Women’s water polo firsts dunk Poly rivals

Editor James Sproston and Sports Editor Sydney Isaacs report on the three Water Polo matches

James Sproston
27th February 2018
Jade Holden defending solidly whilst sporting henna by Sydney Isaacs. Image: Stephen Batey

Keeping to Stan Calvert tradition, Newcastle’s women’s water polo firsts defeated Northumbria in the pool, with Newcastle’s quality proving too much for their opposition in a comfortable 14-5 victory.

Northumbria won the swim off, holding onto possession for the opening seconds of the game. A quick turnover of possession led to the first chance of the game, as Newcastle’s No.3 Ellie Churchill found Liz Kreek in front of goal, who swiftly converted at the second time of asking having hit the bar with her first attempt.

Kreek then doubled Newcastle’s lead from Charlotte Blyth’s pass, before completing a hat-trick from another Churchill pass. Churchill added a goal of her own shortly after, following Newcastle captain Sarah Poyntz’s hard work down the left-hand side.

Throughout the remainder of the first period, both teams competed well, with Kreek unlucky to have a goal ruled out by the referees. As the quarter was drawn to a close, it was Newcastle’s clinical and decisive play that had proven the difference between the two teams, though Northumbria had competed for every ball possible.

Kreek then doubled Newcastle's lead from Charlotte Blyth's pass, before completing a hat-trick from another Churchill pass

On the balance of the game, Northumbria continued to match Newcastle for possession, but the speed and fitness of the Newcastle players was evident as multiple waves of attack were repelled by the visiting side to keep the score at 8-0. That defensive work also boils down to defensive organisation, with Newcastle benefitting from the experience of several National League players in the pool, as well as American scholar Kreek.

However, after a heavy touch from Churchill, Northumbria countered effectively for the first time in the game, with Sanderson scoring the home side’s first goal of the fixture. The Newcastle response was immediate, with Megan Lord and Jade Holden combining before Kreek received the ball in front of the Northumbria goal. However, Northumbria’s Ellie Purdy marshalled Newcastle’s No.7 away, running down the clock until the end of the third period.

Kreek beat Sullivan in the third swim off of the game, winning possession for Newcastle. Lord picked received the ball, feeding Ellie Sowerby on the right who picked out Kreek in pit, who managed to covert past Larisa Sucan in the Northumbria goal. Bosworth took Newcastle’s tally to double figures with a classy shot from six yards out into the top right-hand corner of the Northumbria goal.

Riding a period of sustained pressure, Newcastle scored their first goal of the final quarter when Liz Kreek broke clear, sending the ball across to Churchill, who played a one-two with Bosworth before knocking the ball in from one yard out.

On reflection, the victory came as little surprise, but the plucky nature of Northumbria’s play throughout was highly commendable, epitomised by their three goals in the final quarter. Newcastle demonstrated their class on the day, with Liz Kreek playing especially well in a game that will have little effect on Newcastle’s season, besides do their confidence the world of good.

The seconds were confident and hopeful for their match

The men’s first team match was much more nervously awaited anticipated from the Newcastle side than the women’s first’s. In the first two minutes of the game key player Adam Courtley was majored out of the pool twice. This proved crippling to the team as he was then forced to play a very safe game against an aggressive Northumbria side in order to avoid permanent exclusion. A Newcastle win in this match was always statistically unlikely. Despite a very tense and close match, the result was consistent with the stats.

On Thursday, Newcastle women’s second team played their first ever Stan Calvert match. With the Newcastle W2s currently top of the northern 2B league, and the Northumbria side sitting in third, The seconds were confident and hopeful for their match.

Unfortunately Newcastle W2’s goalkeeper Holly Jackson was unable to play the match, so captain Lucy Aubrook stepped up to take on the role. Lucy Aubrook’s performance in goal was without a doubt fantastic, reducing the Northumbria’s lead dramatically from what it could have been, however the team did suffer as a result of not having her as center-back. Center-forward, Tara Twine managed some great goals, but lacked support from team member Sydney Isaacs, who could not seem to get power behind the ball, placing it into the Northumbria goal-keeper’s hands on multiple occasions

The Men’s Second team followed the women’s match with a positive performance but equally disappointing overall scoreline. Despite a fantastic BUCS season, Newcastle M2 were unable to match the Northumbria side who currently sit a full league above them.

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