The 2nd team’s uPolo tournament got underway on Sunday, with our first game against Bath. After a couple of good 2nd team training sessions, the aim was to work on the basics that we had practiced in training and swim hard to tire the opposition’s team of 9.
With our team well supported, the match got under way with a very close first quarter. Everyone in the team worked hard for each other in defence and restricted Bath from setting up their attack properly. After a tight first few minutes, a couple of long passes got through and Bath scored twice on the break. We were able to set up some good attacks of our own, and after a few shots off the woodwork, we managed to pull one back. The quarter ended 2-1 to Bath.
The second quarter was equally close with both teams defending well as a team. We had several more shots hitting the woodwork and Robin pulled off some good saves. Finally towards the end of the first half we managed to break clear and score to win the quarter 1-0.
Last year the 3rd quarter was always our weakest. As the players started to tire, the game started to open up. However, a well worked goal from the arc and a lucky back-shot allowed us to take the lead for the first time in the match. But Bath weren’t going to let us get out of sight and their team rallied to score 2 of their own to go level into the final minutes.
With the final quarter starting at 4-4, it was always going to be tense. We were hoping that attacking the deep end with more available subs would lead to our advantage. But Bath defended well and kept swimming to score 2 goals at the start of the quarter. However, the Southampton response was brilliant and we quickly replied with 2 goals of our own in the next minute. Spurred on by some noisy Greeks on poolside, Southampton went for the win. Unfortunately our enthusiasm led to some gaps opening in our defence which allowed Bath to score 2 more unanswered goals and the match finished 8-6.
Overall, it was a great game to start the year. Everyone played well and a particular note should go to the four freshers who played for the team, many in their first game.
A special mention to Amy the ref and people on the snazzy scoreboard. Also to the Bath players who were certainly the nicest group of guys I have played against at uni. Their captain was keen to set up some friendlies, so hopefully there will be more good games in the future.
4 – Andrew Deans
1 – Alex Horlock
1 – Ben Atwell