Liverpool FC have not been the only sporting scousers to start the 2018/2019 season spectacularly yet approach it’s culmination with a somewhat less spectacular lead. It seems that this year’s battle between Newcastle seconds and Liverpool firsts in the BUCS Northern 1A water polo league has taken on remarkably similar form, with Liverpool storming to a 35-2 victory in back in October, yet Newcastle drawing back the deficit to just seven goals in Sunday’s home leg.
Within 20 seconds of the game beginning, Liverpool had found themselves a goal, but this was little more than a tease for the scousers, who it was clear from the swim-off would not be facing as easy a campaign as their home match was. Shortly after, club president Lucy Aubrook injected some class into the game as she delivered a perfectly calculated ball to the corner of the Liverpool net from the top of the arc. By half time, Liverpool have slipped past Newcastle’s defence just three times more, taking the score to 1-4.
With only seven players to their hand, Liverpool had no substitutes, and the third quarter saw their batteries start to die. Newcastle, on the other hand experienced an adrenaline surge, as their male counterparts emerged onto the poolside, presumably following an intense warmup for their subsequent match, to give support. Issy Denn-White channeled this energy and produced a number of strong shots which, to the disbelief of the support, somehow evaded the goal. Liverpool managed to capitalise on the counter. However, Charlotte Duff displayed style towards the latter end of the third quarter and provided Newcastle with their second goal, proving her invaluable worth on the team.
The final quarter was closely fought between the North East and North West, with neither team able to boost their goal count. Captain Sydney Isaacs told The Courier “The Liverpool matches are really a game of two equal parts, and I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment that the girls have shown. She continued: “If by some ridiculous twist of fate we are not relegated from this league next year, and this improvement curve continues, I think that we stand a good chance of beating Liverpool”. Newcastle Seconds are currently in 5th position out of 6 in their league, having conceded all of their matches. York are 6th on -2 points due to a walkover. It is worth noting, however, that Newcastle are the only second team in the league, all the rest are first teams.