Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club who are celebrating 125 years this year, cratered off the new British Water Polo League season with two tough games against last year’s runners up, Cheltenham and fifth place, Bristol respectively.
With three new players on the team sheet for the first game, one of those was fifteen year old Owain Llewellyn who was to start in goal as regular goalkeeper Marc Robinson was carrying a match ban from the previous season.
The first quarter showed both team’s nerves with many opportunities missed and some good saves made by Llewellyn. Last year’s top goal scorer Alex Parsonage scored both of city’s goals leaving the score at the end of the first quarter, even at two all.
The second quarter was much better with Lancaster finding some form and witnessed some goals from Curwen, Kennedy, Parsonage and Harrington who was doing a fine job in keeping the opposition centre forwards quiet. Going into half time city were up 6-5.
The second half was very much a tale of two very different quarters. In the third City allowed Cheltenham to score four easy goals by poor covering and some easy shots missed by the local home team. Some good countering by Decland Ellwood gave us a goal back with Glen Robinson and Parsonage getting two further goals to leave City at 9-9 going into the last quarter.
The last quarter is where Lancaster showed their potential with some good work by Robert and Ryan in defence, which allowed the rest of the team to finally finish their chances with good breaks to outscore Cheltenham by six to one with goals coming from Robinson (2) Parsonage (2) Kennedy Curwen, leaving the final score 15 – 10 to Lancaster.
Saturdays Team Owain Llwellyn, Graham Harrington (1), Glen Robinson (3), Rob Simpson, Scott Sharpe, Ryan Pinington, Thomas Curwen (2), Roger Kennedy (2), Alex Parsonage (6), Dec Ellwood (1), James Moffat, David Teasdale, Lewis Peach
After Saturday’s result Lancaster were determined to go away from the weekend with maximum points turning up in their new t-shirts sponsored by Pete Gorst flooring specialist they were looking good both in and out of the pool.
Bristol were always going to be tough opposition, with London 2012 Olympic Captain Craig Figges playing but Lancaster welcomed back Marc Robinson in goal after serving his ban and seventeen year old Zak Lamb came into the team for his first British Water Polo League game.
The game started very much like the day before with Lancaster missing opportunities which you would hope are just down to first weekend nerves. Goals in the first quarter by Scott and Alex helped Lancaster go into the break at 2-2.
Goals were scarce in the second quarter good defence from Robert and Ryan on the wings and Graham in the centre restricted Bristol to only one goal. A good break away from Alex allowed Lancaster to take the lead and a 10 meter shot by Curwen gave Lancaster a 4-3 lead at half time.
Following a half time team talk from coach Zak Sly and some much needed Kendal mint cake Lancaster started out much brighter with some great centre forward play from Robinson and Kennedy brought about two penalties which Curwen scored at the start of the 3rd quarter followed by fast countering from James, Scott and Lewis allowed Harrington to score three goals with a further by Curwen to bring the third quarter score 10-6 in Lancaster’s favour.
Going into the last quarter Lancaster controlled the game much better with good work from Dave and a first outing for Zak restricted Bristol’s opportunities with them scoring two goals to Lancaster’s three goals coming from Parsonage (2) and Curwen (1) to leave the final score at 13-8.
Sundays Team Marc Robinson, Graham Harrington (3), Glen Robinson, Rob Simpson, Scott Sharpe (1), Ryan Pinington, Thomas Curwen (5), Roger Kennedy, Alex Parsonage (4), Zak Lamb, James Moffat, David Teasdale, Lewis Peach Coach Zak Sly Team Manager Nigel Sharpe
|2||City of Manchester||2||2||0||0||13||6||7||4|
|8||City of Sheffield||2||0||0||2||11||24||-13||0|