16/11/11 Men’s and Women’s 1sts v St. Andrews

EUSWPC’s Water Polo first team travelled up to St. Andrews on Wednesday 16th November for a return match against their northern rivals. The girls had been frustrated by the close defeat of 10-8 earlier in the season and were out for revenge; the guys were in a stronger position after their decisive 16-10 victory last time, but were under no illusions about how tough the return game would be.

The girls were up first, and the game got off to a tense start with the two sides battling to make headway down the pool. The strength exhibited by the St. Andrews side proved a formidable barrier for Edinburgh, but the girls were prepared for this and would not relent. The end of the first quarter saw only one goal a-piece as both teams held their own. Edinburgh had the edge in the second quarter but going into the third quarter, at 2-1 to Edinburgh, it was still an uncomfortably close match with everything to play for. St. Andrews had the advantage of being familiar with the small, narrow and shallow pool which meant Edinburgh had to work even harder to make space and break St. Andrew’s defence. However by working together and dropping on the pit Edinburgh were able to claim the ball back with a number of viagra buy online effective steals. In the third quarter Edinburgh took control of the game; by using the full length of the pool the girls were able to create space and work their way through St. Andrews. Going into the 4th quarter at 5-1 to Edinburgh, the girls had the score they needed to claim victory over St. Andrews and recover the goal difference from the previous match. Edinburgh showed superb defensive capability as the game came to a close, denying St. Andrews any last attempts on goal.

Coach, Derek Docherty, commented that the game was the lowest-scoring he has ever coached: showing not only how tough the game was, but revealing the extent of Edinburgh’s endurance. Moreover the goals that were scored showed the finesse that Edinburgh could exhibit even in the most difficult of matches. Captain Marlies Nicholls proved that accuracy overrides power, with two perfectly executed lobs, stunning St. Andrew’s goalkeeper.

The men’s game also proved to be a tough one indeed. The clash between the two sides manifested itself in a number of one-on-one struggles between players, one of which resulted in Edinburgh’s Craig Meek getting wrapped for three majors. However Edinburgh’s strength and endurance ensured that St. Andrews would struggle to get past. By dropping on the opposition Edinburgh prevented St. Andrews from making any close shots. However lack of communication at times allowed St. Andrews to make a number of breaks throughout the match, which put immense pressure on Edinburgh’s goalkeeper; Bojan Donevski, however, showed exceptional skill in answering these one-on-one shots, denying St. Andrews a number of vital goals. Overall the team coped well under the conditions, playing unfamiliar formations due to the pool size in order to prevent the pit from being too crowded. A solid defence on the whole and three goals a-piece from Nuno Oliveira, Rob Tate and Ed Grundy (Captain) took the final score to 9-4; like in the girls match, it was the 3rd quarter that proved decisive.

The results saw the men’s 1sts maintaining their dominance over St. Andrews, whilst the women’s effort bore vital results for the 1sts in terms of keeping Edinburgh at the top of the SSS League.

Sally Abernethy