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GB Water Polo Blog Update: 21st January

21st January 2013

Firstly a congratulations to Cheltenham for winning their first BWPL championship in 42 years. Across Europe everyone was in action for thier clubs with another mixed bag of results, we will start in Spain with the Barcelona derby involving Ed, Rob and Ciaran….

Spain

Mediterrani 8 Catalunya 7

Another close game was contested after the 10-10 draw at the beginning of the season in the outdoor pool of Ed Scott’s Mediterrani. Hampered by the absence of American pit man Jeff Schwimmer and a first quarter wrapping for their Spanish equivalent, Ed’s team adapted well behind a another strong performance from the blonde-locked GB goalkeeper.

His GB team mates Rob and Ciaran claimed a goal each for the visitors but it wasn’t enough to get a result this time. The win leaves Mediterrani in seventh place with Catalunya occupying 10th spot.

Montjuic 4 Navarra 10

A relatively stress-free match for Sean King’s team here against bottom side Montjuic. After a strong first quarter Navarra lead 5-1 and in Sean’s words, “our finishing was the only thing that stopped us scoring more”. This leaves them fifth in the league with a good opportunity to kick on, finish the second half of the season strongly and ensure a good league position for the play offs.

Mataro 17 La Latina 6

An easy win for Chloe, Frankie and Ciara that consoldates second in the league ensuring they remain in touching distance of the formidable Sabadell. Bottom of the table and hampered by three players not travelling to this away fixture, La Latina faced an uphill task and after losing the first quarter 7-3 the game was all but over.

Chloe comments, “We started well winning the first quarter 7-3 then just ensured we won the game. I think the coach would have preferred us to concede less and was a bit disappointed after the match but i’m happy with the win”. Chloe scored three goals, Frankie two and Ciara one.

France

Strasbourg 10 Aix en Provence 11

Matt Holland said: "This was our first game of 2013 and a massive win. Traditionally we have never played well in Strasbourg and I was apprenhensive before the match as they have a strong team coupled with our inconsistent performances so far this season.

"But after the first quarter I felt we could win if we defended well and kept our concentration for the duration of the match (our biggest problem this season and last). We won the first quarter 3-1 through strong center forward play by Zoltan Varga, our Hungarian pit man, scoring a goal, winning a penalty and drawing two exclusions. This opened up the game for us as Strasbourg then felt the need to play quite a poor zone for the remainder of the match allowing us to shoot from outside and stay ahead for the rest of the game.

"But the game was won for us in defence. Playing an active zone, we restricted them to outside shots and managed to control their two dangerous pit men. I was personally happy as I think it was my best game so far for Aix. Now we have to continue to train well and try and win the upcoming important games vs Sete and Douai which will define our aims for the second half of the season."

Nice 8 Montpellier 10

Jack Waller’s Nice came up against a Montpellier team who were reinforced with the returning French internationals Mathieu Pession and Remi Saudadier and proved too strong.

They led for the whole game but Jack said: “We played well considering our team for the match. We were missing a few players but still played well against a strong Montpellier team. The disappointing thing was winning nine majors and two penalties (0/9 man ups) and not taking full advantage”. Nice travel to Paris next week to play Noisy le Sec in another must win.

Lyon 10 Lille 10 (National 1)

Scott Martin’s promotion favourites Lille drew an important match against fellow top team Lyon. It was close throughout with Lille missing a man up in the final seconds to win the game. They remain in second place, four points behind Reims.

Germany

SV Canstatt 7 Bayer Uerdingen 5

A black out in the second quarter due to an electrical fault at the Canstatt pool delayed the match by half an hour. It was 3-3 before the forced break. Jake Vincent’s team ‘switched off’ after the restart and were unable to break down a defiant home team. Jake says. “The game was really disappointing we played really badly and didn’t seem to shot, what really let us down was our man up / down us only scoring 1 from 8 and conceding 6 from 12. This game was one of the worst games we have played this season and we really should have won.” They remain however fourth in the league.

SV Weiden 5 ASC Duisburg 14

Sean Ryder’s SV Weiden again put up strong resistance against second in the table Duisburg, trailing 5-4 at half time, but were unable to stay in the game losing the next two quarters 3-0 and 6-1 ending their chance of a shock result. Sean comments. “We had a great first half, leading twice against the league vice champs, but a bad man up conversion rate and a lack of substitues took its toll in the second half. Our GK, who is the Czech National team number one (who GB will be playing against in Georgia) played out his skin and received the MVP award despite us not winning. Looking forward now to playing against Jake and his team Uerdingen next weekend at home."

Bayer Uerdingen 29 SV Nikar Heidelberg 3

Fran and her team remained top of the German Womens league with an easy victory on Saturday. “We played a strong counterattack game, dominating the game with a lot of steals and accurate shooting” says Fran. She ended the game with three goals including one penalty.

Slovakia

GB’s adopted Swede Chris Vang recently transfered from Serbia to Bratislavian based Slovakian team UK Slavia after a contractual dispute and his first game ended in victory. They beat fellow title favourites Kosice 9-4 to open up their lead at the top of the table to two points.

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