British Water Polo League.
Hucknall Leisure Centre
23/24 November 2013.
After recording two wins and a draw at the first weekend of Championship 2 in Gloucester we looked forward to two tough matches at the second weekend at Hucknall.
Our match on the Saturday would see us play Birmingham who were the only team to record three wins at Gloucester and we realised that this would be a very tough game.
On the Sunday we will be playing a talented but erratic Leeds team who are always a difficult proposition.
The Hucknall pool is narrower than many of the venues that are used in the national league and this makes it difficult to play the normal tactics.
These are the individual match reports:
Worthing 8, Birmingham 9.
Quarter Scores: 1-5, 0-2, 3-2, 4-0.
This was a match that we will remember as a classic case of "what might have been."
Having discussed at length at the pre-match meeting the obvious strengths of the opposition, we played very poorly in the first half of the match doing exactly what we were trying to avoid. We made a very slow start that may be as a result of the long journey north but we made too many avoidable errors which were simply punished by a good Birmingham team.
Our attacking play had no real structure and we were guilty of conceding too many goals to the oppositions counter-attack.
At half-time we were 7-1 down and we actually conceded the next goal before we started to play something like our best staging a remarkable comeback. We got a goal back to make the score 8-2 to Birmingham but they soon scored again to extend the lead to 9-2.
From this point we found something like our best form and Birmingham failed to score again. We started the final period 9-4 behind but we played really well to score 4 times and with just over a minute left Birmingham had a player excluded and we took a time out. We had a reasonable chance to equalise but it was missed and with it went the opportunity to take an unlikely point.
It was a remarkable comeback and we might have taken something from the game but we had ultimately left ourselves to much to do after such a poor start. Unfortunately Joe managed to get himself a 1 match ban for miss-conduct and we will undoubtedly miss him in the Leeds match.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 4, Paul Phillpott 2, Sam Abbott 1, Joe Hazeldine 1.
Exclusions: Joe Hazeldine 3, Nathan Hart 2, Ben Goddard 1.
Worthing 9, Leeds 6.
Quarter Scores: 3-2, 2-1, 2-3, 2-0.
This was a tense and nervy affair when we struggled to produce our best attacking play but another sound defensive game gave us the platform to record another crucial win.
Leeds are a tough team and we lost an in-disciplined match against them in the first phase of the competition at Marlborough.
We knew that the key to a positive result would be a strong defensive performance and we were back to something like our best forcing the opposition to mainly shoot from distance. Once again we made a number of defensive blocks and Marc produced a number of good saves and Leeds found it really hard to score goals against such disciplined defending.
In attack we never really played our best water polo and we were guilty of missing on a number of occasions when we really should have taken the chance. That said, we scored when it mattered and we always looked in control of the match. We led throughout until Leeds equalised to make score 5-5 mid-way through the third quarter but we soon regained the lead.
The final quarter was all about playing good defence and we played really well to shut out the Leeds attack controlling the game. Peter scored a key goal on man-up to extend our lead to two goals and Richard made the game safe with a coolly taken penalty.
Overall this was a vital win but we never quite played our best water polo but the result was all that mattered and the two points were eventually well deserved.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 4, Paul Phillpott 2, Peter Benedek 1, Sam Abbott 1, Ben Goddard 1.
Exclusions: Ben Goddard 2, Richard Hooper 1, Peter Benedek 1, Nathan Hart 1.
Squad in full: Marc Guimera (g/k), Gregg Candy-Wallace (Sunday), Tom Kane, Richard Hooper, Peter Benedek, Sam Abbott, Joe Hazeldine, Toby Underwood, Nathan Hart, Paul Phillpott, Ben Goddard & Alastair Hardinge.
We now have two games left to play, against Hucknall and Manchester Hawks, and they will take place in three weeks time when we return to Marlborough College. We are currently second in the table and the chance of promotion to division two is in our own hands.
Hucknall was a long way to travel but we once again had a large number of friends and family make the journey to support the team and this is always very much appreciated.
Sussex Senior Knock-out competition.
Saturday 16th November 2013
Goldsmith's Leisure Centre, Crowborough
Worthing 27, Brighton 4 (including + 2 goal handicap)
This was an easy win against a Brighton team that was well below full strength on the night.
We also had some of our squad unable to play, especially some of the youngsters who were involved with the club swimming championships at Splashpoint.
The match itself was, as the score indicates, a one sided affair and Brighton never looked like breaking down our zone defence and we continually scored goals on the counter- attack.
To give Brighton credit, they never gave up and it was good to see a couple of youngsters given a chance in this match and I'm sure that they will have learnt a great deal from the experience.
Worthing Scorers: Matt White 7, Ben Goddard 5, Paul Phillpott 4, Richard Hooper 3, Joe Hazeldine 3, Alastair Hardinge 2, Dominic Cranford 2, Adrian Irbe 1.
Exclusions: Ben Alcorn 2, Ben Goddard 1.
Squad in full: Ben Alcorn (g/k), Adrian Irbe, Richard Hooper, Paul Phillpott, Matt White, Alastair Hardinge, Ben Goddard, Joe Hazeldine & Dominic Cranford.
Our next competitive fixtures (against Birmingham and Leeds) are in the national league this coming weekend at Hucknall.
British Water Polo League
G1 Leisure Centre, Gloucester.
9/10 November 2013.
After a tough round of seven matches in the first phase of the 2013 national league season, we were looking forward to competing the Championship 2 in the second phase.
The league is made up of the top five from division 3 who are joined by the bottom three from division 2. As a result, we realised that we would face some really hard games, particularly the three against the division 2 teams.
When the fixtures were published it appeared that we had been given a particularly tough draw with the opening two matches against Exeter and Sutton & Cheam who are division two teams. This would be followed by a Sunday fixture against Carlisle who we had beaten in the close game which was the final fixture in the first phase.
These are the individual match reports:
Worthing 15, Exeter 15.
Quarter Scores: 3-3, 2-2, 6-4, 4-6.
This was a pulsating match against a big, physical Exeter team who were the highest ranked side in the league.
We had a defensive plan that was based around dealing with the two main opposition attacking players and for most of the match we did a good job.
As a result we frustrated Exeter for long periods and we always had a threat in attack putting the opposition defence under a great deal of pressure. This was highlighted by the number of exclusion fouls that were conceded with Exeter committing 17 to our 7. With a better "man-up" we probably would have gone on to win the game but we never managed to convert as many of the opportunities that we would have liked.
Richard led the scorers with 7 and Sam added another 4 but Nathan produced the goal of the game with a shot from half way with 1 second of the third quarter remaining which gave us a crucial two goal lead.
The final quarter saw Exeter take the lead with just under a minute remaining but Paul came up with an excellent finish to tie the scores with 45 seconds left. We actually had a good chance to win the game with a man-up in the final few seconds but probably the draw was a fair result.
Scorers: Richard 7, Sam 4, Paul 2, Peter 1, Nathan 1.
Exclusions: Nathan 2, Peter 1, Joe 1, Ben 1, Paul 1, Alastair 1.
Worthing 15, Sutton & Cheam 9
Quarter Scores: 4-2, 7-3, 1-1, 3-3.
This was an excellent win against a very talented opposition who feature a number of players with international experience. Sutton had beaten Carlisle easily in the match that followed our draw with Exeter but this gave us a chance to develop a plan to deal with the obvious strengths.
We made an excellent start and although we conceded the first goal we soon bounced back to take a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. We played really well in the second period and Nathan remarkably repeated his goal from distance with 1 second left before the half time break.
Our defending was excellent throughout and we consistently stopped the service to the Sutton centre forward forcing shots from distance. Marc had a remarkable game in goal making a string of saves, particularly from the outside shots. In attack Sam produced a fine performance scoring 4 and Paul also added 4 good goals.
This was a terrific win against a very strong team and all of our squad played a part to secure two very hard won points.
Scorers: Sam 4, Paul 4, Richard 3, Peter 1, Joe 1, Nathan 1, Ben 1.
Exclusions: Joe 2, Richard 1, Paul 1
Worthing 7, Carlisle 6.
Quarter Scores: 0-1, 2-2, 4-1, 0-2.
After the two tough matches on Saturday we knew that the 9.15 game on Sunday against a talented Carlisle team would be a big challenge.
We never played our best but we again defended well and we never looked like conceding many goals. The key quarter was the third period when we scored 4 times including another excellent finish from Nathan that extended the lead to three goal margin.
The final period was a tense affair and although Carlisle reduced the deficit to a two goal margin we defended really well and we only conceded again with 13 seconds remaining. As a result we maintained possession for the final few seconds to run down the clock and secure another hard won two points.
Richard led the scorers with another 3 goals but it was nice to see Tom score his second national league goal at a key moment in the match.
Once again, our defending was excellent and we only conceded 3 exclusions opposed to Carlisle's 7.
Scorers: Richard 3, Tom 1, Sam 1, Nathan 1, Ben 1.
Exclusions: Joe 1, Nathan 1, Ben 1.
Squad in full: Marc Guimera (g/k), Gregg Candy-Wallace, Tom Kane, Richard Hooper, Peter Benedek, Sam Abbott, Toby Underwood, Joe Hazeldine, Nathan Hart, Ben Goddard, Paul Phillpott, Alastair Hardinge.
Overall, this was an excellent weekend for us and 5 points from the 3 matches was a terrific return. The success was based on excellent defending and we always had a threat in attack and we scored good goals when we needed them. Our discipline was always good which was illustrated by the low number of exclusions and we can take a great deal of positives from these results.
The season next moves on to Hucknall in two weeks time when we face Birmingham and Leeds in two more crucial fixtures.
Sussex County Senior League.
Friday 1st November 2013
Brighton 5, Worthing 10.
Quarter Scores: 3-3, 2-1, 2-0, 3-1.
When the our new all deep home pool at Splashpoint opened back in May, it would be fair to say that a number of us had reservations about the facility, feeling that wasn't quite what it could have been.
And then we played an away match at the Prince Regent in Brighton that rather put the situation into perspective. With a very shallow end and narrow playing area the situation wasn't helped by the renovations that are currently taking place which has reduced the amount of lighting. Playing in shallow pools is a different game to what we are now used to and we had one of the younger members of the squad with us had never played in anything other than deep water.
As a result the match was a niggly and at times bad tempered affair that the referee did well to control. One of the Brighton players was dismissed just before half-time for violent conduct but we really didn't make the most of the 4 minutes that we played with an extra man.
We never really played our best but on occasions we produced moments of inspiration that meant we were never behind. Brighton were often guilty of committing exclusion fouls and we managed to convert a number of these chances.
In the end this was not a vintage performance and we never defended as well as we can and we also contrived to miss a number of chance when we really should have scored.
But ultimately a win is a win however you achieve it, and we are grateful to have secured 2 hard won points.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 5, Matt White 2, Alastair Hardinge 2, Ben Goddard 1.
Exclusion: Paul Phillpott 1.
Squad in full: Ben Alcorn (g/k), Richard Hooper, Paul Phillpott, Matt White, Alastair Hardinge, Joe Hazeldine, Ben Goddard, Dominic Cranford, Ben Curtis, Jacob Nash.
British Water Polo League Division 3
Marlborough College, 19/20 October.
After enjoying an excellent run of the results at the previous event in Watford where we won all three matches, we travelled to Marlborough knowing that we had a good chance of securing a top 5 finish.
This would secure a place in Championship 2 for the second phase of the competition which would be an excellent achievement.
Unfortunately we would be without Paul Phillpott on the Saturday, but we were still able to have a squad of 11 available for a tough match against Leeds.
Saturday 19th, 15.40.
Worthing 9, Leeds 13.
Quarter Scores: 2-1, 2-3, 3-5, 2-4.
This was ultimately a disappointing defeat when the team acknowledged that we had been guilty of making our own problems that were often punished by the opposition.
We spoke at length before the match about how Leeds play but rather than play our own game we made the mistake of allowing our opponents to impose their style of play on us.
As a result we became embroiled in an over physical, niggly match that was not helped by some very inconsistent refereeing where a number of key decisions went against us. Nathan was wrongly credited on the match sheet with three exclusions when he had only two and so missed over half of the match and this certainly didn't help the situation.
Eventually we committed 19 exclusions which is far too many at this standard and we were punished by Leeds on a number of occasions as a result. Ben was eventually dismissed for mis-conduct and as a result received a 1 match ban which ruled him out of the Sunday match.
The shame was that for long periods we were in the match and although we were not at our best we kept plugging away scoring a number of good goals. Unfortunately the combination of the exclusions and and a tiring squad meant that eventually we left ourselves to much to do and the final score was probably a fair reflection. Joe had a particularly fine game scoring three good goals and Marc was again in good form in goal making a number of fine saves.
Overall this was a disappointing result when all of the squad and coaches knew that we had not produced our best performance.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 4, Joe Hazeldine 3, Sam Abbott 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Exclusions: Ben Goddard 3, Nathan Hart 3, Toby Underwood 3, Gregg Candy-Wallace 2, Sam Abbott 2, Peter Benedek 2, Alastair Hardinge 2, Dominic Cranford 1, Joe Hazeldine 1.
Sunday 20th, 14.40.
Worthing 10, Carlisle 6.
Quarter Scores: 2-3, 3-2, 3-1, 2-0.
The second match of the weekend was against a talented Carlisle team that we have played on several occasions since we joined the national league normally with disappointing results.
We discussed at length at the pre-match meeting how the new interpretations of the rules had caused the team so many problems the previous day and as a result we only conceded 4 exclusions.
This meant that we were always able to control the match with the exception of the first quarter when Carlisle took a 3-2 lead. We soon organised our defensive tactics and as a result the opposition became increasingly frustrated with the small number of chances they created. We actually managed to play from the middle of the second quarter to the end of the match conceding only 1 goal and that was from one of the man-up plays and this illustrated how well we defended. We forced our opponents on many occasions to shoot from distance and our defenders made a number of fine blocks with Marc as solid as ever in goal.
In attack we always scored goals at crucial times and we were particularly strong in the third quarter which we won 3-1 effectively securing the win.
In the final period we cleverly maintained possession to take time out of the game and we thoroughly deserved the win.
Paul and Richard both scored 3 times and Marc made some excellent saves but this was a really good all round performance when all of the squad played a part.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 3, Paul Phillpott 3, Alastair Hardinge 2, Peter Benedek 1, Sam Abbott 1.
Exclusions: Joe Hazeldine 2, Sam Abbott 1, Paul Phillpott 1.
Squad in full: Marc Guimera (g/k), Gregg Candy-Wallace, Richard Hooper, Peter Benedek, Sam Abbott, Dominic Cranford, Toby Underwood, Joe Hazeldine, Nathan Hart, Ben Goddard (Saturday), Paul Phillpott (Sunday), Alastair Hardinge.
These results mean that we have secured a top 5 finish in division 3 in the first phase of the competition and as a result we will now play in Championship 2. We will be joined by Carlisle, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester Hawks from division 3 with Sutton & Cheam, Exeter and Hucknall dropping down from division 2. We know that we face seven very tough matches but we are looking forward to playing the fixtures over three weekends at Gloucester, Hucknall and finishing back at Marlborough in mid December.
Sussex Senior Knock-out.
Crawley 9 (including 4 goal handicap), Worthing 15.
Quarter scores: 0-3, 1-5, 2-2, 2-5.
This was a satisfactory win against a well organised and much improved Crawley team who always worked hard.
The county cup competitions are always played with a handicap based on last years league positions and as a result we started with a four goal deficit. We knew that it would be important to start well and we enjoyed a good first quarter when we were particularly strong in defence limiting the opposition to a small number of chances.
We took the lead early in the second period and apart from a few poor minutes in the third quarter, we were always in control of the match.
This was an encouraging win with a small squad that featured 4 junior players. Ben (Goddard) and Joe have been playing in the senior team for a while now but Ben (Curtis) and Jacob Nash both made really good contributions during this match.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 6, Matt White 3, Alastair Hardinge 2, Nathan Hart 2, Joe Hazeldine 1, Ben Goddard 1.
Exclusions: Joe Hazeldine 3, Ben Goddard 2.
Squad in full: Ben Alcorn (g/k), Richard Hooper, Matt White, Alastair Hardinge, Nathan Hart, Joe Hazeldine, Ben Goddard, Ben Curtis & Jacob Nash.
British Water Polo League.
Men's Division 3.
Weekend 2, 21/22 September 2013.
Woodside Leisure Centre, Watford.
After a relatively disappointing first weekend at Walsall when we lost both games, we travelled to the relatively local venue of the Woodside Leisure Centre in Watford to play a demanding three match program.
With matches scheduled against South Derbyshire, Manchester Hawks and Bristol University we knew that we would need to improve the level of performance if we were to record positive results.
The squad included two debutants with Marc Guimera taking over in goal and promising junior Toby Underwood available as an outfield player.
These are the individual match reports:
Worthing 12, South Derbyshire 9.
Quarter Scores: 2-4, 1-2, 5-1, 4-2.
This was a tough match against a team that we have have a relatively poor record against in previous seasons and we knew that would be an uncompromising encounter.
We started well and Alastair and Paul soon gave us a two goal lead but we lost concentration and the opposition scored four times without reply before the end of the period. The second quarter saw South Derbyshire extend the lead to 7-3 but at this point we started a fight back and we dominated the third period.
With the opposition tiring we controlled the match well in the final period and Ben came up with key goal with a fine lob that secured the win with just over a minute left.
We defended well in the second half of the match and Marc made a number of key saves at important times and eventually we were relatively comfortable winners.
Joe had a particularly fine game and was unlucky not to score on a number of occasions but overall this was a good all-round team performance.
Scorers: Paul Phillpott 4, Richard Hooper 3, Alastair Hardinge 2, Peter Benedek 1, Nathan Hart 1, Ben Goddard 1.
Exclusions: Joe Hazeldine 2, Nathan Hart 2, Ben Goddard 2, Alastair Hardinge 2, Richard Hooper 1, Dominic Cranford 1, Paul Phillpott 1.
Worthing 14, Manchester Hawks 11.
Quarter Scores: 5-4, 3-3, 4-2, 2-2.
This was always going to be tough match against an unbeaten opposition that includes a number of talented senior players (including a recent GB senior squad member) as well as several very promising juniors, most who are involved with national junior squads.
We knew that the key to any success in this match would be disciplined defensive performance that was designed to deny opportunities to the Manchester centre forward. For long periods this tactic worked really well and this forced the opposition into taking shots from distance most of which were dealt with by Marc.
We were never behind in the match from the moment that Richard opened the scoring and although Manchester did draw level at one stage when the sore was 8-8 we quickly regained the initiative and we used the clock intelligently in the final period to secure the win.
Marc had a fine game in goal and Richard led the scorers with 6 which included a number of fine shots from distance that gave the opposition goalkeeper no chance.
This was a big result for the team and all of the squad contributed to a fine team performance and we were definitely worth the win having played so well.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 6, Peter Benedek 2, Sam Abbott 2, Nathan Hart 2, Paul Phillpott 2.
Exclusions: Ben Goddard 2, Tom Kane 1, Sam Abbott 1, Nathan Hart 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Worthing 9, Bristol University 3.
Quarter Scores: 1-1, 1-0, 1-1, 6-1.
Not a classic by any means, but the result was all that mattered and we secured two vital points after a really tough match.
Both teams had really effective defensive tactics and for long periods the number of chances to score were few and far between. Marc was called to make a number of good saves but we really struggled to create much in attack and match was always destined to be a low scoring affair.
After three really tight and attritional periods the game eventually opened up in the final period when Bristol tired and we finally ran out relatively comfortable winners.
Peter had a really good match scoring three fine goals but once again all the squad made a contribution in this vital win. Our defending of the 10 "man up" plays that we conceded was remarkable with Bristol only converting one of the opportunities. We made a number of fine blocks and Marc also added a number of key saves.
It was nice to see junior Tom Kane score his first national league goal in the final period when he swam the length of the pool to finish coolly with a well taken shot.
This was a tired performance but it is never easy to play three matches inside 24 hours but we thoroughly deserved the win.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 4, Peter Benedek 3, Tom Kane 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Exclusions: Peter Benedek 2, Ben Goddard 2, Gregg Candy-Wallace 1, Richard Hooper 1, Sam Abbott 1, Joe Hazeldine 1, Paul Phillpott 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Squad in full: Marc Guimera (g/k), Gregg Candy-Wallace, Tom Kane, Richard Hooper, Peter Benedek, Sam Abbott, Dominic Cranford, Toby Underwood, Joe Hazeldine, Nathan Hart, Ben Goddard, Paul Phillpott, Alastair Hardinge.
Coaches: Alastair Roberts & Ben Alcorn.
This was an excellent weekend and the three wins were fair reward for the performances that the squad produced. We know that we still need to improve various aspects of our play but we can take a great deal of confidence from these results as we look forward to the final first phase matches against Leeds and Carlisle at Marlborough on October 19/20.
Sussex County Senior League.
Wednesday 18th September 2013.
Worthing 14, Crawley 8.
Quarter Scores: 2-0, 3-1, 7-4, 2-3.
This was an entertaining match played in front of a good sized crowd against an improving Crawley team.
We played fairly well throughout with our defending always limiting the opposition to a relatively small amount of chances. We did struggle to convert a large number of the opportunities that we created in attack but we played well at times without having the cutting edge that we would have liked.
We always controlled the match after a strong showing in the first quarter and on another day we would have scored many more goals.
The team included 4 juniors with Joe Hazeldine having another very solid match and Jacob Nash, Robbie Scott and Ben Curtis were also included. Joe, Robbie and Ben were on the score sheet and Jacob was unlucky with one opportunity when the opposition goalkeeper made a good save.
Overall this was a good win and will hopefully act as a confidence booster prior to the weekend matches in the British Water Polo League at Watford.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 4, Paul Phillpott 4, Matt White 2, Ben Curtis 1, Robbie Scott 1, Joe Hazeldine 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Exclusions: Adrian Irbe 2, Joe Hazeldine 2, Oli Rainford 1, Robbie Scott 1, Paul Phillpott 1.
Squad in full: Ben Alcorn (g/k), Adrian Irbe, Matt White, Richard Hooper, Oli Rainford, Ben Curtis, Robbie Scott, Jacob Nash, Joe Hazeldine, Paul Phillpott & Alastair Hardinge.
This is the first report of the 2013 British Water Polo League Season.
BWPL Men's Division 3.
Walsall Gala Baths
Saturday 7th September 2012
The first matches of our 2013 campaign in the national league were scheduled to be played on the one day at the familiar surroundings of the Walsall Gala Baths.
We faced two fixtures against Cambridge and Birmingham who we have played on several occasions over the past few years and we hoped that we would be able to produce two competitive performances.
Our squad has seen some significant changes over the past few months and a result Peter Benedek and 15 year old Tom Kane made their debuts in national competition. With no recognised goalkeeper available we asked Dominic Cranford to take on this demanding role and after a difficult start he improved throughout the two games.
The individual match reports are as follows:
12.30. Worthing 6, Cambridge 15.
Quarter Scores: 0-4, 2-7, 2-3, 2-1.
This was ultimately a disappointing performance against an improving but physical Cambridge team who committed 12 exclusion fouls in the match.
We actually started the match well and we should have scored from a number of chances that we created before Cambridge opened the scoring. Unfortunately, we continued to miss chances and we definitely did not deserve to be 4-0 down at the end of the period.
This set the tone for both the matches we played and we continued to concede goals that we would normally avoid as well missing too many of the opportunities that we created.
We changed our defensive tactics at half-time and this improved our performance and as a result we were a lot more competitive in the second half of the game, but we had left ourselves too much to do.
As mentioned, the physical approach that Cambridge employed meant we were awarded 12 "man up" opportunities but we were unable to convert many of these which is something that we will definitely have to work on. We also lost Gregg just before half-time when he suffered a nasty cut above the eye after an unnecessary and over aggressive challenge that both the referee's failed to see. As a result Gregg was unable to continue in this match and was also unavailable for the second game.
Overall this was not a result that we had hoped for and it illustrated that we will have to improve all aspects of our play.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 2, Paul Phillpott 1, Joe Hazeldine 1, Ben Goddard 1, Peter Benedek 1.
Exclusions: Richard Hooper 2, Peter Benedek 2, Joe Hazeldine 2, Nathan Hart 1.
17.30. Worthing 7, Birmingham 18.
Quarter Scores: 1-5, 1-5, 4-5, 1-3.
Our second defeat of the day was another below par performance where we struggled to play to our normal standard.
We again made a slow start conceding too many goals as a result of naive defending that Birmingham punished too easily. Our inability to maintain possession when under pressure led to many of the goals that we conceded and we will need to improve on this aspect of our play in future matches.
The first quarter set the tone but Paul did manage to score one excellent goal from centre forward even though he was under pressure from the Birmingham defender. This indicated what was possible but our attacking play lacked a cutting edge and we couldn't create a great deal of chances.
As the game went on we started to tire and as a result we conceded a number of exclusion fouls that were regularly punished by the opposition.
This was a disappointing performance against a hard working and well organised opposition who easily exploited the errors that we all too often made.
Scorers: Richard Hooper 2, Paul Phillpott 2, Sam Abbott 2, Alexander Cranford 1.
Exclusions: Peter Benedek 3, Joe Hazeldine 2, Ben Goddard 2, Nathan Hart 1, Sam Abbott 1.
Squad in full: Dominic Cranford (G/K), Gregg Candy-Wallace, Tom Kane, Richard Hopper, Peter Benedek, Sam Abbott (Birmingham match), Alexander Cranford, Joe Hazeldine, Nathan Hart, Ben Goddard, Paul Phillpott & Alastair Hardinge.
This was difficult start to the season and all of the squad realised that we hadn't really done ourselves justice but I'm sure that we will improve as the competition develops.
We hope that we will have a specialist goal keeper available for the next round of matches which take place at Watford over the weekend of 21/22 September and I'm sure that all of the squad will be working hard to improve our standard of play.
Finally, although it was a difficult weekend to make your debut, Tom Kane made a very encouraging start in the national league. He made good contributions in both games and had a good chance to score a goal but it was his commitment when defending that stood out. It is very possible that a number of our other juniors will be involved throughout this season and this again illustrates our continued development of young players.
Water Polo - Dates for the 2013 National League
All of the dates for the 2013 BWPL season have now been confirmed and I'm pleased to say that this includes a maximum of two visits to Walsall, and one of these is only for one day.
Phase 1 of the competition in Division 3 is as follows; -
We open with two matches on Saturday 7th September against Cambridge (12.30) and Birmingham (17.30). This weekend only features matches on the one day so an overnight stop will probably not be required.
Weekend 2 is 21/22 September and is a 3 match program (2 Saturday, 1 Sunday) at the comparatively local venue of Watford which again will probably not require an overnight stay.
The final phase 1 weekend takes place on 19/20 October at Marlborough college with a game on each day. This will probably require staying over.
After the first phase the top 5 teams in the division will join with the bottom 3 from division 2 to form Championship 2. The bottom 3 will join with the top 5 from division 4 to make up Championship 3.
Fortunately, both Championship 2 and 3 dates are the same and this helps us plan ahead, especially for those of you with work commitments.
The dates and venues are as follows; -
9/10 November: Championship 2 at Gloucester
Championship 3 at Liverpool
23/24 November: Championship 2 at Hucknall
Championship 3 at Walsall
14/15 December: Both Championship 2 & 3 at Marlborough College.
I think that the venues for the coming season are potentially much better than the 5 trips we made to Walsall last season. Perhaps my rant at the league secretary at the last tournament of last season may have done some good.
Looking ahead to the first phase we need to target the top 5 finish that will guarantee the chance to play in Championship 2 in the second half of the season. Last year we missed out on this by the smallest of margins but I hope that we will have learnt from our mistakes and go all out to make the top 5.
I hope that by getting the dates to you now will mean that everyone can start to make arrangements to make sure that they are available. As I have said on many occasions, our biggest single issue last year was being unable to field our strongest team in any one match or weekend. Let's not make that mistake again.
We have training this coming Wednesday and the second Sunday session this month is this coming weekend (Sunday 21st) at Splashpoint.
Water Polo - Final News from Slovakia
GB signed off with a 15-5 win against Denmark this morning in the final match of this round of games which are part of the qualification process for the 2014 European Championships.
This was a relatively easy win and GB controlled the match after a comfortable 5-0 first quarter.
I hope to have a review from Joel and Scott on the experience of playing senior international water polo and I'll forward this to you when it is available.
Water Polo - Further News from Slovakia
The second game on Friday saw the GB men secure a comfortable 18-7 win against Moldova and both Scott, who netted twice, and Joel scored their first senior international goals.
Today GB faced the host nation Slovakia who had lost by the odd goal to France late on Friday.
GB eventually went down 5-9 with the home team benefiting from a high number of exclusions that were awarded against the British players.
The final match takes place on Sunday morning against Denmark.
Water Polo - News update from Slovakia
A quick update from Slovakia.
Joel Abbott and Scott Martin have both made their international debuts for the GB men's team that is currently playing in the European championship qualifying tournament in Kosice, Slovakia.
On Thursday the team enjoyed a comfortable win against Switzerland (18-6) before facing two games today against a very strong French team and Moldova.
The game against France was close throughout with GB leading early on and France scoring the final goal to equalise with about two minutes left in the match. GB had a couple of late chance to win but will be very satisfied with a 8-8 draw.
The second game today resulted in another relatively easy win against Moldova (18-7).
The two remaining matches are against the host nation and Denmark.
Water Polo Report
South-east Men's Water Polo Tournament (Division 1)
Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 2013.
This is the report of last weekends South-east region men's inter club tournament which was the inaugural water polo competition at Splashpoint.
This event has been played at the Basingstoke Aquadrome in previous years but the regions water polo committee were delighted to have the opportunity of bringing the event to our new all-deep pool.
The competition features the top five clubs in the region and this year Crawley were included for the first time having won the second division last year. They were joined by Brighton, Southampton, East Invicta and the host Worthing team in a competition that saw each team play the other four teams playing two full matches on each day.
This is a demanding program for all the teams and we were unlucky with the draw which only allowed a one game break between the matches on both days.
These are the individual match reports:
Worthing 13, Southampton 9.
Quarter Scores: 2-2, 4-1, 3-1, 4-5.
This was a satisfactory win against an improved Southampton team who will make their debut in the British water polo league later this year.
The Worthing team had not played a competitive match for many months because of the move to the new pool and this certainly was evident at times in the standard of our play. We made a number of basic errors that Southampton punished but we always were in control after a dominant second period and the opposition never really looked like threatening our lead.
Sam Abbott became the first Worthing goal scorer in the new pool with a cool finish in the first minute of the game and eventually 7 of the 12 outfield players were on the score sheet.
Wes had a good game in goal and made a number of fine saves when it mattered and the final score was a fair reflection of the difference between the teams.
Scorers: Matt White 4, Sam Abbott 2, Paul Phillpott 2, Alastair Hardinge 2, Dominic Cranford 1, Nathan Hart 1, Ben Goddard 1.
Exclusions: Matt White 2, Richard Hooper 1, Adrian Irbe 1, Joe Hazeldine 1, Ben Goddard 1, Paul Phillpott 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Worthing 12, Brighton 6.
Quarter Scores: 3-2, 2-0, 2-2, 5-2.
After a break of only an hour and a half we faced our second match against our Sussex rivals.
The match was a similar affair to the earlier match against Southampton with the Worthing team looking short of match practice but nevertheless doing enough to remain in control of the match.
We always led but it was only in the final period, and with the opposition beginning to tire, that we finally made the match safe. We were guilty at times of not taking our chances and we were also slightly fortunate that Brighton missed a number of opportunities that they created.
Overall this was another satisfactory win that again indicated that the team will benefit from the much needed match practice.
Scorers: Matt White 4, Alexander Cranford 3, Joe Hazeldine 2, Paul Phillpott 2, Richard Hooper 1.
Exclusions: Joe Hazeldine 2, Nathan Hart 2, Alastair Hardinge 2, Gregg Candy-Wallace 1.
Worthing 9, East Invicta 11.
Quarter Scores: 3-2, 2-4, 1-3, 3-2.
This was a really exciting match enjoyed by a big crowd against a talented East Invicta team that is a combination of the best players from a number of clubs in Kent.
Both teams had won the two matches that they played on the Saturday and it was obvious that this would be the key match of the tournament. Unfortunately we were without Paul Phillpott and Dominic Cranford due to work commitments but we had worked out a tactical plan that we thought would frustrate the opposition attacking play.
The team played well for long periods and Sam and Matt soon gave us a 2-0 lead with two excellent goals. East Invicta were always dangerous in attack and Wes was called to make a number of fine saves but we could never quite take enough of the opportunities that we created. This was often as a result of the excellent opposition goal-keeper making a number of high quality saves, but we were still guilty of missing a number of chances when we probably should have scored.
We worked really hard in the final quarter to force our way back into the game and we called a time out with just under a minute remaining trailing by two goals. We needed to score from the re-start but the chance was missed and the opposition were relieved to hang on for a hard fought win.
Scorers: Matt White 3, Richard Hooper 2, Sam Abbott 2, Joe Hazeldine 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Exclusions: Sam Abbott 2, Nathan Hart 1, Ben Goddard 1.
Worthing vs. Crawley.
Unfortunately Crawley were unable to fulfill this fixture citing a number of injuries as the main reason that they couldn't raise a team.
The points are obviously awarded to Worthing but it was a shame that we were unable to play the final fixture of the weekend.
Squad in Full: Wesley Connellan (G/K), Andy Cawdery, Matt White, Richard Hooper, Alexander Cranford, Sam Abbott, Gregg Candy-Wallace, Adrian Irbe, Joe Hazeldine, Nathan Hart, Ben Goddard, Alastair Hardinge, Paul Phillpott (Saturday), Dominic Cranford (Saturday)
Overall, the tournament was a great success and all of the visiting teams and the officials were very complimentary about our new home pool at Splashpoint.
The Worthing team started to find some form as the event went on but this was understandable considering that we hadn't played for a while.
We were very grateful to the management and staff of the pool for making the event possible and we hope that we might be able to make this an annual event.
Water Polo Report
Sussex County Senior League.
Thursday 5th July 2013
Hastings 3, Worthing 17. (Quarter scores; - 1-3, 0-5, 0-4, 2-5)
Our senior team started the 2013 season with the long trip to Hastings for the annual match in the shallow, narrow and dimly lit Summerfield's pool.
We were lucky to be able to take a strong squad to this match and we dominated proceedings from start to finish scoring the majority of goals with a quick counter-attack.
Our defending restricted the home team to a small number of opportunities and we never looked in danger of conceding many goals.
All of the squad played a part in the match and we had 7 different scorers in a comfortable win.
Scorers: Paul Phillpott 6, Tim Brazier 3, Matt White 2, Ben Goddard 2, Ben Alcorn 2, Dominic Cranford 1, Alastair Hardinge 1.
Exclusion; - Matt White 1.
Squad in full: Ben Alcorn, Paul Phillpott, Tim Brazier, Matt White, Ben Goddard, Dominic Cranford, Alastair Hardinge, Andy Cawdery, Richard Hooper, Adrian Irbe & Alastair Roberts.
Water Polo Report
A full report of the south-east region men's water polo tournament that was held last weekend at Splashpoint will follow but I am pleased to report that the event ran very smoothly.
All of the competing clubs were very pleased with the the new pool and 5 games were played on both Saturday and Sunday.
Worthing and East Invicta were both unbeaten when they met in the key game of the weekend on Sunday morning and a large crowd witnessed an exciting and fast paced match that was close throughout.
East Invicta eventually held on for a 11-9 win but the Worthing team can be very pleased with the way that they performed.
The full report will be available when I have the match sheets.
Our under 15 junior team were also in action on Sunday at Whitgift school.
They played a very busy program of four matches in the afternoon and won 2, drew 1 and lost 1 during the afternoon.
We started with an exciting 2-2 draw against Chelmsford before beating Enfield 4-1 in the next match.
The team were unlucky to lose 0-2 to Watford when we failed to take any of the many chances that we created.
In the final game we recorded a satisfactory 5-2 win against our Sussex rivals from Hastings.
All of the squad played well but special mention should be made of Billy Akehurst who played really well on his debut in goal making a number of fine saves.
Squad in full; - Billy Akehurst, William Newnham, Elliott Moore, Daisy Hazeldine, Gemma Coulson, Ben Curtis, Matt O'dell & Lucas Bubb.
Water Polo - International News
I am pleased to report that two Worthing water polo players have both been selected for the first time to play for the GB national team.
Joel Abbott and Scott Martin will play in the European Championship qualifying tournament in Kosice, Slovakia from the 11th to the 14th July.
The GB team face France, Switzerland, Moldova, Demark and the host nation in a group that will act as part of the qualification process for the 2014 European Championships.
Joel and Scott were both part of the Worthing junior team that dominated water polo in the south of England a few years ago and they richly deserve this opportunity. Joel has recently finished studying at university in Sheffield and Scott currently plays professionally for Lille in the French national league.
Both continue to train and play for Worthing when available and we are delighted that they both will have this opportunity to play International water polo.
Two other Worthing members are also involved with the national squad. Ben Alcorn has again been named as reserve goalkeeper for this event and he is very close to making his international debut. Junior goalkeeper Wesley Connellan has also been training with the senior squad to offer him the chance to benefit from training with the most talented players in the country.
Finally, I am also very pleased to report the another Worthing member is now involved with International water polo. Scott Orchard played for his home town club for many years and now is a highly rated referee. Last weekend he officiated at his first international tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia featuring a number of top nations from eastern Europe.
We are obviously delighted that so many Worthing members have now progressed to these very high standards but all of them have worked really hard and deserve great credit for their achievements.
Water Polo Report
London Winter League
Under 16 Championship (1997 & younger), Division 1.
Tournament 4, Sunday 24th March 2013
Queen Elizabeth's Boys School, Barnet.
The final tournament of the current under 16 Winter league saw the squad make the long journey to the deep water pool at Queen Elizabeth's School in Barnet.
We have played well in this competition in the previous rounds but at the final event we faced three tough matches against Croydon, Beckenham and Enfield. Unfortunately we were without Ben Goddard due to long term injury and we obviously miss his outstanding ability at this level.
The following match reports are as follows:
Match 1, Worthing 2, Beckenham 7. (H/T 1-2)
Beckenham are a much improved team and have a group of very talented players but we felt that we played well we would be able to play a very competitive match.
We started really well and we were very unfortunate to be behind at half-time. Our defensive strategy was particularly successful and we limited the opposition to a small number of chances and in attack we always looked dangerous.
The second-half saw Beckenham take control but we were still unfortunate with a number of goals that we conceded and we missed a number of chances when we should have scored.
Scorers: Joe 1, Ben 1.
Exclusions: Joe 1, Ellis 1.
Match 2, Worthing 2, Enfield 4. (H/T 1-2)
This was a very frustrating match and the final score is no reflection of how well we played.
We dominated for long periods but we contrived to miss chance after chance and this ultimately cost us the chance of victory.
It was a shame to lose a match that we really should have won but we played well other than taking our chances.
Scorers: Joe 1, Ellis 1.
Exclusions: Joe 1, Gemma 1
Match 3. Worthing 3, Croydon 8. (H/T 2-5)
A third defeat was not we had hoped for but this was not an unexpected result against the team that are the current national ASA champions in this age group.
We actually defended really well for most of the match but we were punished when we made mistakes by a very talented team.
The team did well in attack and we scored three good goals with Nathan looking dangerous on many occasions. He scored one high quality goal with a very cool finish after an excellent pass from Joe but all the squad contributed to a good performance.
Scorers: Nathan 2, Joe 1.
Squad in full: Robbie Scott (G/K), Joe Hazeldine, Daisy Hazeldine, Gemma Coulson, Milo McCardle, Jacob Nash, Archy Burnell, Ben Curtis, Ellis Bubb, Nathan Jones.
Overall it was disappointing to lose the three matches but the squad played well and this is a very tough competition. We finished 4th in division 1 and this is a very creditable result, particularly as we had not been at full strength at any of the four tournaments. The squad also only features two members who are at the top of the age group (Nathan and Joe) with everyone else being born in 1998 with Ben and Archy another year younger. This indicates that we are still producing talented players and competitive teams and we look forward to continuing this development in the coming months.
Water Polo News
Three WSC girls were part of the Sussex team that played in the London/South-east region junior inter county tournament last Saturday.
Harleigh Goddard, Tara Osborne and Laura Joseph were part of a squad of 10 that eventually finished third in a very competitive event. The Sussex team were very unlucky to lose really close matches against Surrey and Kent both by single goal margins but they did record good wins against Suffolk and Hampshire.
All three of the girls played well enjoyed a good amount of water time throughout the 4 matches that the team played.
Water Polo News
Just a quick update regarding Ben Alcorn and Scott Martin who have been training with the GB men's squad at Manchester recently.
The squad that will play in the European championship qualifiers in Georgia in April has now been announced and Ben has been named as reserve goalkeeper and Scott is the first reserve as an outfield player.
Both will travel to the pre-tournament training camp that takes place in Barcelona at the end of March and we should congratulate them on being so tantalizingly close to making their debuts for the senior national team. I am sure that both of them will be disappointed to have missed out narrowly on the trip to Georgia but this is still a tremendous achievement and if they continue to work hard I'm sure that their time will come.
Finally, Worthing swimming club should be very proud that both of the boys have come through our junior program and they continue to play for our senior team when available.
Water Polo Report
London Winter League Under 16 Championship (1997 & younger) Division 1.
Tournament 3, Sunday 3rd March 2013.
Whitgift School, South Croydon.
We travelled to the familiar surroundings of the Whitgift school pool for the latest round of the under 16 winter league where we were due to play two fixtures against Watford and Ealing.
Unfortunately, Ealing were unable to attend and as a result we arranged to play a full four quarter match against Watford rather than the two scheduled matches, and as a result this equaled the same amount of water time.
We were without Ben Goddard due to long term injury and a good number of the squad had been involved in the Sussex swimming championships at K2 which had taken place on Saturday and Sunday.
The following is a report of the match; -
Watford 9, Worthing 3.
Although the final score indicates a fairly easy win for Watford this was actually a much improved performance for the Worthing youngsters. With only two squad members at the the top of the age group (Joe and Nathan) we knew that we would be in for a tough game against an opposition who reached the final four of the ASA national cup competition last year.
We actually took the lead when Ben Curtis produced a fine finish but Watford were always dangerous, particularly on the counter-attack. The squad defended well for long periods and were slightly unlucky with some of the goals that we conceded, but we always had a threat going forward and Joe and Milo added further goals.
Overall the team showed a great deal of improvement and most of the squad have obviously benefitted from playing in the recent round of inter-district competitions for the south-east region.
Scorers; - Ben Curtis 1, Joe Hazeldine 1, Milo McCardle 1.
Exclusions; - Joe 2, Ben 1,Ellis 1.
Squad in full: Robbie Scott (g/k), Joe Hazeldine, Milo McCardle, Ben Curtis, Jacob Nash, Ellis Bubb, Nathan Jones, Daisy Hazeldine & Gemma Coulson.
We will return to Whitgift on Sunday 24th March for the final round of matches in the competition against Enfield, Croydon and Beckenham.
Water Polo News
Two Worthing members featured in the final of the ASA deep water championships that were played at the Manchester Aquatic centre last weekend.
Ben Alcorn played in goal for Bristol Central who were the eventual winners against a Lancaster team that featured Joel Abbott.
Both of them were invited to play for two of the best teams in the country and I'm sure that they will both have benefitted from the opportunity of playing in the premier knock-out competition in the UK.
Ben has remained in Manchester for the three day GB senior squad training camp and he has been joined by two other Worthing members. Scott Martin has joined the squad from his French club Lille and Wesley Connellan, who is the current GB junior goalkeeper, has been asked to attend to offer him the chance to gain experience with the senior squad.
The training camp will culminate with the selection of a GB squad that will play in the European championship qualifying tournament which will take place in Georgia in April.
Water Polo News
Just a quick message about
the a number of Worthing junior squad members who have
recently played for county and regional squads.
Daisy Hazeldine and Gemma Coulson
were both selected for the south-east region girls squad (1998
& younger age group) that played last weekend in the ASA
inter region competition which was played at the Walsall
gala baths. The south-east eventually finished fourth losing a
very close semi-final and the subsequent bronze medal match
but both girls played well and will have learnt a great deal
from the experience.
The south-east/London region inter
county boys (1995 & younger age group) competition was
also played last weekend at the Basingstoke Aquadrome. Joe
Hazeldine, Ben Goddard, Jack Swift, Oli Rainford and Wesley
Connellan all featured in the Sussex team that eventually
finished third in a very competitive competition.
Water Polo Report
The 2013 water polo season has commenced with the (division 1) ASA academy age group inter-region competition which was played over the weekend of the 26/27th January at the Walsall Gala Baths.
Worthing have regularly produced junior boys and girls who have been selected for the various South-east region squads but for this event a remarkable 6 WSC boys were included in the squad of 13.
Ben Goddard, Ben Curtis, Milo McCardle, Jacob Nash, Robbie Scott and Ellis Bubb all played a part in a tough competition that resulted in the South-east finishing a creditable fourth after an exciting 16-13 win against the West Midlands in the final match.
Ben Goddard led the scorers, but all of the boys were involved and will have learnt a great deal from having played in this standard of competition.
The team was coached by Ben Alcorn and managed by Dave Alcorn to continue the WSC involvement.
Ben has now moved on to Manchester for a three day training camp with the GB senior squad and he will be joined by fellow Worthing member Scott Martin who is currently playing professionally for Lille in France.
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