Saturday, April 12, 2014

COMMONWEALTH WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY EIGHT England complete Gold double as Scotland beat South Africa to Mens Bronze

Over the week there has been some great water polo action and on finals day, the Aberdeen crowd were treated to another action packed day. England picked up both Mens and Womens golds but more importantly there was success for Scotland who beat South Africa to the Mens bronze.

The first game of the day was the Mens 5th/6th place play-off between New Zealand and Wales.

Having beaten their opponents 9-1 in the group stages, the Kiwis were very much favourites and proved why as they claimed 5th with a 15-8 win.

The Welsh who finish the tournament without a win, had Dan Laxton to thank as he scored another four this afternoon taking his overall tally to 23.

Then it was onto the first of two Scotland-South Africa bronze medal matches. After losing to a late winner in their group match meeting, the Scots were looking for revenge.

They got off to the perfect start as James Scobie latched onto an Anderson pass in their first attack for 1-0.

Man of the match, Bojan Donevski was in the form of his life as he denied the South Africans on a number of occasions during the match. But he couldn’t stop the prolific Nic Mollyneux who equalised from the wing in the sixth minute.

In the second quarter South Africa took the game to the hosts and opened up a two goal lead early in the period. First, captain Lood Rabie before Nick Hock both finding the top corner out of Donevski’s reach.

The visitors looked to have calmed the Scottish storm but a fine goal from the top from Ed Grundy made sure the hosts kept in touch at 3-2. There was enough time before the end of the half for both teams to score another, first Nardus Bardenhorst before Keith Anderson made sure the deficit was just the one goal. 4-3 at halftime.  

Frontman Fraser Rutherford levelled things up early in the third quarter finishing off a well worked Scotland move.

Nicknamed ‘The Iron Curtain’, Donevski continued to perform heroics in the Scotland goal and his efforts were rewarded as Darren Campbell put the hosts ahead from close range.

South Africa continued to test Donevski and Mollyneux finally beat him for a second time with some help from the post.

Scotland were using the crowd’s atmosphere to their advantage, pressing South Africa very high and were awarded a second their second penalty of the match in the final minute of third quarter.

Ed Grundy took over penalty taking duties and sent Conversano the wrong way to give Scotland a 6-5 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Scotland with the crowd,the momentum and the luck as South Africa continued to be denied by Donevski and the woodwork in the fourth.

Scotland’s defence held strong in the closing minutes and thanks to more saves from Donevski they held on to take a well deserved bronze.

It was then the women’s turn to see if they could win bronze against the South Africans in the next match.

After winning 23-0 against their opponents earlier in the week, South Africa went into the came overwhelming favourites.

They lived up to expectations as they conceded just once on the way to a 16-1 win over their hosts.

Although it was a disappointing end for Scotland Ladies, they can take great pride in their performance this week.

Then it was time for the two Gold Medal matches, with England featuring in both.

First it was the womens as the English faced Canada who beat them in the group stages yesterday.

The game started lively as Nikolina Mihajlovic put the Canadians ahead before Gibson-Byre scored to equalise. England then took the lead through Hazel Musgrove but two goals from Canada’s forwards Kyra Christmas and Kelsey McKelvey put them ahead.

There was enough time in the quarter for Musgrove to score her second and England’s third.

England were looking for revenge and were starting to gather momentum in the second quarter, racing to a 6-3 lead on the strike of half-time. Angie Winstanley-Smith and two more for Gibson-Byrne as England kept a clean sheet in that quarter.

Despite Kelly Matthews scoring the first goal of the second half, England continued to gather momentum, Aine Hoy with a quick double to give ENgland a four goal lead.

As England tried to kill the game, they left gaps at the back which allowed Kyra Christmas through to set up Axelle Crevier for Canada’s fifth.

Winstanley-Smith was marked out of the game when the two teams met in the group stages but she made sure she affected this game, winning a penalty just before the end of the third quarter which was scored by Gibson-Byrne. 9-5 England at the end of the third quarter.

Victory was all but secured early in the fourth as Musgrove scored her third to give England a 10-5 lead.

There was tension in the closing stages though, with five minutes remaining Canada were given hope thanks to a quickfire double from Amy Yule to reduce England’s lead to three.

The England faithful started to get nervous as Virginia Smith found space at the back post to net Canada’s eighth.

They became even more nervous with 70 seconds left Kelly Matthews reduced the deficit to just one but they held on to claim the gold.

Then it was onto the final match of the tournament, the Mens Gold Medal match. England were also in this one as they faced a furious Malta team looking for revenge themselves.

England got off to a great winning the first quarter 5-1 as Malta once again were more concerned with the referee and his decisions rather than defending.

England continued their dominance in the second quarter as Sean King added his name to the scoresheet before O’regan completed his hat-trick as England increased their lead to 10-3 at half-time.

The English were just too good for the Maltese who kept going right until the end but with Tom Curwen scoring five of England’s goals they were outgunned.

In the final quarter and with the game won, England were able to play some really nice polo in front of a packed Aberdeen crowd, going on to win the match 16-9 and the gold.


11:00- New Zealand  15 -  Wales  8

Bronze Medal matches

12:30- Scotland  6  -  South Africa 5 (Mens)

14:00- Scotland  1 -  South Africa 16  (Womens)

Gold Medal matches

15:30- England 10  -  Canada 9

17:00- England 16  -   Malta  9


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

To watch the games go to

For pictures from the Championships please got to our Flickr Collection

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