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Water Polo Report – Radcliffe v Preston

November 2016

Preston’s latest game was away to league leaders Radcliffe.

After two promising games, against Kendal and Lancaster, where the team started showing improvement, I was optimistic of a good result and performance from the team.  I am now in a great position, which I haven’t been in for a long time, in being able to pick a team of 13 players from a squad of 16.  Unfortunately, over the course of the game day the team became depleted, due to injury and work commitments.  Upon arriving at Fulwood prior to the journey to Castle Leisure Centre, Bury, I was greeted by a decimated team of 7 players, just enough to play the game.

The seven players included a stand-in keeper, two players who have only just started playing with Preston this year and a junior player.

The first quarter was one to forget.  The team looked all at sea, not knowing who was marking who, panicking with the ball and allowing the opposition man-up break-away opportunities on numerous occasions.  The quarter ended 7-0.  Some good defending and goal keeping managed to keep the score down, otherwise the climb up the hill would have been even harder.  The question was what was going to be the final score!

The team started the second quarter with Preston winning the ball from the swim off.  The quarter started with both teams showing promise in attack, but the defences where coming out on top.  With strong play from their pit forward, Radcliffe scored twice without reply.  Preston then managed to trouble the scorers when Krivokapic turned and scored from the pit.  Both teams then traded successive goals, Krivokapic twice and then Parkin finished the scoring in the half with a good swim turn and shot past the helpless Radcliffe keeper.  At the end of the quarter Preston was awarded a penalty.  With Nichol missing a penalty in the previous game and the victorious penalty shooter, Miller, in goals, the responsibility fell to Peacock.  The keeper managed to get a hand on the low shot to his right hand.  The half finished 11 – 4, Preston having managed to draw the second quarter 4-4.

The third quarter started with a tactical change.  Platt was on two majors, another would have meant the team playing the remainder of the game with 6 players.  Platt was moved from defending the pit to become an out let player on the wing.  Radcliffe opened the scoring then Preston had a man-up situation.  A well disguised pass from Davis to Peacock allowed Peacock to flick the ball past the keeper into the back of the net.  Radcliffe then pressed forward at every opportunity, some good defending from Parkin and Peacock and saves from the stand-in keeper Miller kept Radcliffe’s goal tally down to 6 in the quarter.  The score going into the final quarter was 17 – 5.

The final quarter started with all seven players exhausted from their efforts.  The quarter saw Preston play some of its best water polo of the season so far.  Working the ball into the pit allowed Krivokapic to net four goals in the quarter and saw three exclusions for the home side.  Some good passing from Davis and Nichol created the scoring opportunities.  Nichol managed to net his solitary goal of the game, a quiet scoring game for the usually prolific Nichol.  Davis was unlucky towards the end of the game, only a good save from the keeper prevented him adding his name to the score sheet.  The game ended 18 –10, with Preston winning the final quarter 5 –1.

Summary

Overall with the players who played it was a fantastic result and performance, for 2 out of the 4 quarters.  The team didn’t let a bad first quarter descend into playing the blame game and everyone pulled themselves together focused and came back to narrowly lose the final three quarters by only one goal.

Areas we need to work on are man-up.  We had 8 man-up occasions and managed to only score one.  We had 4 players excluded which saw a ratio of 50:50, we allowed two goals to be scored.  Shooting at the right time and players positions in the water need identifying.

Preston Team

Miller, Peacock (1), Platt, Davis, Krivokapic (7), Nichol (1), Parkin (1)

 Man of the match : All seven players deserve an equal share in Man of the Match.  Playing a full game against a strong opposition, coming back from a 7-0 first quarter score line to come out of the game with a respectable score line was a phenomenal effort .

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