Latest Match Reports
Barbarians 6 - 9 City of Bristol 1sts (Thur 27th Feb)
City of Bristol Barbarians promoted from the 1st division last year after winning the division for the second year running, played the CoB 1st team in a thrilling encounter at Hengrove Park on Thursday night.
Having to split the 2 squads completely meant that the Barbarians were forced to draw on the (ahem) experience of several older players along with a number of the Junior players who have had limited experience of senior polo.
This saw competitive returns to the pool for Andrew Crawford & Jon Hutchings as well as rare outings for Craig Figes, Matt Thresher, John Sissons and Nick Hume. This was bolstered by some youth in the form of Will Thompson, Aaron Cocking, Ciaron Morley and Jonathan Roche.
The first team was playing off the British league squad, ably coached by Tom Whiting.
The game started slowly, the more senior players trying to remember how to catch a ball, while deploying a strong defence, and the 1st quarter finished 1-1 thanks to goals from Steffan Williams and Will for the Barbar's.
The second period threatened to turn into a swimming gala with few goals and even fewer majors, the firsts adding 2 through Joe Ashworth & Nathan Brown (Both Barbarians stalwarts last year) and Figes finding his shooting boots(!) to reply for the Barbars, 2-3 at half time.
The game livened up in the 3rd, the refs found their whistles and everyone remembered that they knew how to play water polo! Barbarians levelled through Hume, then went in front through Figes's 2nd, only for Brown to score his second and level the game back back up. A raft of exclusions followed, but only Newman, for the firsts, was able to convert, leaving the firsts 4-5 up at 3/4 time.
More of the same followed in the final period, the Barbarians becoming frustrated and affected by referring decisions and the first team forging ahead. Despite 2 goals from Hume, the first team ran out winners with goals from Newman, Sullivan, Fennell and Morley.
A good win for the Firsts - the return fixture is 20:30 on 12th March at Hengrove.
Devonport 13 - 16 CoB Juniors (Sun 1st March)
The first game for the Juniors of this season and one of the hardest!
The juniors travelled to Plymouth, having finished the title winning season here last year and hoping for the same outcome.
A hard fought game saw Bristol win 16 - 13, but the game wasn't without drama!
From 7-2 up and in control of the game, a misconduct offence saw Joe, a key Bristol player, leave the remainder of the game early in the second period. Devonport took heart, and advantage, and pulled this back to 8 all by midway through the 3rd quarter, however Bristol rallied and goals from Will and Josh restored a 9-11 lead for the visitors with one period to go.
A high scoring final period, won 4-5 by Bristol, meant that Bristol held onto their advantage and ran out winners, setting them up brilliantly for the rest of the season!
Scorers were: Will (8), Josh (4), Joe (2), Jonathan (2).
Special mentions to Alex in goal and Aaron for his hard work, and the following making debuts in the first division, Henry, Archie, Max, Katie and Jodie!
Next game is Exeter away on 20th March!