22/10/2014 Women's 1sts vs. Sheffield Hallam, Men's 1sts vs. Leeds

Edinburgh University’s water polo teams get off to an impressive start to their BUCS campaign this year, as both men’s and women’s 1st teams soar to success against teams from Leeds and Sheffield Hallam.

The women’s team started on good form on Wednesday 22nd October, defeating last year’s BUCS winners, Sheffield Hallam, by 9-6 at their own pool. Sheffield had lost none of their major players over the summer, so they presented a tough opponent and the score remained close throughout. However, Edinburgh put the ball into the back of the net twice within the first 65 seconds and managed to maintain a one-goal lead throughout almost the entire game. The girls struggled to overcome first-game nerves and for a while the score remained goal-for-goal, even dipping into a one-goal deficit during a slightly shaky third quarter. However, Edinburgh ran away with the score in the final section of the game, helped by some astounding saves from goalkeeper, Jess Ivy, and by the Sheffield Hallam goalie who managed to fumble the ball into her own goal, giving them a win of 9-6.

Last Wednesday 29th also saw the men’s team win their grudge-match against last year’s finalists, Leeds, with a score of 12-9. Having played a decisive win against St Andrews the week before, the Edinburgh boys were well-rehearsed for a challenging match. Leeds have a consistently strong team, and Wednesday was no exception as they looked like they might upset the home team’s winning streak. The first quarter ended got off to a slow start and ended on level pegging at 2-2. This pattern went on, both teams unable to break away from the other, and the third quarter ended with it all still very much to play for at 9-8 to Edinburgh. The team’s two South African players, Michael Houghton and Jono Davies, put in impressive performances as the two highest scorers of the match, and two goals from Davies and an opportunistic bounce shot from fresher Sam Pritchett secured a clear win for Edinburgh. With a number of games upcoming this month and further opportunity to work on team tactics, both men’s and women’s firsts look on track to once again qualify for BUCS semi-finals.