GB Water Polo Blog Update: 5th March
5th March 2013
This week there were big wins in Spain for Sean King, France for Jack Waller and in Germany for Sean Ryder. We will start in Spain where Sean King’s Navarra travelled to Ed Scott’s Mediterrani.
Mediterrani 6 Navarra 10
After a brilliant 10-11 victory away to powerhouses Terrassa last weekend Ed’s Medi team were confident ahead of the match played in the sun at Saturday lunchtime in Barcelona. Medi were without a fully fit Ed Scott who had trained only once all week due to falling ill with tonsilitis on monday, but he was a trooper and played the match regardless.
Navarra took the early initiative and held the lead throughout the match. “We started better and put away our chances early in the game to take the lead which we held for the rest of the game. It was probably our best defensive performance of the season which gave us a good platform from which we could win,” said Sean.
Medi were only 7-6 down at one point in the third quarter but Sean scored the decisive goal against his GB team mate to make it 8-6. A nice ‘old gits style lean back’ shot from a cross pass bounced away from Ed in the goal and restored Navarra’s two goal advantage. The win propels Navarra back into the hunt for fifth place and leaves Medi in eighth, equal on points with Rob Parker and Ciaran James’s Catalunya.
Catalunya 8 Mataro 8
A point well earned for Rob and Ciaran this week. The boys played a solid game vs LEN Cup participants Mataro. “It was a really close game throughout which could have gone either way, but we are happy with a point,” said Ciaran. He was in good form with two goals to take his season tally to 19.
Mediterrani 10 Mataro 8
The girls played the quarter finals of the Spanish Cup on Friday night and unfortunately lost. Their main rivals in the league, Sabadell, went on to win the final on Sunday which will give them a boost in their quest to beat the GB girls of Mataro to win the league. Frankie Snell put in a strong performance with four goals and Chloe Wilcox chipped in with two. They can now concentrate on their strong league form this season and go for the title.
Nice 11 Sete 6
This match saw fourth place against third which looked like it would be a close match but ended up as a comfortable victory for Nice. Their post-xmas form has been much improved which Jack Waller attributes to an improved man up conversion.
“The key to the match and us playing better recently was our man up, 50% this match, and taking full advantage, because that was not good enough before,” said Jack.
Jack was strong at center winning a couple of penalties and three majors and giving a solid platform for his team to work around. Nice will be hoping to win all of their remaining six games and take third spot from Sete to ensure an easier play-off match after the ‘saison reguliere’ finishes. That starts next weekend away in Douai which is a notoriously hard place to win, and will be a big test for Jack and his team.
Montpellier 14 Aix en Provence 8
Finally it’s over! Montpellier away was the last of four games against the top four for Matt Holland's Aix which they unfortunately failed to get any points from. Now there are six games to go with four at home, so they will be aiming for four victories and targeting fifth or sixth place in the league.
Montpellier took a three goal lead through converted man ups and seemed in cruise control from there. They have some talented individuals who are able to step up and score so they don’t really need to play well as a team to win every game..
Aix put up some good resistance, scoring a couple of goals per quarter, but were ultimately let down in defence.
Valencienne 7 Lille 11 (N1)
Scott Martin’s Liile kept the pressure on top of the table Riems with a hard fought victory against their fellow Northerners. Lille are still five points behind first place but keep on picking up wins in anticipation for ‘le crunch’ match at home to Riems in a few weeks.
SC Wedding 7 SV Weiden 9
A massive win for Sean Ryder’s Wedien which near enough guarantees them seventh in the league and an easier play-off match up. The team from Berlin, Will Middleton’s former club, came out strong and tried to use the home advantage after Weiden had travelled all day. But a strong third quarter performance sealed the victory for Weiden.
”Our young national team centre had a really good game which set up the win for us," said Sean. "Hopefully we can do well in the play-offs and maintain our top division status.” He scored one goal in the match.
ASC Duisburg 13 SV Bayer Uerdingen 3
A tough loss for Jake Vincent and his team reaffirms the dominace of the top two teams in the league which leaves those third and below to compete in their own league.
Jake’s Bayer Uerdingen are still in third and will be looking for a final win next weekend to maintain their place and get a kinder play-off draw.
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