A depleted Bluefins waterpolo squad fought hard in the prestigious Army Waterpolo Tournament 2005, used by the Army to prepare for the British Inter Services Competition. The tournament was played in full Olympic size polo pitch.

The Bluefins fielded a squad of 8 players to compete in the tournament and playing 3 games against opposition squads of at least 11 players. Bluefins lost all 3 games to the British Army, Invicta and Worthing. The small squad contributed to their losses as fatigue set in as the games progressed.

Bluefins 1st game against the Army was their best chance of success, but wasted chances proved their undoing. The 1st quarter started well, Bluefins containing numerous Army attacks. Bluefins pushed ahead and chances by Morgan and Trewhella were put against the post. The Army capitalised on these missed chances and went ahead with a goal on the break.

Bluefins kept pushing ahead and levelled the game with a goal by Trewhella in the 2nd quarter. Bluefins Espinasse was sent to the sin bin; the squad defended the man down situation excellently and managed to prevent the Army from taking advantage. Again Bluefins pressed ahead, the Army this time losing their control to give the Bluefins a power play situation. The Bluefins looked to have worked a good advantage with Paton free on the left wing, however Morgan failed to spot this and his shot was well saved by the keeper. The 2nd period ended 1 – 1.

The 3rd quarter saw Espinasse’s 2nd and 3rd visit to the sin bin, this meant Bluefns had to play the last 2 quarters without a substitute. Both Army power plays were repulsed with successful blocks from Bridger and Paton respectively. Again the Bluefins had chances to take the lead with Shots from Fairhead, Hunt and Paton either hitting the posts or going wide. The Army started to capitalise on the tiring Bluefins by continuous rotation of their squad and broke through to finish the quarter 1 – 3 ahead.

The 4th quarter started well for the Army but good saves from Bluefins goalie Mcbain kept the Army at Bay. Bluefins pushed on hard and a good break by Hunt saw the Bluefins pull a goal back. Surprisingly the Army started to slow down and Bluefins started to fight back, but chances by Bridger and Morgan failed to hit the mark and the game finished 2 – 3 to the Army.

Bluefins captain Paton was satisfied with the teams work effort and the squad new if they had taken their chances, the 13 man Army squad could have been beaten.

Next up the Bluefins played a very strong Worthing team. Worthing raced to a 7 goal lead in the 1st quarter, making the most of the counter attacking opportunities due to Bluefins missed chances. Surprisingly Worthing started to tire and 8 man Bluefins started an amazing fight back. Goals from Bridger, Morgan, and Trewhella pulled the Bluefins back. Then Espinasse made a great break which resulted in a penalty for the Bluefins, which Trewhella expertly dispatched. The game finished 4 – 8 to Worthing, again the Bluefins performed excellently against Worthing’s larger squad.

After a 10 minute break the Bluefins followed on directly from their previous match witch had lasted 60 minutes. Bluefins gave it their all and went 2 – 1 up in the 1st period keeping the momentum from the previous match, with great goals from Trewhella and Hunt. The squad then started to feel the effect of the short rest period and tired badly. Invicta never looked back, winning 2 – 13.

Bluefins captain was very pleased with the effort of the team and told the players ‘that they could hold their heads high after the way they played with such a small team against great quality opposition’.

Bluefins squad, B Mcbain, S Paton (captain), P Hunt, T Morgan, D Trewhella, G Bridger, S Fairhead and O Espinasse.

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