18 Goal Parsonage Leads Lancaster into British Championship Final Four
London Olympian Alex Parsonage lead the way as Lancaster City’s senior mens water polo team qualified for the semi finals of the British Championships after successfully progressing through the preliminary round at Manchester Aquatic Centre last weekend.
Lancaster were drawn in Group B alongside London Penguin, Welsh Wanderers and Bristol Central with the top two qualifying for the finals weekend.
The first game was against London Penguin. Lancaster started cautiously and fell behind to a goal from Hungarian Gzabo. As the game progressed, the Lancaster defense starting to warm to the physical nature of their opponents style of play and gradually started to take control of the game. By the end of the first quarter had established 5:3 advantage thanks to goals from Michael Brown and Alex Parsonage.
At the start of the second period Penguin drew level through goals from Ortiz and Mathews but Lancaster finished the period strongly and reached half 10:7 ahead. In addition to Parsonage goals in the second period came from veteran Burgess plus new signing Joel Abbott.
The third period was an even affair with goals from Curwen and Brown been cancelled out by efforts by Matthews and Gzabo resulting in Lancaster ending the period with their three goal advantage intact. Lancaster started the final period with renewed intensity and further goals from Abbott, Curwen and Parsonage saw Lancaster run out eventual winners by 19 : 13.
Next up were Welsh Wanderers from Cardiff. Lancaster were in far more dominant mood during this game and established a 5:1 lead by the end of the first quarter. The second period was a more even affair as the Welsh initially responded with goals from Laxton and Harrington before contributions from Curwen and Burgess resulted in a half time score line of 7:3.
Lancaster were totally dominant in the second half as the counter attacking of the younger players in particular began to pay dividends. Goals followed at regular intervals with contributions from Scott Sharpe, Ben Walker, James Moffatt and Abbott before further strikes from Parsonage and Curwen saw Lancaster run out eventual winners by 17:5.
Final game of the weekend was against old rivals Bristol. However this was now a ‘dead rubber’ as both sides had already qualified for the semi finals and Lancaster took the opportunity to rest keeper Bush and main striker Curwen.
The early exchanges were fairly even with early goals from Abbott cancelled out by goals from Hutchins and returning Olympic GB Captain Craig Figes. Bristol gained the upper hand in the second period with and established a 7 5 lead through goals from Thresher and Wyatt. The second half was even as the teams exchanged goals and Bristol eventually ran out winners by 12:9.
Cheltenham and Manchester qualified from Group A to give a semi final line up as follows
Cheltenham V Lancaster
Bristol V Manchester
Scorers during preliminary rounds
- A Parsonage 16
- T Curwen 8
- J Abbott 7
- M Brown 4
- S Smith 3
- J Moffatt 2
- S Sharpe 2
- C Burgess 2
- B Walker 1
- Total 45