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Last weekend Basingstoke Bluefins entered both men’s and ladies team into annual RNAS CULDROSE NATIONAL WATERPOLO TOURNAMENT at Helston Cornwall

Basingstoke ladies had the early start on the Saturday morning against Barnstable but soon found their game and in a controlled display to kick off their first game with a solid 3-0 victory, next game up was the men against Tournament favourites Swindon the men started well with quick counter attacking play and pulled out a 2 goal lead but the extra physicality and experience of the Swindon team allowed them back into the game Bluefins finishing with a creditable 4-4 draw.

Next up for the ladies was British league team Devonport this was a very tight game against a higher level team but the Bluefins ladies stuck to their task and out played the Devonport team for much of the game ending up beating the British league team 3-2 to maintain a 100% winning record. Next game for the men was Jersey the Bluefins men changed their tactics for this game in order to mark out the Jersey pit attack which worked really well with James Stone having his best game of the season with many interceptions and the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Next game for the Men was against local rivals Southampton University whilst tactically everything worked against Jersey against the uni team Bluefins couldn’t impose themselves on the game ending up losing 2-0 in a very disappointing game for the Bluefins side. Next for the Ladies was local team Newquay this game was controlled by defences with Bluefins keeper Nina Rickards in outstanding form equally matched by the Newquay keeper... but the Bluefins ladies losing finally 1-2… to set back their hopes of reaching the final…

The Royal Navy was the next challenge for the men who after the set back of the Uni game again changed tactics in an effort to control the game with better possession this worked against the Navy team and Bluefins had their best result of the tournament winning 6-1 after a short break the men had to face title holders Newquay again deploying similar tactics as against the Navy Bluefins controlled large parts of the game to end up winning 5-2 and giving themselves a strong chance of making the final…

The ladies went into their final game of the Saturday against Southampton Uni knowing that a win would secure them a final place and with a great all round team effort ending up winning 6-0 to secure a place in Sunday’s final. With Newquay beating Swindon the Basingstoke Men’s team had to win their final match against Devonport to secure a final place as well. Whilst the Bluefins initially fell behind they kept their heads and ran out 4-1 winners in their final game.

Sunday finals day saw the Bluefins ladies against Newquay looking to avenge the defeat on the previous day with a couple of the team not fully fit follow previous days efforts the ladies started very slowly and soon fell behind again both keepers in great form but despite creating the more clear cut chances it wasn’t to be the Bluefins ladies game and they ended up losing 5-2 to come a very creditable second.

The Men were against Swindon for the final Swindon obviously had watched the Bluefins game plan from the previous day and used their superior physicality to control some of the Bluefins team and displayed a great counter attacking game with finishing of the highest quality the men stuck to their game plan going into the last quarter 6-2 down they soon pulled a goal back to give some hope but Swindon again countered defeating Bluefins 9-3

Overall this was an excellent club performance the first time in 19 years of going down to Culdrose that both teams reached the finals on the same weekend with both teams exceeding pre-tournament targets

Ladies team :- Nina Rickards, Pauline Lane, Natasha Miller, Holly Rowland, Aimee Dannan, Michelle Foulkes, Jo Davies, Nicky Horsfield and Rachael Mell

Mens Team :- Mike Sheath, Mike Steer, James Stone, Dave Trewhella, Matt Girle, Kevin Taylor, Chris Wintle, Tristan White, Ross Corbishley, Trace Morgan and Steve Fairhead

Basingstoke Bluefins Ladies in a new partnership with Southampton Sirens ladies started off their summer London League program with 2 wins against Oxford Ladies and Chelmsford Ladies last weekend this league from Basingstoke were represented by Hannah Chilton, Gina Lay, Esmee Ng and making her debut Natasha Millar

 

all results are on www.fixtureslive.com

Basingstoke Bluefins Junior’s Progress into Qualification round of ASA National Age Groups…

Bluefins Junior team (Players born 1995 & under) has progressed into the ASA National Age Group Junior Boys Qualification round to be held at Liverpool Aquatics Centre on 13th and 14th April following last weekend’s Preliminary round at held at Watford Woodside leisure Centre.

The Bluefins team made of up a mix of Christchurch Seagulls players and Basingstoke Bluefins continuing the partnership of the past 2 seasons as the top players from each club play and train together to be able to compete at a national level.

Saturday March 16th saw Bluefins compete against some of the best water polo teams from around the country in the first round of the ASA national club competition.

A packed stand of spectators at Woodside witnessed a very high standard of polo, teams featuring a large number of players training with the GB talent squads in Cardiff. Currently no player from the Bluefins squad is training in these talent squads…

Bluefins group included the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the competition, playing matches against Solihull, Castleford, Manchester, Sheffield and Watford

Bluefins first game was against 2nd seeds Sheffield following a nervous start a goal by Cianan Mann gave Bluefins a half time lead and Bluefins started the second half with more confidence scoring 4 more goals in the first 2 minutes without response Sheffield tried to come back into the game and scored a late consolation goal to give the Bluefins a 5-1 victory over the team that game 2nd in the country last year.

Scorers: - Cianan Mann 1, Charlie Roberts 2, Sam Webber 1, Jackson Mullins 1
Majors: - Jackson Mullins

Next game was up against 3rd Seeds Manchester Bluefins knowing Manchester reputation started slowly conceding the first goal but some great saves by keeper Mikey Kingsley kept the Bluefins in the game before goals from Sam Webber (2) and Charlie Roberts without response gave Bluefins a deserved 2 goal lead but Manchester showed their class with a response just before half time to leave Bluefins leading by 1. The second half was a frustrating experience for the Bluefins coaches as the Bluefins failed to make the best of several great chances and all their good counter attacking play was rewarded with a solitary goal from Josh Lay after 2 mins of play which Manchester responded to within 30 secs is took another 2 minutes of play before Bluefins could restore their 2 goal advantage through Elliot Wilks Manchester fought back but despite conceding some inevitable major the Bluefins defence held firm conceding just the one towards the end to win 5-4

Scorers: - Sam Webber 2, Charlie Roberts 1, Josh Lay 1, Elliot Wilks 1
Majors: - Josh Lay 2 Elliot Wilks 2, James Stone 1

The next match was against Solihull who had also won their first two games, Solihull took a quick lead as Bluefins made an unusually slow start but the Bluefins came straight back with a Charlie Roberts goal but Bluefins were struggling to contain the Solihull centre forward as the responded with 2 quick goals to give them a 2 goal lead Jackson Mullins then pulled a goal back for the Bluefins but Solihull responded with 2 unanswered goals James Stone pulled one back for the Basingstoke side with a 7 meter shot But once again Solihull responded and despite a goal on the half time whistle by Charlie Roberts Solihull went into half time with a 2 goal lead 6-4. The second half continued in the same vain with Bluefins never quite getting the scoreboard equal and despite 5 second half goals Solihull always maintained their advantage eventually winning 14-9 The only consolation for Bluefins was they scored more against the eventually undefeated Solihull team than any other side…

Scorers:- Cianan Mann 2, Elliot Wilks 2, Charlie Roberts 2, James Stone 1 Ali Rogers 1 Jackson Mullins 1
Majors:- James Stone 3, Ali Rogers 1 Cianan Mann 1 Josh Lay 1

The following game matches Bluefins against Castleford, the opposition took the lead within the first minute but a goal from Charlie Roberts soon restored parity then Elliot Wilks won a penalty which was duly dispatched by Josh Lay to give a 2-1 lead. Roberts fired in another to give Bluefins a 2 goal advantage but Castleford soon pulled a goal back before David Gallagher popped up for his first goal of the tournament to restore the Bluefins 2 goal advantage at half time. As the Bluefins started to tire from the exploits earlier in the day Castleford fought back and despite goals from Wilks, and Mann, Bluefins had to rely on the defense to keep them in the game as with a minute 30 seconds left in the game Castleford took a 7-6 lead but Bluefins showed character in still coming back and created an opportunity for Josh Lay to convert to tie the game despite both coaches calling timeouts within the last minute no further goals were scored leaving the game tied at 7-7

Scorers: - Josh Lay 2 Charlie Roberts 2, Cianan Mann1 David Gallagher I Elliot Wilks 1
Majors: - Josh Lay 2 Charlie Roberts 2 Jackson Mullins 1

Final game of the day saw a very exhausted Bluefins take on Home team Watford how needed to win themselves to qualify for the next round, Bluefins defense held firm but the Watford centre forward helped himself to 2 goals without response in the first half to leave Bluefins trailing 2-0 , the second half was similar with Watford adding another 3 without response before James Stone with another of his long range efforts and a first in tournament for Dan Hutton gained some respectability for the Bluefins team final score 5-2

Scorers: - James Stone 1 Dan Hutton 1
Majors: - James Stone 2 Cianan Mann 1

Head Coach Rob Webber commented at the end to the team “We rode our luck at times BUT the commitment to the team that you all showed was first class. We've never done that before with our own home-grown players.  You should all be immensely proud of what you have achieved. You are worthy of your place at Liverpool”

team: Mikey Kingsley, Elliot Wilks, Jackson Mullins, David Gallagher, Ali Rogers, James Stone, Cianan Mann, Sam Webber, DAn Hutton, Charlie Roberts and Josh LAy

Coach Rob Webber

Team Manager Gerry Lay

Lizzie Greenfield was the Bluefins representative playing an active part in all games ...wel done Lizzie

Water Polo

National Academy 

Girls Under 16s

February 9th/10th 2013 Walsall

 

South East Team

Report.

 

Team

1.               Grace Walker Y98 Hythe GK1

2.               Ellie Burch Y98 Hythe

3.               Kathy Rogers Y98 Christchurch

4.               Gemma Coulson Y98 Worthing

5.               Lizzy Greenfield Y99 Basingstoke

6.               Lydia Scott Y98 Faversham

7.               Lara Partridge Y98 Crawley

8.               Hannah Sheridan Y00 Hastings

9.               Sarah Rogers Y01 Christchurch

10.            Jess Warburton Y00 Hastings

11.            Abby Rocky Y98 Mid-Sussex GK2

12.            Daisy Hazeldine Y98 Worthing

Coach – Ewan Partridge

Assistant Coach – Kim Walker

Team Manager – Rebecca Partridge

Squad Profile

We took 8 full age players - three of these are in the GB Under 15 squad.   Beyond these, we have two more players who recently joined Basingstoke RTC, beyond that our remaining squad are club/local league players, some having won county caps as recently as December 2012, including a wide range of age/ability.

The coach decided to take a number of younger players, because of the lack of Y99 players in the region.  Gaining experience for the four younger ones may be key to viability of entering a team next year.

This is a key issue for clubs throughout the region, who run junior/junior female polo, all involved need to address it.

Day 1 Sat Feb 9th

Match format 3 games of 2x7 minute halves.

 

Match 1

South East 8  South West 4

This was a potential banana skin first match, playing against an unknown quantity, who had not entered in recent years.

We got off to an excellent start and were soon 4-1 up, making decent plays and dominating.  Either side of half time we lost our way, partly due to the introduction some inexperience, but also an early sign that when clear lines between our GB keeper, centre back and left driver were blocked, our weakness could be faltering in attack.

Restoration of the starting seven brought us to a comfortable 8-4 victory.

Scorers

Lara Partridge (3), Lydia Scott (2), Abi Rocky, Kathy Rogers, Hannah Sheridan.

Majors

Lara Partridge, Lydia Scott

 Match 2

South East 7  Scotland 1

This was a better team performance against a Scotland team that looked capable at times, but lacked firepower and pace.

Scorers

Lara Partridge (3), Kathy Rogers (2), Abi Rocky, Gemma Coulson.

Majors

Abi Rocky

Match 3

South East 3 North West A 7

We made a decent start in this match, and it was an exceptionally tight, low scoring first half.  We did suffer from some ineffectual refereeing in the first half, some of which was corrected by the 2nd referee, however, it did have the effect of reducing our scoring chances, as the precedent of allowing our strike players to be illegally marked, was set.

In the 2nd half we went 4-2 down, with under four minutes left.  Given that we had already qualified, and that who we played in the next morning’s semi final, would be determined by results to come from that group, I made changes and let the team freestyle.

Day 2

Match format 4x7 minute quarters.

Semi Final

South East 13 London 15

Of the three teams we might have played, this was the one that knew us best, and was perhaps best equipped to counter our strengths, and so it proved to be.  However, this really only tells half the story.  London scored nearly all the decent goal scoring opportunities they had, we created more convertible chances, but didn’t put them away.  Statistically this is what cost us the match.  This aligns with London’s slightly larger number of England Talent players than ours, just that bit more composure and polish, applied over the last year, spread through the outfield team, it was that close.  This was also the game in the tournament in which our three ET players threw in excellent performances to keep us in it to the last.

Scorers – Kathy Rogers (4), Lara Partridge (3), Grace Walker (as GK) (2), Sarah Rogers, Hannah Sheridan, Lydia Scott, Abi Rocky.

Majors – Grace Walker (2), Hannah Sheridan.

Third Place Decider 

South East 9 North West A 10

Re-matched with North West A, we knew we could give them a much tougher test than our earlier encounter, and so it was.

We took up a 5-1 lead, but were pegged back to 5-3, nevertheless, we remained in overall control approaching half time.  The reader will notice that to date, the match major count against us is remarkably low, reflecting our player profile, and style of play.

After half time we suffered an unprecedented string of majors against, we successfully defended most of these, but without the ball you cannot score, this string of decisions hobbled us.  At the other end of the pool, our centre forward was subjected to persistent sinking, which went largely unpunished, she was also majored twice in incidents that nobody, herself included, barring one referee seem to have witnessed.  My opinion, that of the players, team officials, parents and many neutrals is similar, but unprintable. 

Also true, is that NWA scored all their decent chances, we missed another handful we could have converted, with more polish and composure, we were that good in this match.

Goals – Kathy Rogers (4), Lara Partridge (3), Grace Walker (from GK) (1), Sarah Rogers.

Majors – Lydia Scott (3), Lara Partridge (2), Hannah Sheridan (2), Abby Rocky (2), Sarah Rogers.

The 2013 water polo season has commenced with the (division 1) ASA academy age group inter-region competition which was played over the weekend of the 26/27th January at the Walsall Gala Baths.


                Basingstoke Bluefins have regularly produced junior boys and girls who have been selected for the various South-east region squads but for this event 3 Bluefins boys were included in the squad of 13.                

          Phil King, Luke Sawyer and Tom Wintle  all played a part in a tough competition that resulted in the South-east finishing a creditable fourth after an exciting 16-13 win against the West Midlands in the final match.  

               

Congratulations to all 3 for taking part in an excellant team perfomance.

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