Junior B Match Reports
Taunton 5 v 11 City of Bristol Junior B’s
Taunton must be wondering if Wills holds a personal grudge against them. It’s the second time the two teams have met this season and on both occasions Wills has been at his goal scoring best. With 8 goals in this Sunday night fixture, it took his personal tally against Taunton to 19!
It was actually Taunton that had the early pressure in the game and it was only down to interventions for Archie and Oliver with some excellent tackles that kept them from scoring. However, as Bristol started to find their passes and create some space, Wills got the opportunity to open the account. First with a shot straight from a foul in the pit and then with a remarkable 12m shot that fairly pinged in the top corner.
Quarter one finally came to an end as Jake stole the ball for Bristol in a robust tackle that was to typify Bristols defending throughout.
After the break, Taunton applied the pressure on Bristol and finally got the goal they deserved with a powerful and well aimed shot from the right wing. And then they were on level terms with a lovely back-hand shot from the pit through their number 3. Bristol were spurred into action and Oliver’s shot on the turn restored the lead. Jonathan then followed it up with a clever lob of the goalkeeper taking it to 4-2. Taunton couldn’t create anything on their next attack and a quick turnover by Carl set-up the counter, which eventually drew a foul from Taunton and gave Bristol a man-up situation. Coach Jack, sensing his young charges needed a bit of clear thinking, called the time out. As play returned, Bristol passed quickly around the arc before Jonathan picked out Wills in space, resulting in the now inevitable goal.
The third quarter saw Bristol open up a gap over Taunton. Jake was first to react to a saved shot from Oliver, spinning and flicking the ball over the head of the goalkeeper. Then Wills scored two more for Bristol as they moved out to an 8-2 lead. Taunton struggled to find the back of the net. Bristol kept up their defensive work and both Annabelle and Carl won vital turnovers. When Taunton did get to shoot, they found Jackson in good form who produced some excellent saves. Finally Taunton got a goal back with a brilliant pass high into the pit which the centre forward managed to reach up and guide home. That ended the quarter with the score on 8-3.
It looked like the final quarter was going to carry on the same way as Jodie sent a lovely pass forward into Wills. However, his shot for once, just missed the mark and Taunton broke away quickly on the counter to pull a goal back. Will then scored with a trademark back-hand shot. As hard as they tried, Taunton couldn’t find a way back into the game. Gwen and then Jodie winning the ball well in the tackle and great defensive pressure all round limiting Taunton’s opportunities. Taunton number 3, who stood tall throughout, showed great strength on the ball and got a goal back from the pit. In the end, it was left to Bristol to sign-off in style with some wonderful passing interchanges - first by Oliver and Wills and then by Carl and Wills that took the final score out to 11-5.
JUNIOR B’s 19 v 3 TAUNTON
Thursdays first match was between CoB Junior B's and Taunton Juniors. Last season, what is now the Junior A team, thrashed an undermanned Taunton team 24 -5. The Junior A team have now moved on to League 1 and so it was down to the Junior B’s to take an older and more complete Taunton team. With the relative youth and inexperience of the Junior B team, a closer contest was expected.
That is exactly how it started out. Both teams defences proving excellent. With some good turn overs and blocks by both sides, the match swung from end to end. For all money, this looked like it was going to be a close and physical contest. The stalemate continued until finally, four minutes into the game, Will broke the deadlock. From that point on, Bristol charged away from their opposition to take the game 19-3.
What is remarkable about this result is how far the Junior B’s have improved in just three games. The team work amongst this young side was exceptional. From debutants Hannah and Max P right through to the goal scoring machine, Will, they all worked really hard for each other. A special mention should go to Will who was unstoppable on the night, ending the game with 11 goals. There were also goals by Jonathan (3), Jake (2), Oliver (2) and Carl (1), with his first for the club. But, truly, it was the team performance that won the day.
There is a palpable sense of momentum building within the club and the development, success and enjoyment of the Junior B’s is undoubted evidence of that. Once again, Chapeau Junior B’s!!
Junior B’s 10 - 9 Swansea
The Junior B’s kicked off a fantastic weekend of club water polo with there first ever match at home and boy was it a cracker. Swansea had started the league season with a win and looked up for the contest. However, their coached warned them that “Bristol start strong” and his words couldn’t have been more prophetic.
After an initial Swansea attack was thwarted by a great turnover from Carl, Bristol moved forward and put their opponents under pressure. The attack broke down but as Swansea tried to come away with the ball, Wills intercepted and fired in goal. Swansea just couldn’t find away through the Bristol defence with Aaron, Oliver and Johnathan all putting pressure on the opposition and winning some great turnovers. If Swansea did manage to get a shot off, it still couldn’t beat the imperious Jackson in goal.
At the other end, Wills had no such problem finding the back of the net with some powerful shooting that saw him complete his hat-trick. A slightly stunned Swansea managed to grab a goal back to finish the first quarter 3-1.
Swansea came out fighting and their number 2 was starting to cause problems. Some good work by Archie and once again, Carl, kept them at bay. Swansea forced another great save out of Jackson then finally Swansea pressure resulted in a goal after some excellent work by their number 2. If Swansea thought they had gained some momentum, they were immediately corrected as Jonathan fired in a brilliant six meter goal. It was Oliver’s turn next to get on the score sheet after a great breakaway. Then some great passing amongst the team finally led to Aaron putting Wills in a bit of space and he immediately hit the top corner. Max and Henry looking increasingly comfortable both did some good work out wide and young Noah came on to make his debut. Bristol finished the quarter strongly with Wills continuing to hit the mark and a second goal for Oliver taking the score to 8-2.
Swansea started with a goal straightaway from the number 2. A good steal from Jake defending in the pit stopped another certain goal but Swansea weren’t to be denied. And you guessed, it was their number 2 hitting the mark again. Gwen and Annabelle both got involved in the action and despite some continued pressure from Swansea, no one in the Bristol team was panicking. Eventually Swansea managed to find away through. They had upped the physicality and it was paying off. Archie copping a near drowning gave us a man-up that we couldn’t quite capitalise on. Swansea continued with two more goals before Oliver produced a great steal and pass to Wills who scored one back for us finishing the quarter 9-7 ahead.
The tension was palpable and despite some early pressure from Bristol it was Swansea who scored first, 9 - 8. More pressure from Swansea forced Carl into a major and a penalty was awarded. Their number 11 moved up to take it, giving Swansea the chance to get back on level terms. And what a story it would have been for them having been 8-2 down at one stage. However, they hadn’t reckoned with Jackson who had already made some superb saves in the match. The shot was fast and low and heading for the bottom left hand corner, but, it was no match for Jackson. At full stretch he pushed the ball around the post.
Bristol needed a goal. Aaron driving forward with intent, looked up and aimed an accurate lobbed pass into Jake. Jake rising high out of the water, beating the defender to the ball, flicked-on the pass leaving the goalkeeper stranded, 10-8. Swansea were desperate to get another goal, trying everything they could and as the bell rang out for the final minute, it came to bring the difference back to one goal, 10-9. The Junior B’s weren’t going to give this game away. Keeping their cool they managed the time superbly and with great maturity they claimed their first win. Chapeau Junior B’s!!
Junior B's 5 - 11 Cwm Draig
In what was a very significant moment for City of Bristol Water Polo Club, the Junior B team (U16 age group) played their first ever league match against Cwm Draig on Saturday. With a full team of 13 players and the oldest player in the side only 14 years of age, it’s testament to the club’s junior programme that will only continue to take the club from strength to strength. Henry, Sylvain, Carl, Jodie, Ethan, Eduardo and Katherine all making their competitive debuts for the club.
Right from the off Cwm Draig, fielding an older and more experienced team, set Bristol back on their heals. Defending the shallow end, Bristol struggled against the extra size and physicality of Cwm Draig. Cwm Draig scored straight from the swim-off and continued to pressure Bristol throughout the fist quarter. Cwm Draig quickly went three nil up before Wills got a goal back from the 5m line after some strong work on the ball.
The second quarter continued in much the same vain as Bristol could not get it’s passing game going and retain possession. Bristol were fighting hard to get back into the game with some excellent shots from Oliver, Aaron and Wills, but, another goal proved elusive and the half finished 6-1. The score could easily have been worse if wasn’t for some brilliant saves by Alex Indge.
A more determined Bristol came out in the second half and finally the passing was hitting it’s mark. Great interplay down the right between Jake and Carl to set-up Oliver in front of goal, who practically busted the net with his shot. Straightaway from the restart, Bristol won the ball and Aaron was driving forward down the right. A quick pass to the middle found Jake in space and he fired a shot into the top right hand corner. Aaron soon backed this up with another goal, shooting from a narrow angle out on the wing, his power and accuracy was too much for the goalkeeper. The quarter finished 7 - 4 with another great save from Alex and some good defending by Henry and Archie.
Oliver won the swim off at the start of the final quarter and with an exchange of passes with Will, he fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner to make it 7 - 5. But it was attacking the shallow end that proved our undoing. The narrow width to the pool and having a tall goalkeeper standing in shallow water made it easy for Cwm Draig to defend against us and they were able to finish the game off. Cwm Draig finally winning 11 - 5.