1sts Match Reports
City of Bristol 1sts 8 – 11 Cheltenham Spartans
Here we go, lets get the excuses in first. Bristol welcomed Cheltenham to Hengrove on Sunday, not sure what to expect from the travelling team. As it transpires, they arrived with 13 payers, including quite a few from their 1st team, among them, the National League’s top goal scorer, Tom Hunt, the Polister brothers, the Welsh international, Jack Simcox, Italian international Totolici, to name but a few. These were mixed in with some Juniors to gain experience.
The first quarter was a bit one sided, probably as Cheltenham shook themselves out after travelling to Bristol. Bristol went 4 – 0 up within the first 3 minutes, with goals from Thresher, Fennell, Coles and Hubble. Cheltenham drew one back in the 4th minute with a goal from Witcomb in the 4th minute, only to have Brown score for Bristol in the 5th minute. The Quarter ended with the score line at 5 – 1.
The second quarter was quite a quiet affair, with both teams scoring only 2 a piece, Bristol’s goals coming from Hubble and Newman. Halftime score 7 – 3.
The third quarter was a different affair. After the change of ends, Cheltenham upped the physicality dramatically, shocking the Bristol players with their level of physical marking, holding and grabbing. Two quickfire goals from Cheltenham brought them back into the game. After the award of a penalty, the Bristol Head Coach became somewhat excited and loud, simple result, Yellow card to the Coach. Downhill from here. Lara manfully saved the penalty, damn good keeping from Lara, which was on display throughout the match. 15 seconds later, Coles picked up his third major and left the tank. A minute later, a Bristol player was wrapped. 30 seconds later, a second Bristol player was wrapped in dead time. Bristol's discipline was seriously letting us down, as by now, Cheltenham had pulled back another 3 points. Then just before the end of the quarter, another Bristol player was wrapped. To make matters worse, the Bristol Head Coach was then asked to leave, with a red card.
All in all, a fairly bad quarter, one goal scored by Bristol’s Brown, 4 players kicked out of the pool and a Head Coach down. Bristol, who had started with 12, were now down to 8 players and an assistant coach sat on the bench. During the interval, Lara came out of goal to play outfield, and was replaced in the goal by Dorrington. All of the experienced players were now in the changing rooms or on their way home, the final quarter was to be played by a team of under 19’s and the goalie, but what a goalie. The score was 8 – 8.
The boys fought hard, but, as always, cleanly, in the final quarter, only allowing a rampaging intact Cheltenham to score 3 goals. But, as was expected, the strength of the Cheltenham 1st team players showed through. Final score 8 – 11.
Well done to Cheltenham, a good strong game, we learnt a lot, and it was great to be playing against a fair quantity of Div 1 National League players, great experience for our boys, and we look forward to coming to Cheltenham for the return leg.
This season we plan to video all of our home matches, and away if possible. This match was videoed, and we will post a link to the video on Social Media when it is uploaded for anyone to watch if they want to. Players especially, so that you can review your own performance. You can rest assured that the Coaches will be watching it and bringing out any valid points.
COB Men 17 - 12 Penguin
The 16th February saw the COB Men's 1st team travel to Gloucester to compete in the 2nd round of the Championship. Today the team played against Penguin, a fiery London team, known for their strength and tenacity.
If we were to say that Bristol started slowly, it would be a mild under statement, with the men finishing the first Chukka 0 - 2 down.
After a chat from John during the break, the men started the 2nd Chukka with a lot more purpose and determination, seeing goals from Mesh, Adam, Chris and a brace from Craig. Penguin were able to score another 2, resulting in the Chukka finishing 5 - 4 in Bristol's favour.
The 3rd Chukka started with the teams trading goals, before Penguin showed their aggression, with a slap to Sean's face, resulting in an exclusion for brutality against the Penguin player and 4 minutes of man-down. Bristol capitalised on this scoring 5 goals in the next 4 minutes. unfortunately, Bristol also relaxed in their defense and allowed Penguin to score twice. once the teams returned to equal numbers, goals were traded again before the end of the Chukka, 12 - 9. Goals for Elliott, Chris, Sean, Joe and Craig, and a pair from Tom.
During the break, John suggested that the men should stop relaxing and start concentrating on the game in hand, but not in those words, which resulted in a marked increase in the men's work rate in the final Chukka., Bristol scored 5 goals in this Chukka but allowed in 3 goals by Penguin. Mesh scoring once, and both Joe and Chris bagging 2 each.
final whistle saw the score at Bristol 17 - 12 Penguin, and Bristol remaining undefeated in the Championship.
COB Men 19 - 7 Croydon
The second game of the weekend for the Men was against Croydon, who had shown a lot of fire the previous day, convincingly beating Manchester and only just loosing to Otter, so a tough match was expected.
After a stimulating pre-match briefing from John, the men entered the water far more motivated than they started the match the previous day.
The motivational techniques used by John during the briefing worked, and the Men finished the 1st Chukka 7 - 1 up. Goals from Chris, Carl and Mesh, all getting 2 each, with the 7th provided by Nathan.
More of the same in the 2nd Chukka, allowing Bristol to extend their lead to 11 - 3 with further goals from Chris, Craig, Adam and Mesh.
The 3rd Chukka saw Bristol relax, and only score 3 goals for a further 2 in reply, taking the score to 14 - 5, with goals from another goal from Chris and a pair from Carl.
The final Chukka saw Bristol step up again, and score another 5 to Croydon's 2, taking the score to 19 - 7 when the final whistle went. Goals in this Chukka from Nathan, Joe and Craig, and Chris scoring another pair, taking his match total to 6, and weekend total to 10.
All in all, a great weekend of Polo seeing Bristol undefeated in the Championship so far in the campaign.
COB Men 15 V 13 Otter
The 9th March found the 1sts in Grantham for the final weekend of this years BWPL Championship for the Men. The team was somewhat depleted, with 5 of the normal starting 7 having either gone on holiday, been injured or simply retired. Still, 11 players turned out for the team.
Otter were the first challenge for the weekend and we conceded a goal to them within the first 40 seconds. This upset Mesh somewhat and with some carefully crafted words he convinced the Ref to allow him not to play the rest of the match.
Bristol slowly clawed it back to finish the quarter at 3 – 2 up. Goals from Carl and a pair from Tommy.
The second quarter saw the men wake up and in the next 3 and a bit minutes, the lead was extended to 6 – 2. Then we relaxed, and allowed the game to become closer, finishing the first half at 8 – 6. Goals from Sean, Stuart and Jack, and another pair from Tommy.
The second half opened with Bristol focused again, and the lead over the third quarter opening up to 12 – 7, with goals from Carl, Nathan, Sean and John.
The final quarter saw us initially opening the lead further, to 15 – 7, with another goal from John and a pair from Stuart. Then, it was decided to defend the lead, which only resulted in allowing Otter back into the game, as they slowly clawed their way back to a finishing score of 15 – 13.
Job done for Bristol and we were now comfortably promoted to Division 2 for next Season.
COB Men 10 V 13 Watford
The 10th March saw Bristol confront Watford in a top of the table clash, with both teams able to take first place in the Championship, dependent on the outcome of the match.
The first quarter was fairly even, finishing at 4 – 4, with goals from Tommy, Carl and a pair from Mesh. At the end of the quarter, John, very kindly, pointed out a simple mistake that the Ref had made, and for some reason he was asked to sit out the rest of the match, which was a shame.
The second quarter opened with Bristol feeling a little put out to have lost John, and our heads were not in the game. This resulted in Watford opening up a lead, finishing the half on 9 – 5, Tommy scoring our only goal.
Both teams traded goals in the third quarter, finishing at 11 – 7 with gaols from Nathan and Carl.
Bristol tried to fight back in the last quarter, with goals from Sean, Nathan and Mesh, but it was too little too late, and with a pair of goals from Watford, the game finished 13 – 10.
This allowed Watford to win the Championship. Roll on next year when we meet Watford again in Division 2 of the BWPL.