Water Polo Report – Preston v Radcliffe

December 2016

Preston’s opponents for their opening game of the North Lancashire League 2014 season, was against current league champions Radcliffe. In a closely fought game, Radcliffe came out winners 16-8. Their greater experience enabled them to build and hold onto the lead to claim victory despite a valiant effort from the entire Preston team.

In the opening quarter of the game, Preston took a deserved two goal lead catching Radcliffe napping, the experienced Dave Nichol twice netting from close range. However, the lead was to be short-lived, with Radcliffe scoring four goals in quick succession to take command of the quarter. Despite this, a good spell of possession by the Preston team allowed Mitiku Turnbull to hammer home an impressive goal to bring the score back to 3-4. A goal for Radcliffe at the end of the quarter meant that the teams finished the quarter with Preston trailing 5-3.

After the restart, Radcliffe capitalised on attacking the shallow end with their superior size being a distinct advantage and started to take control of the match. Scoring six times in the quarter, Preston found themselves overrun by Radcliffe’s counter attacking play. However, in an end to end quarter, Nichol scored his third of the game, while Michael Peacock scored his first of the new season. A third for Preston was then added by Matt Greenslade, scoring at the back post from a cross goal pass from Nichol; his first league goal since joining the team. However, the Preston goals were not enough to prevent them trailing 11-6 at the half time interval.

The third and fourth quarter saw an end to the free scoring first half. Nichol again scored, while Turnbull added to his account with his second goal of the game. However, despite an impressive attacking performance, Preston were unable to shut Radcliffe out. Scoring a further 5 times, the game ended 16-8 to Radcliffe. A special mention must go to Phil Mason, who produced some outstanding saves as he covered as goalkeeper for the injured Matt Rosbottom.

Despite a losing start to the season, Preston can take great confidence out of the game after proving to be a constant threat to the current league champions. The team can take forward the positives out of the game and work hard in training to correct and improve going forward into the next game and the rest of the season.

Man of the Match

For his tireless swimming up and down, team play, good defensive work and topping his performance off with scoring a goal the man of the match is Michael Peacock.

Preston Team

Phil Mason, Michael Peacock (1), Tom Miller, Mitiku Turnbull (2), Ste Davidson, Luke Davies, Ben Riding, Matt Greenslade (1), Dave Nichol (4), Ben Parker and John McGinty.

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