Basingstoke Bluefins Match Report

Basingstoke A 9 vs 5 Bournemouth

  1. Mike Sheath
  2. Chris Wintle
  3. Will Hastings
  4. Simon Almond
  5. James Stone
  6. Josh Lay
  7. Dave Trewhella
  8. Trace Morgan
  9. Steven Fairhead

10. Allan Fairhead

11. Matt Girle

12. Trevor Jones

Basingstoke Bluefins returned to their home ground on the back of a confident win over local rivals Andover, ready to put their wits to the test against a strong Bournemouth side. The Dorset based opponents as usual turned up with a strong team, but the home side were able to field a full strength side as well, meaning it was a match to look forward to.

Just like in the previous match, Basingstoke got off to a flying start, a goal each from Allan Fairhead and Simon Almond gave the home side a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, and the solid defending and good goalkeeping of Mike Sheath meant that the clean sheet was still intact by the end of the first quarter. Basingstoke were passing the ball well, and most importantly were swimming back with their players, meaning that the defending was first class.

The home side were looking confident, but conceded their first goal as the second quarter began. Fortunately, the team wasn’t too shaken after the goal, and dusted themselves off and replied with another two goals, one from the dominant A. Fairhead again and one for the up and coming Josh Lay, who once again over the course of the game showed he was a player of high enough calibre for even the toughest match the Basingstoke A team could compete in. Basingstoke settled into the match a bit more, and the tireless swimming of Chris Wintle down the left hand side of the pool once again was a vital part of the build-up.

Half time score: Basingstoke 4-1 Bournemouth

Things went from good to better for the home side, as a goal within the first 20 seconds of the third quarter from the ever reliable Dave Trewhella put Basingstoke 4 goals ahead. Another goal for A. Fairhead shortly followed, leaving the visitors trailing by 5. However, Bournemouth are never a team to write off, and answered with a goal of their own, and began to be more dominant in the game, taking control of more of the play.

Fortunately for the home side, the backbone of the team remained solid, with players like Steven Fairhead, Trace Morgan and Trevor Jones holding the shape and formation, and giving the team a base upon which to build, which meant that although the play began to swing towards Bournemouth, Basingstoke held out well enough, and remained solid in defence, helped immensely by the strong pit defence of James Stone. The final quarter saw more goals, as both teams were fighting hard, Basingstoke to make sure of their win, and Bournemouth to try and get some foothold back in the game. Fortunately players like Matt Girle held the ball up well, and denied Bournemouth the possession they so desperately needed. A goal from A. Fairhead and a sweet shot from Josh Lay which sailed past the keeper maintained the lead the home side had opened up, and a last gasp goal for newcomer Will Hastings in the last 30 seconds of the game meant the home side finished 4 goals in front of the visitors, an impressive margin against such a strong team.

Final Score: Basingstoke 9-5 Bournemouth


From the captain, Mike Sheath:

‘Another great start to the match, going 2 goals up unanswered in the first quarter was a fantastic achievement, and I think it really shows that if we can blitz the other team in the first quarter and get a few goals lead then we can carry on and win the match, like we’ve done in the last 2 weeks. Again communication is an issue; we need to start picking out the right pass as sometimes the pass is going to a player when there is a better pass available. Despite this, there were some very good performances in the pool, and it gives me a lot of hope for the coming season.’

From the vice captain, Trace Morgan:

1. awareness is improving on defence, but on the attack needs to improve more, if a shot goes off get our asses back to cover don`t just sit there, coz whilst your sitting there your defender becomes the attacker and breaks off you, advantage opposition.

2. Equal game time? a couple of senior players were sat on the bench for long times maybe try and even it out more (Simon wasn`t happy and he`s not really happy about the club fees and we can`t really afford to lose him yet)

3.not sure if the diamond is working, but i think our awareness is improving.

4. The substitution of certain players for certain players went a bit haywire.

5.on these friendlies having 2-3 weaker players in didn`t really matter, in the league with harder teams might not be a good idea, if someone doesn`t chase their player back and they score from it that player should have a break, i was guilty on one occasion, gives more incentive to try harder.’

From the coach, Iain Masson:

 A) Some players did not apply positioning guidance issued at the start of the match by me. Resulting in players playing and taking up valuable space in the water which in some areas stifled valuable movement and limited space available,

b) Players did not cover for others while in defensive mode allowing the opposition far too must room in threating areas. Although this type of defending (man marking) can (and was in this instance) be overall was successful. The team will be punished hard when playing higher ability teams as Weymouth, Southampton’s etc. when you leave them to much room in the pool in key goal threatening areas e.g. around the 4m mark in front of goal or not supporting the pit defender quickly in removing the ball from the pit attacker


c) Balance of skills in the water during the matches is still giving us a problem (this is down to me) and I need to get better.


And lastly and most worryingly d), when mounting a traditional offensive we are all over the place! Attackers are playing to deep so that they can't support the front line, balls being rushed from the back which is leaving offensive players stuck in no man’s land, high risk shots as goal from wings. I could go on.


On the spin side to the above. We have spent some time on the defensive diamond. This was not used greatly/if any used during the Bournemouth match. But overall defensively we played well. From what I saw I consider a hybrid version may be commencing. Is this to be the future ideal solution? If so, this will need individuals conducting a measured ability of those in the water of the individual they face and share their views with others (This will need to occur while in the water!). This relies on a point made last week about recognising what the opposition are doing in the water from a team tactics perspective and now an individual basis. Key enabler - communication.’


Thank you and well done to all who played!

Upcoming Matches

Follow Us


For any Internet shopping please use the link below for raising funds for Basingstoke Bluefins Waterpolo

Help Basingstoke Bluefins Waterpolo Club!

provides a FREE fundraising service where you can raise funds for Basingstoke Bluefins Waterpolo

Choose from over 600 of the UK's best-known retailers including many popular names such as Amazon, Next, Argos, John Lewis and HMV, and when you shop using the links on the site up to 15% from every purchase you make is donated to Basingstoke Bluefins Waterpolo.

Member Login