Watford British Water Polo League (BWPL) update

Last weekend (3rd & 4th Nov) the Men’s first team had 2 home fixtures against Exeter and Sutton & Cheam in Division 2 and the Saxons (Men’s second team) headed up to Walsall to face Invicta Marlins and Sheffield Dolphins in Division 5.

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The 1stteam were hoping to get much needed league points on the board but we suffered a heavy defeat from a well organised Exeter team on the Saturday. We struggled defensively and Exeter took advantage scoring a high number of punishing counter attack goals. Lots of lessons were learned especially after a review by a number of players of the video footage of the match.

1st team warm-up v Sutton-BWPL-Nov 18

1st team warm-up v Sutton-BWPL-Nov 18

On Sunday, the team arrived ready to take on Sutton, London League Premier division opponents. It was a much improved performance and whilst we lost 12-9 we battled hard and were always in contention. Sutton started well taking a 1-4 lead, Nandi Cseh’s goal levelling the match at 1-1. Danny Davis hit Watford’s second for 2-4 but Sutton responded for 2-5 before a John Pickford double had Watford right back in the game at 4-5.

Pickford saves penalty against Sutton..

Pickford saves penalty against Sutton..

The start of the second period and Watford levelled the game up at 5-5 with a goal from Andy Holt but Sutton hit back straight away for 5-6. Sutton on their next attack were awarded a penalty but a fine save by GB goalie Peter Pickford kept the Sutton lead down to one & then when Watford countered the team levelled the game once again at 6-6 via an effort from Jack Warman and with time running down a goal from David Koncz had Watford winning at half time 7-6.

Into the second half and Sutton came out the stronger to hit three un-answered goals to snatch the game away from Watford at 7-9. A second goal from Koncz had Watford back within one at 8-9 but a quick-fire double from Sutton had them in control at the end of the third period at 8-11.

The final period started with Watford’s Jason Attwood reducing the deficit to within two at 9-11 but as hard as the team tried to eat into the Sutton lead, they couldn’t find a way past the Sutton defence & ex-GB Goalie Matt Holland. Sutton hit the final goal of the match to win 9-12.

Head Coach Edi Brkovic commented after the final whistle:

“It was a tough weekend but the players showed good character in the match on Sunday. Our focus for the season is to retain our Division 2 place, we will need to train hard, play harder and ensure we put the required points on the board in phase 2”.

The Saxon’s team faced second place side Invicta Marlins in Division Five with current league leaders Sheffield Dolphins losing early in the day to the British Army a win for the Saxons would pull them level on points with the leaders.

Saxons warm-up v Leeds-BWPL-Walsall-Nov 18

The game got off to the perfect start as the Saxons opened up with a two-goal lead thanks to efforts from George Sadler and Ben Simkins. Invicta cut the deficit in half shortly after but a three-goal salvo via Sadler, Captain Steve Brassington & Junior player Zac Corcoran meant the Saxons closed the first period 5-1 up.

David Cai makes debut for Saxons-Walsall-Nov 18

David Cai makes debut for Saxons-Walsall-Nov 18

The second period was a cagey affair as the teams fought out a 2-2 quarter for a half time score of 7-3 to the Saxons, the Saxon goals came via Brassington & Simkins.

There was only one goal in the whole of the second half and the game finished 7-4 to the Saxons, a win on Sunday would mean the team would finish Phase One as Division Five leaders.

Sunday started with the Saxons in an early game against Leeds and a win coupled with Marlins beating Dolphins would see the Saxons finish top of Division Five however the game didn’t go according to plan and some early mistakes in defence allowed Leeds to get away to a 4-0 first quarter lead.

The second period saw Saxon’s Corcoran score early for 4-1 but Leeds quickly responded with two of their own for a 6-1 lead but with half-time approaching an effort from Craig Nicholls had the Saxons trailing at 6-2.

Into the second half and further errors in defence allowed Leeds to score a further five goals to Saxons three and they ran out winners 11-5. The three second half Saxon’s goals came via Brassington, Corcoran & Sadler. So the team finished the phase one as runners-up in Division Five, the club’s aim of making Division Four remains on course with the second half of the season starting in January.

Brkovic also commented on the Saxon’s progress to Championship Four “Our objective for the Saxon’s is promotion to Division 4 and we are very much on target. The Saxon’s is an opportunity to develop junior players and to give them a chance to play at a National Club level. We go into the second half of the season in good shape”.

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