Report Author: Michael Scott
Game: SUWPC Men’s 1s vs Swansea Men’s 1s
This match was only the second of the New Year for Southampton’s biggest of boys and they walked into it knowing that it would be a critical game to assess their performance prior to several future matches that will happen in quick succession. Despite a very cold day a great crowd had come to show their support for the team. Pre-game events were uneventful except for the late realization that cones had not yet been set up just as the coin toss was happening!
Swansea started off the game strong, winning the swim-off and allowing their pit to score from close range after just 15 seconds. The following play by Southampton led to a beautifully placed shot by Dan Hammond immediately after a Swansea foul on him. Sadly this was disallowed and play resumed from a Soton free throw which resulted in nothing for either team. A back and forth ensued until eventually, Swansea’s captain scored from long range bringing the game to 0-2 at 3 minutes in. At this point, Sam Dalton immediately took matters into his own hands and sprinted into 5 metres to then absolutely blast one in for 1-2. Winger Finn Thomas intercepted a poor pass which allowed a perfectly positioned Antonis Prodromou to score at close range following a lob from our goalie Nimrod Abramovich. A close call in pit left us a man down which Swansea were unable to convert thanks to the efforts of Finn, Sam and Nimrod. A subsequent Swansea counterattack left them 2-3 up with 2 minutes to go. The first quarter concluded 3-3 following an outstanding goal from Antonis straight off his own free throw with 20 seconds to go.
Finn demonstrated his speed in the water, winning the second swim-off. The ensuing corner was not converted and Nimrod limited the damage, saving a close-range shot. A Swansea goal after Captain Miroslav Milanov’s (A.K.A. El Capitano) exclusion was followed up quickly by another goal after a counter-attack leaving the guests 3-5 up after 2 minutes. Mr Dalton once again immediately took matters into his own hands and swam into 6 meters in a display remarkably similar to his first-quarter goal, leaving his counterpart now quite embarrassed and Southampton trailing 4-5. Both teams struggled to convert opportunities into goals, with Finn putting in a massive effort this quarter with several intercepts and several sprints up the entire pool. Antonis managed to bring the game even with 2 minutes to go after an excellent goal from the wing off of a corner. Attempts by both teams were not realized into goals and the quarter ended 5-5.
Swansea opened the third quarter with an immediate goal having just won the swim-off, with a subsequent counter-attack attempt being halted after a serious sprint by Dan HHH who then immediately scored following another one of Nimrod’s lovely passes. A Swansea exclusion left Southampton poised to get ahead for the first time this game; good ball fond… – I mean handling by Luke Bennalick and Sam let Antonis seamlessly score to put Southampton 7-6 up. The following reverse shot from Swansea’s number 13 was disallowed because he forgot that he isn’t allowed to stand in the pool. The next few minutes were action-packed until eventually, Dalton conceded a penalty that brought the game to 7-7 with 3 to go. The boys were unable to score during two man-ups and a Swansea counter-attack after an unfortunate miss left Southampton trailing 7-8 and the quarter ended uneventfully.
The tension was extreme heading into the fourth quarter. After a tough team talk, Finn was able to win the swim-off but unfortunately resulted in no goal and crisis was averted following some lovely defending from Daniel Amon out on the wing. A counter-attack from Swansea shortly afterwards at 6:43 to go left them 2 goals clear. After an unremarkable Swansea play, an interception by El Capitano and an incredible swim by Finn who was fouled gave Southampton a man-up. A very nice shot by Dan H. was saved by the Swansea goalie. The ensuing counter-attack was halted by Nimrod who made a Swansea player look slow by beating him to the ball! With 4 minutes to go, Swansea were looking very solid for the win with some rock-solid defending despite the best efforts of Finn on the wing. Nimrod kept Southampton in with a chance with a beautiful save at 3 minutes to go. After attempts from Dan H and Antonis and 3 unsuccessful man-ups, Southampton managed to score one more goal with 7 seconds to go but the guests walked away victorious after a well-fought match.
Southampton walked away from this match disappointed after their only league loss but with their heads held high, knowing that Swansea were a formidable opponent. They are looking ahead to matches against Plymouth, Bath and Cardiff and can feel the title of the League still within their grasp.
Man of the Match
Finn Thomas – An insane game from the rookie and youngest member of the team on the wing. He was easily the fastest man in the pool that day and this coupled with very impressive play against more experienced players means that he thoroughly deserves Man of the Match.
Mug of the Match
None of the boys who played today deserved this title and it instead goes to a certain match report author (cough-cough) who managed to injure his shoulder THE DAY BEFORE a critical league game and was instead screaming the boys on from the side of the pool.
Nimrod Abramovich – 0 – 0
Miroslav Milanov – 1 – 0
Nathan Dimond – 0 – 0
Finn Thomas – 0 – 0
Sam Dalton – 1 – 3
Til Jordan – 0 – 0
Daniel Amon – 0 – 0
Luke Bennalick – 0 – 0
Alex Wilmshurst – 0 – 0
Dan Hammond – 0 – 1
Antonis Prodromou – 1 – 4
James Popple – 0 – 0
Brandon Lim – 0 – 0