After battling hard at Upolo fixtures throughout the South West, the biggest boys along with 2 other fine teams from Southampton were called to the Upolo finals in Cardiff (baaahhhhh).
The team was lacking some of its star players, Divall decided to take his manager role more seriously and felt that being player-manager was too much, while the vice took his rage from the pool out on a poor defenceless wardrobe (wardrobe one Cactus nil) and Andrea being on strict wedding duties (some say he was the bride………). So it was time for Manager Divall to dip back into the transfer market and scout far and wide through the Alumni records for talent. Fortunately he needn’t look any further than the home of the ‘city scum’, who filled our ranks with a veteran lefty and two polite quiet young Greek gentlemen who would never let a foul word such as ‘Malaka’ ever grace their lips.
Anyway, due to Cardiff being ‘fucking miles away’ the SUWPC mob left at the rather unsociable hour of 8:30am, fast forward 3 long hours in a minibus and we arrived in a rather sunny Cardiff. After a quick Upolo brief and threaten not to remove any Upolo paraphernalia …………. again #wetakewhatwewant. It was time for the polo to begin……..
1st match: Loughborough 5-3 Southampton
With our ranks boosted with experience and finesse, it seemed we would be unstoppable, however even with this fact we found ourselves 3 goals down at the half way point. But Southampton don’t give up that easily, with Willo and Josh finding the back of the net to bring us to 3 a piece it looked like this game was only going one way, to the lads from Soton. However it was not to be, with a penalty conceded and only a minute remaining leaving us 4-3 down, we attacked with all our might, unfortunately leaving us wide open at the back which Loughborough capitalised on leaving us two goals adrift with only a matter of seconds remaining. A solid performance by all the Southampton boys, we just lacked the finishing and ruthlessness needed to put these tough opponents to bed.
2nd match: Durham 10-2 Southampton
We had heard big things about Durham, who already had a BUCS title under their belt, smashing their opposition 15-3 in the final. But Durham had never faced the mighty Southampton water polo team, but this didn’t really make a difference as they went through the motions and put us to bed nice and early. It showed how hours of training and water polo scholarships can improve your team. But the boys played with passion and not once did anyone give up in the slightest, we held our heads high and gave a worthy performance against what can only be described as much superior opposition. It was nice to see Panos given the ‘Panos treatment’ by the monstrous Durham pit attack, who had a head and thighs as large as any I have seen (Perry got a semi).
3rd match: Nottingham 3-8 Southampton (roughly)
With two defeats we were placed in the 5th/6th playoff against Nottingham, who turned out to be a rather weak side and unfortunately not in our group earlier in the competition. The first two games only saw Alumni score, but our mighty president but his foot down and said ‘this is enough’ as he hammered home our first goal scored by a university player. Leading by example, the university players followed suit with the promised reward of a lovely salmon coloured ‘MVP T-shirt’ (it is very nice actually). Manager Divall took the role as ‘outstanding goal’ adjudicator, with fine attempts from one-on-one Walton (actually scoring a one-on-one #oneinamillion) and ‘showoff Roberts’ performed a rather rusty 360 backshot, Josh rose like a salmon to meet a beautifully whipped in cross with his head only for it to wizz past the post. Unfortunately the manager was thoroughly unimpressed by this tom-foolery and decided he rather liked this free t-shirt business and took one for the team by awarding himself Most Valuable Player Manager of the tournament.
After a long, long day the booze bus rolled on back to Southampton, many a beer was consumed, Glanville needed his mummy to come burp him before his insides became his outsides, but luckily he manned up before he ‘chundered everywhere’. Panos enjoyed the on bus facilities, which are a rather fine addition to the SUSU minibuses.
With that I would like to say thank you for everyone who made the effort to travel up to Cardiff especially the Alumni. This will be my last match report, it has been a pleasure being captain this year and best of luck at the ‘knock-out cup’ final next Tuesday.
Captain Lobster signing out,