13 Matt Holland