Thursday, November 19, 2015

Women’s Caledonia secure Super 5's spot in Phase Two of British Water Polo League

The Caledonia women’s water polo squad rose to a serious challenge on the final weekend of phase one of the British Water Polo League. Playing in the eight team top division (1st Division) for the third year in a row, they were winless through the first five games of the campaign despite having better results against most teams than they’d ever produced.

For the final weekend, to make the Super 5’s in Phase Two of the season, they needed to win both their games while Sheffield and Leeds lost both of theirs and that’s exactly what happened.   

In the first key match against Sheffield, Caledonia came out fighting and dominated the first period with Gael Logan scoring three and Hannah Edwards scoring two and took a 5-1 lead. From that point on however, Caledonia looked cursed as shot after shot hit the crossbar or post and sat on the goal line inches from scoring.    Through the second and third periods Caledonia’s scoring drought was met with Sheffield chipping away at the deficit, then drawing even, then taking a lead before Caledonia finally scored in the last minute of the 3rd to tie the score 6-6 with one quarter to play.  

Not only did Caledonia need a win, but they needed a win by at least two goals over Sheffield.    Tied at 7-7 with less than six minutes to play, Logan and Edwards again combined for two quick goals and then this was added to with an Emma Bird lob shot and Nicola Tate putting the icing on the cake all in a two minute flurry. The match ended 11-8.

On the Sunday, Caledonia beat a feisty London Penguin 12-7 after being behind 1-3 at the end of the first period.   They reeled off 8 unanswered goals and dominated the rest of the match. Then they had to wait on eggshells as Otter beat a demoralized Sheffield and Coventry only beat Leeds in the second half of the game. Now they will in Phase Two play a double round robin with the other top 4 teams in Britain: Liverpool, Manchester, Otter and Coventry.  

The other Scottish Teams in the British Water Polo League are Portobello men who elected to rebuild their club in the bottom 5th Division this year and dominated with an undefeated campaign to take them into Championship 4 in Phase Two where they will seek to finish at the top again.  

The Caledonia men currently sit in 7th position in Division 1 going into the big final weekend Nov 21 & 22 against Northumbria 6th, Bristol 5th  and Lancaster 2nd.    Like the women, they have an outside shot at the Super 5s in Phase Two but much has to work out perfectly.   

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