On Sunday, Newcastle’s women’s first water polo team took on St Andrews. Sitting in fifth place after two disappointing defeats at the start of the season to Durham and Sheffield Hallam, the Newcastle team were looking to gain two more points after Wednesday’s win over newly promoted Nottingham.
Following the gain of several new players and a very impressive preseason in Budapest, the St Andrews line-up looked much stronger than the team that Newcastle easily defeated 14-2 in their last game of the 2016/17 season. Nonetheless, Newcastle were going in for the win.
Despite Newcastle’s Rowena Moores winning the first swim off, the first goal of the game came from St Andrews’ Georgina Izen, who put the ball past Jess Newman between the posts. Newcastle held a strong defence for the first quarter, not allowing any more goals to pass by Newman. On the attack, Newcastle’s top scorer Giorgia Bosworth expertly scored two goals to put Newcastle 2-1 up at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was another close contested affair, seeing exclusions for both teams, which neither team was able to capitalise on. As the end of the quarter neared, it was St Andrews’ Meg Hedrick who finally put that ball in the back of the net, twice in quick succession, to bring St Andrews 3-2 up as the first half drew to a close.
Much to the disappointment of the speedo-clad Newcastle supporters, it was St Andrews who took control of the last quarter
Following two incredible goals from captain Sarah Poyntz and another from scholarship player Liz Kreek, the third quarter looked promising for Newcastle, as the team went two goals clear at 5-3. The resilient St Andrews team were quick to respond with goals from Nicole Thompson and Hendrick, who scored an impressive long range shot with one second on the clock.
This led both teams into the fourth and final quarter with five goals apiece. Much to the disappointment of the speedo-clad Newcastle supporters, it was St Andrews who took control of the last quarter. Despite goals from Newcastle’s Ellie Churchill and Ellie Sowerby, Newcastle found themselves going into the last minute of the game 8-10 down. The game ended with another goal from St Andrews’ Izen, to sink all hope for the Newcastle team, as the game ended 8-11.
Despite the loss, team coach Matt Little said it was a “really positive performance from everyone” and the St Andrews team had “a couple of lucky distance shots” that helped them clinched the win. The Newcastle girls now must face St Andrews next week, but are hoping to come out on top on Scottish turf.