Beginning the afternoon with a cold start on redbrick (2 degrees according to someone’s phone) we piled into the bus in the safe hands of the ‘parents’ of the trip Alex and her ever present bitch Harrington (who had actually come to coach us despite never playing a game of water polo in his life). We arrived at Gloucestershire Uni but that wasn’t where we were meant to be, maybe check where the pool is next time Alex… a short tour of Cheltenham inspired us all to work harder at uni and eventually we arrived somehow still an hour early, parked in the child and parent spots and didn’t crash into anything but maybe came close (thanks to an unpleasant lorry driver)..
The game started strong with Emma winning the swim off (and every swim off that followed!) but Gloucestershire had obviously played polo before (unlike half of our team, our coach and Alex playing in goal for the first time) and scored a few goals from some speedy counter attacks. Having survived the first quarter, we all came together to discuss the plan – a better defensive arc, staying goal side AT ALL TIMES and close marking.
The quarters that followed showed an amazing display from our 2nds who played a textbook arc at both ends, setting up some beautiful attacks (but alas – their goalie actually was a goalie) and some really strong defence. With Ellie dropping into pit defence, quickly learning that this position requires the fighting skills of a bull and rising to the challenge, the 2nds warded off many potential shots, but unfortunately, Gloucestershire were strong and scored a few (many) times. Our moment came, however, when Emma scored what can only be described as the goal of the match. A classic underdog story the crowd went wild and morale was high.
Despite some scratches and a realisation for the new girls that water polo takes no prisoners, everyone was happy with their efforts and (hopefully) weren’t about to quit SUWPC… (you get used to the bruises!!). McDonalds was definitely on the cards and after some questionable directions coming from Meg’s google maps, we did make it home in time for bed, ready to fight another day.
Emma – 1
Player of the match: