Thursday, April 10, 2014

COMMONWEALTH WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS: DAY SIX Scotland claim second win of tournament as Canada beat England in final dress rehearsal

On Day six of action at the Aberdeen Sports Village, Scotland all but booked their place in the bronze medal match as England’s women lost their first match of the campaign.

In the first match of the day, South Africa overcame a lacklustre first half to beat bottom of the table Wales in the first game of day 6 in the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships at the Aberdeen Sports Village.

The South Africans were contained well in the first half by a Welsh side who continue to improve over the week.

Goals from Lewis Jones and Chris Taylor kept the Welsh in touch at the half time break as they trailed 3-2.

The first shock of the week looked a possibilites as Wales equalised through a Lewis Jones counter attack, but four successive goals before the end of the third quarter gave South Africa an almost unassailable lead.

There were nerves in the South African camp as Dan Laxton scored a hat-trick in the fourth winning the quarter for his team but South Africa held on for an 8-6 win.

After booking their place in Saturday’s final last night, England faced Singapore in the next match.

England continued their 100% record as they beat their opponents convincingly, also scoring enough goals to send them above Malta on goal difference.

Glen Robinson opened the scoring as England raced to a 6-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ed Scott who had missed the last two games through injury looked comfortable back in goal as he kept a clean sheet in the second quarter as his players scored six more for 12-1 at half time.

Matt Holland replaced Scott in the second half and continued to give his coach Andrei Iosep a selection problem as he saved his fourth penalty of the tournament as well as a clean sheet.

Goals in the third quarter from Tom Curwen, Sean King and Jake Vincent gave England a 15-1 lead with one quarter left.

England confirmed their place at top spot as they scored five more goals in the fourth as well as keeping a clean sheet for third consecutive quarter, winning 20-1.

Then it was onto the two women’s games in the schedule.

With Saturday’s finalists already, the game between South Africa and Wales became a dress rehearsal for the week-end’s 3rd/4th/5th play-off.

Before the match the Welsh sat in 5th after three defeats and suffered their fourth as they lost  to the South Africans.

South Africa kept a clean sheet in their win over Scotland earlier in the week and looked well on their way to another as they lead 10-0 after the third quarter. Tarryn and Megan Schooling amongst the scorers.  

But much to the delight of the travelling support, Elinor Weatherill found the net in off the crossbar early in the fourth.  

This was a minor blemish in a fine South African performance which saw them end the game with a 15-1 win.

Saturday’s finalists then met in the fourth game of the day in the final match of the women’s group stages.

Although only a dress rehearsal both teams played as if it were any other competitive game as it finished.

England started the better Angie Winstanley-Smith causing her opposition all kinds of problems in the pit, winning a penalty before scoring herself to make it 2-0.

Nikolina Mihaljovic reduced the deficit before Hazel Musgrove made it 3-1 before the end of the first quarter.

Canada then won the second quarter thanks to another goal from Mihaljovic and others from Amy Yule and Auriel Bill. But it was England who lead at half time 5-4.

After the break, the Canadians started to get on top of Winstanley-Smith in the pit by marking her out of the game.

They were rewarded for their hard work as they completed to turnaround thanks to a goal from Kyra Christmas and two from Emma Wright.

Both teams were giving 100% when really didn’t need in the final stages. England trying to get back into the game susceptible to the counter attack.

Goals from Axelle Crevier and Emma Wright gave Canada a 9-7 lead with four minutes to go. England continued to push and reduced the deficit late on thanks to a Chloe Wilcox goal but Canada held on to win 9-8.

The came the most important match of the day as hosts Scotland faced New Zealand in the final game of the day.

Both teams were vying for the chance to play in the 3rd/4th place play-off on Saturday and a win for either team would all but confirm that.

Scotland got off to a great start as local lad Mark Speed was played in by Keith Anderson for the game’s first goal.

The Scots needed Bojan Donevski to put in another big performance and he started the game well himself, saving an Eamon Lui penalty to keep his side ahead.

Captain Neilsen Rutherford then doubled their lead with a well placed shot into the bottom corner, making the most of a man-up situation.

After the break, New Zealand came back into the game and scored two quick goals to level things up early in the second. First Braeden Drennan before, Adam Pye came in from the wing to bounce home for 2-2.

A James Scobie double restored Scotland’s two goal lead, once again making the most of  man-up situations. But a goal from Matt Small just before the end of the half kept the Black Tide in touch. HT Scotland 4- New Zealand 3

It was clear to see how much the game meant to both teams in a tight third quarter, Jonathan Clarke equalised early on as his shot was deflected in passed Donevski.

The Black Tide then took the lead, Matt Small scoring his second but Fraser Rutherford added his name to the scoresheet in reply for 5-5.

New Zealand were started to find each other, Matt Lewis finished off a fine move to give them the advantage.

Fraser Rutherford started to boss the New Zealand pit and was rewarded with his second as keeper Thomas Kingsmill tried to sink him.

With one quarter remaining the game was evenly poised at 6-6 with both sides playing some really good team polo.

The first goal in the last quarter was going to be crucial and it was Scotland that got it, Andrew Woodall scoring as Scotland once again made the most of a man-up.

It proved vital as the Scots were given a new lease of life, increasing their lead with two more goals, one from Ali Campbell and the other from James Scobie.

Donevski then produced a string of saves denying New Zealand on a number of occasions in the closing stages.

New Zealand did reduce the deficit but it was too little too late as the Scots claimed a very important second win.



13:00-  South Africa 8  -  Wales  6

14:30-  England      20  -  Singapore 1


16:00-  South Africa 15 -  Wales      1

17:30-  England        9  -  Canada    8


19:00-  Scotland   9   -   New Zealand  7  

All results can be found at here for fixtures, the table can be found here

The pictures from all days can be found here

Follow the competition live on our ticker

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