Report by: Thomas Harrington-Vogt
Game: Southampton Men’s 2nds vs. Bath 2nds (6/11/16)
In my first competitive appearance in the pool this year I was thirsty to get my paws on some balls. The speedo clad boys sat poolside in harmonious silence, staring into the aquatic arena for inspiration as they prepared for battle. The line-up was reasonably fresh faced and inexperienced however myself and Chris did a good job of dragging the mean age and body weight of the team right up. Bath looked rather prepubescent but little did we know that their lack of BMI would be our kryptonite.
After a swift but vigorous warm up, approximately 24 seconds for Phil, Q1 kicked off. Our lack of structure in both defence and attack was quickly exploited by the fast swimming Bathonians. They gave Phil a proper warm up as 1 became 2 and 2 became 6. Alas we weren’t losing in all aspects of the game, we’d clearly been practicing our fouls as we swiftly accumulated 4 majors, Malcom’s influence still hadn’t worn off. Bath 6, Southampton 0.
Q2 had slightly better composition for the Southampton boys who managed to retain the ball better and cover the goal hanger who started to get bullied at any attempt to get near the goal. Still no goals coming our way despite wild and loose shots coming from all over the pool, especially the captain’s hurl from half way straight off a restart. Our inability to break clear for our defenders didn’t help however a stronger defence and some great saves from Phil held Bath to only extend their lead to 10-0 going into half time.
The third quarter kicked off with far more fire coming from the Southampton boys especially in attack with a spattering of breaks causing worry for their untested keeper. We also upped our game in defence, bullying the scrawny boys off the ball and being far more assertive with our territory and only conceding 2 majors in the process. Alas another 3 blew past Phil and the Bath boys entered the final quarter 13-0 with a smug look on their faces.
Q4, last chance for the boys to ruin Bath’s hopes of clean sheet, we surely couldn’t leave there net un-rattled. We kept pressing hard looking to break the tired opposition, opportunities came from Phil’s long arm over the top but we just couldn’t seem to finish. Fitness started let us down for the last 10 as our defence got sloppy and a 6 on 1 for Phil proved to much as they bashed a swift 5 through him. I was not going down without a fight, to go home goalless against such an average team would be an embarrassment. I had a vision and Phil clearly shared it, I glanced to the keeper and saw only open water between us, head down I burst in with a lofty pass leaving the ball floating beautifully in front. With a Bath defender mounting me and getting rather aroused in the process I couldn’t get a clean shot off so dummied left, swivelled right and pounded my ball deep into the back of the net. Better late than never.
Final score 18-1 to Bath, an unfortunate score but clearly lots of areas to work on.
- Tom H-V 1
Majors (our speciality):
- Phil – 1
- Tom Bragg – 3
- Tom H-V – 1
- Mark – 1
- Matteo – 1
- Chris – 1