Our Ladies team finished third and made it through the six team BWPL play-off’s at Northampton Boys School over the weekend (6th & 7th April) and will now start the 2019/20 season in Division Three.
The team started on Saturday afternoon against Cheltenham who had previously played in Division Three last season but were having to re-qualify following a poor campaign.
Cheltenham got off to best start and with Watford feeling a little nervous in the opening half it was the West Country side that edged in front at 3-2. A half time team talk from Head coach Edi Brkovic calmed his teams nerves and in a faultless second half performance they got their qualification campaign up and running as the team scored four unanswered goals to win the opening match 6-3.
The next match was against Exeter another team that was trying to entry the BWPL for next season for the first time. And the game started with Watford taking a 2-0 lead, Exeter then pegged Watford back at 2-2 only for Watford to retake the lead at 3-2 but with half time approaching it was Exeter that snatched the lead with a two goal blast to lead at the break 3-4. The second half was a cagy affair as neither side could break the deadlock until with 2.25 seconds remaining Watford levelled at 4-4 but Exeter responded with 1.10 remaining for 4-5 and they held on to snatch the win.
The final game on Saturday afternoon was against Nova Centurion and Watford were up against the third side trying to break into the BWPL and once again the game was tight as Watford took a slender 1-0 lead at the half-way point. The second half started to open up as the team took a 3-0 lead with time running out Nova scored but it was too little too late and Watford won their second game 3-1.
Sunday and with two games against previous BWPL teams the task of securing one more win to gain qualification on the outside looked a difficult prospect and first up was Manchester Comets who had won all three of their games from Saturday.
The game began with Watford taking a 2-0 lead only for Comets to halve the deficit at 2-1 but a goal from Watford’s Anna Kiss re-established a two goal margin at the half-way point 3-1.
Into the second half and Comets came out fighting and clawed their way back into the game to pull level at 3-3 and with just under three minutes remaining neither side could break the deadlock and finished all-square, this was a point gained rather then one lost and with one game to go qualification was in our hands.
The final game of the weekend was against the third team with BWPL experience Sunderland but their campaign to regain entry hadn’t gone well as they had lost all four of their qualifying matches and in an opening half that Watford took 5-1. Sunderland rallied to win the second half 1-2 but the points were Watford’s and with it qualification assured for the 2019/20 BWPL season.
The Club now has three teams in the country’s top Water Polo competition and the new season will bring fresh new challenges for all players and coaches concerned.