Water Polo Report – Preston v Blackpool

December 2016

In their third fixture of the 2014 North Lancashire league season, Preston earned a deserved win away at local rivals Blackpool. After a draw in the home fixture earlier in the season, Preston were looking to right the wrongs of that match, which they managed in impressive style.

In the opening minutes of the first quarter, Dave Nichol netted to open the scoring with a well worked goal. In the following attack, Mike Peacock fired into the top corner to double Preston’s lead. Although Preston’s attacking display was impressive , more pleasing for Preston coach Paul was the defensive qualities shown by the team. Matt Rosbottom twice saved to deny Blackpool a route back into the game, while effective man marking limited Blackpool’s chances to a minimum. This allowed the Preston team to enter the second quarter with a 2-0 lead.

Preston started the second quarter as they finished the first. Ben Riding netted a long range shot before Nichol added to his tally from close range. A Blackpool goal brought the score back to 4:1 despite the best effort of keeper Rosbottom. After surviving some Blackpool pressure, Greg Birchnough added a fifth with a cheeky overhead shot which squeezed past the Blackpool keeper after a good pass from debutant Mick Parkin. This goal meant that Preston entered the half time break with a 5:1 lead.

However, things started to unravel for Preston at the start of the third quarter.  What was the teams strongest quality, their defense, became their weakness.  Either through complacency, a lapse in concentration, over confidence or a lack of responsibility, Preston allowed Blackpool one on one with the goal keeper attack after attack, allowing Blackpool to outscore Preston 3-2 in the third quarter, with Nichol scoring in-between three Blackpool goals bringing the score to 6:3. With Preston on the back foot, new Serbian recruit Dejan Krivokapic fired an unstoppable shot passed the flailing Blackpool keeper to put Preston back in control of the game ending the third quarter 7-4.

With the first away win of the season looking likely, Blackpool threw everything at Preston, allowing them back into the game. Three quick fire Blackpool goals brought the score to 7:6. With the game in the final minutes, Preston lost possession allowing Blackpool to score what looked like an equaliser. However, the determined spirit of the Preston team spurred them on in one last attempt to take maximum points from the match after good defending from Luke Davis and Ste Platt allowed Preston to regain possession. Impressive distribution from the back allowed Matt Greenslade to cross for Krivokapic who shrugged off his defender to fire past the keeper and win the game for Preston right at the death, evoking the “Serbian Celebration” of a powerful Novak Djokavic-esk fist clench, much to the travelling fans’ delight.  Despite again losing the final quarter, 3-1, Preston managed to hang on for the victory.

Score 1st Qtr 2-0; 2nd Qtr 3-1; 3rd Qtr 2-3; 4th Qtr 1-3; Final 8-7

Man of the Match

Matt Rosbottom – the team can thank Matt for the victory, after some careless lapses in defense, the big keeper saved the teams blushes with some excellent saves

Preston Team

Matt Rosbottom, Mike Peacock (1), Ste Platt, Matt Greenslade, Dejan Krivokapic (2), Luke Davis, Ben Riding (1) , Dave Nichol (3), Mick Parkin, Greg Birchnough (1)

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