24/10/12 Men’s 1sts vs. Newcastle

On Wednesday 24th October the Edinburgh men’s team prepared for an intense water polo match against tough rivals, Newcastle. Having travelled such a long distance the Newcastle men were not looking to go home with a loss, but Edinburgh came back from their last match – a draw – stronger and more determined, ultimately defeating the away team with an impressive final score of 17-9.
The game got off to a promising start as Edinburgh’s Sam Miller put a bounce shot past Newcastle’s goalkeeper within the first minute. Some sloppy defending also left Captain Robert Tate open, and weak swimming from the opposition allowed Tate a clear shot at the goal after powering away with the ball. Whilst poor defence had left Newcastle with a two-goal deficit, their attack was still a threat. By four minutes in they had already clawed a goal back. But Edinburgh quickly became the dominant team, with goals from Ong Woo Sheng and Christos Anastasiades rounding the score up to 5-2 by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began much the same as the first, with an effortless shot from newcomer Ben Zinga and a successful drive into the pit from Andrew Melville leaving Newcastle five goals behind. After an unfortunate tussle over the ball between Edinburgh’s goalie and an opposing team member, Newcastle regained a lucky goal. However, it was evident by this point that the home team were being much more vocal, organised and aware of each other than their challengers, and an absent coach for Newcastle left them without direction or cohesion. Both teams quickly scored in their respective man-up situations, and two swift goals from strong rival shooters meant Newcastle had closed in upon Edinburgh slightly, with an 8-6 score. At what looked like a third successive goal from the opposition in a one-on-one situation with Edinburgh keeper Bojan Donevski, Melville intercepted with a great steal after racing back down the pool to defend.
The third quarter remained slower in terms of successful goals, but Newcastle had begun shooting enthusiastically – although with poor aim. Quick passing between Miller and Zinga kept defenders on their toes and achieved a ninth goal for Edinburgh. Numerous post shots and quick saves from Donevski left Newcastle in a vulnerable position, worsened by successive goals from Edinburgh’s Ioannis Armaos and Tate. The fourth quarter saw a rapid goal for Edinburgh by Charlie Dane within the first fifteen seconds, spurring both teams on for the final section of the game. Newcastle received a penalty shot after an illegal foul against a player, but resulted in a miss – epitomising accurate shooting as their greatest weakness within the game. After a dry-spell Newcastle got the ball into the corner of the net, but as their first goal in over a quarter the outcome of the game was very much in Edinburgh’s favour. Continued shots bounced off of Donevski, and the home team scored a further two goals in comparison to Newcastle’s one.
After a competitive game, the result remained an outright victory for Edinburgh at 17-9. Captain Rob Tate stated ‘It was a big improvement on the St Andrews game, we were working much more as a team’. This was undoubtedly their strength over Newcastle, and strong defence allowed them to control the game with relative ease. Tate did highlight the need to work on their attack and setting up, seeing potential for other team members to score more goals, and it is with this focus in mind that they look forward to going down to play Newcastle again next term.

Megan Duff