3/10/12 Men’s 1sts vs. St Andrews 1sts

On Wednesday 3rd October EUSWPC hosted a match between the water polo men’s first team and St Andrews, both of whom were hoping for a win to start off the season. Having two successive victories against the St Andrews team last year Edinburgh were confident that this year’s team could achieve the same results, although the opposition had returned with a stronger team and winning mind-set which made for an intense match.
The first quarter saw a strong start from both sides, with two goals from Edinburgh within the first few minutes. With great direction from the Edinburgh goalie, the guys saw another ball into the net with just one second left before changeover. However, spurred on by their three-goal deficit and a lucky penalty shot St Andrews quickly clawed back another two goals, and despite a spectacular one-on-one save from Edinburgh’s goalkeeper the score was brought up to three goals apiece by the end of an exciting first quarter.
The second and third quarters begin to show both sides’ inexperience at playing as a new team, and a number of poor man-down situations prevent Edinburgh from drawing away with a clear lead; every shot from our guys being matched by St Andrews. But there was no lack of enthusiasm, and moments of brilliance from the home team suggested that Edinburgh were still in with a strong chance of winning. Goalkeeper Bojan ‘The Iron Curtain’ Donevski truly lived up to his accolade after a spectacular face-save, and pit player Christos Anasastiades scored the goal of the game after drawing away from the scrappy shooting at St Andrews’ end, receiving a pass up the pool from Donevski and completing a backwards lob into the corner of the goal. This left Edinburgh leading by a goal when beginning the final quarter of the game.
After a painstaking and goalless five minutes the fourth quarter was bringing out desperation in both teams, seeing some sloppy post-shots and unnecessary major fouls. With one minute to go, a goal from St Andrews and a send out for one of Edinburgh’s influential players, Nuno Oliviera, left the guys with a tied score and in a vulnerable position. As feared, another goal for St Andrews had hit the back of the net within seconds as they gained the lead for the first time in the match. But Edinburgh maintained focus and rose to the challenge, scoring an equalising shot in the final fifteen seconds. Another last minute save prevented any further goals for the St Andrews team, leaving the final score at seven all.
Despite an unsatisfying outcome for the Edinburgh team, Captain Rob Tate highlighted that the team had no previous game experience and showed great promise for upcoming matches when they will have had more time to gel and uncover collective strengths and weaknesses. So after a solid performance the firsts are ready to continue to achieve in their upcoming SSS matches and will no doubt be more than prepared for the return match against St Andrews later on in the term.

Megan Duff