Following a fantastic set of matches, both the men’s and women’s water polo teams have qualified for the BUCS Semi-Finals on the 14th-15th March 2015. Here’s how they got on:
On January 27th, Bristol women’s water polo kicked off the term by dominating against Cambridge once again. The girls came away with a score of 13:8, setting the bar for their next couple of games. The following week, they came up against Oxford. This match got off to a shaky start, and by shaky we mean one referee forgot to bring the ball to the swim off… but after much wrestling, glaring at said ref for not knowing the rules, and far too many shots over the goal post, Bristol finally got it together and scored five goals against Oxford to set the score at 5:2.
A whirlwind weekend was set to follow. On Saturday 7th February, Bristol women hosted Imperial and Cardiff. Coming head to head against Cardiff, the only team they had lost to yet, the girls were apprehensive. Bristol scored the first goal of the game, but Cardiff were soon there to match them. However, in the last 35 seconds of the second quarter, UoB’s Ping scored their second goal and this marked the start of their lead which they would soon pull away with. Leaving Cardiff to come to terms with their 7:3 loss – a complete reversal of the result when these two teams last met – Bristol then turned to Imperial to show them where they belonged on the league table. Eleven goals later, the girls had not only broken down Imperial’s defence, but their performance left the opposition shouting at each other in frustration. 11:8 to Bristol, their fourth win of the New Year, and the day was done.
Although Bristol knew they had qualified for the Semi-Finals, the girls had one more match left which would determine whether they came first or second in the Premier South. The next day, Sunday 8th February, they travelled to Walsall to complete their round robin against Birmingham. Last time these two met, Birmingham almost gained the upper-hand, but after their performance on Saturday the girls were determined not to let the score get so close again. Four quarters later, the score was left at 11:1 to Bristol, and the girls had neatly secured first place in their division. A lot of improvement has been seen from last year’s results and, with this, the girls have high hopes for the up-and-coming Semi-Finals.
The men’s team also had an exciting tournament weekend:
The sequential decimation of Oxford, Imperial and Cambridge on Saturday 7th February practically constitutes a war crime, and an investigation by the United Nations is pending. It was a total, lengthy and comprehensive massacre at the hands of the maroon marauders, who left the pool retaining their title as Champions of the South. To play a quarter of water polo is exhausting, to play three games in an afternoon is indescribable. But the boys didn't just hang in there, they continuously and unrelentingly tore each team apart at the seams the whole way through. With a total of 53 goals scored in one day, it would be impossible to do each one descriptive justice. Although, a special mention goes out to Tom Dean who actually managed to score a goal in a pool of his own sick before running out the pool area and obliterating one of the girls’ loos. Commitment.
The weekend resulted in 15-7, 18-6 and 19-3 wins against Oxford, Imperial and Cambridge respectively with the boys in maroon Premier South champions for the fourth year running. Following an unbelievable afternoon of water polo, the boys- renowned for their philanthropy- then went out to support the local entertainment industry of Bristol, showing their commitment to the community. Their contribution to the profit margins of Wetherspoons and Lizard Lounge is an inspiration to us all. The team now looks daringly and somewhat hungoverly to the North as they begin preparations for Semi-Finals in March.
Written by Jordan Kelly-Linden and Hal Sherrington.
Some say that if you’re quiet, you can still hear their tears hitting the student union floor..
What started off as a tense match ended in the kind of battering you usually only get to see in a fish and chips shop. The Cardiff boys arrived strong, and at the end of the first quarter emotions were running wild in the crowd as the UoB men’s water polo three season winning streak looked like it was in jeopardy.
In the face of adversity, our defending champions- cool as cucumber salad- turned the tables and proceeded to thrash their opposition like Victorian children. A relentless barrage of counter attacks and two hard-earned penalties, launched past the Cardiff keeper by Tom Dean’s behemoth shooting, put Bristol firmly in the lead. A special mention goes to team junior, Steffan Williams, who shook off the training wheels and scored an audacious debut goal from the left wing.
The team lost some key players from the squad last year as they selfishly decided to graduate, but, after Thursday’s victory, Bristol has shown that this year’s squad is as solid as ever. Spectators described the team’s performance in post-match interviews as “valiant”, “indomitable” and “erotic(?)”.
This was the first game in the Southern university premier league that will determine the draw for BUCS fixtures later in the Academic year. The team has already broken two national university sports records with the longest number of consecutive league wins and as the only team in any sport to win BUCS gold three years in a row. If you ask the players what they feel their chances are to win gold again this year, they look at you with icy determination in their eyes and reply, “One team. One Dream.”
Rumours that Disney is working to secure screenplay rights remain unconfirmed.
Written by Hal Sherrington
Five members of the Men’s Water Polo team have been awarded the highest sporting award available at the University.
On Friday 9th May the annual Reds Dinner was held at Bristol Zoo. A Red is awarded to ‘individuals who have produced exceptional performance at a level of achievement and commitment beyond that normally associated with University 1st team play’. This year saw five Reds awarded to UBSWPC Men's Water Polo players with incoming Captain George Mack, former Captain Kieran Whittle, GB veteran Andy Crawford, UBSWPC stalwart Charlie Harbot and Vice-President Adam Clarke-Williams each gaining the prestigious award. They join Elliot Murphy and Joel Thomas, two recent UBSWPC Reds.
This achievement is particularly special as a Red has never been awarded to five members of the same team in one year. It undoubtedly comes in light of the team’s recent third consecutive BUCS Championship title, a feat never achieved by a team at Bristol. Captain Joe Worland said of the achievement “these boys have each won three BUCS golds, it’s a pretty special achievement and we’re all delighted that they’ve been rewarded for that”. George and Adam have only been part of the team for three years, meaning that Adam will graduate with a 100% BUCS Championship record, whilst George will lead the challenge for his fourth title next year.
Social Sec Jonny McDaniell commented “we had a big influx of players in 2012 and we’re all hoping to replicate their success by winning gold again in 2015”, while fresher Tristan Bradshaw noted “clearly the bar has been set pretty high for incoming club members – we’ll do all we can to uphold the winning traditions of the club”.
England Ladies Rugby player Sophie Hemmings and double winter Paralympian Anna Turney were guest speakers at the event last Friday. Other Red recipients included students from Ultimate Frisbee, Fencing, Hockey and Sailing among other sports.
Written by Joe Worland
The University of Bristol Men’s Water Polo team has won their third consecutive BUCS title in a faultless series of matches; being undefeated in their last 28 BUCS games. Throughout the semi-finals and finals, Bristol was clearly the team to beat. Despite the pressure, coach Mark Taylor's team approached their crucial games with confidence and determination. This year’s win was, in the words of Simon Hinks, Director of Sport at the University of Bristol “a new milestone in the history of Bristol sport” as Men's Water Polo became the first Bristol sports team to win a BUCS title for three years in a row.
The BUCS Water Polo Championship round-robin finals took place over the 25th and 26th March at Surrey Sports Park at the University of Surrey. Here’s Bristol path to victory;
The Bristol boys’ first match is against Manchester, who score their first and only goal 3 minutes from the end of the match. Diego Lara, Bristol's goalkeeper, can't hide his disappointment: he wanted to keep a clean sheet for the entire game. Final score: Bristol 16, Manchester 1. The stats are impressive: all six man-downs were defended by Bristol, while all man-ups were scored. The only penalty conceded was saved, and Bristol scored its penalty. In short: 100%. In the words of Manchester's coach, Bristol Uni played "at National League level". What a compliment, coming from a former GB coach! One game down, two to go.
The second game, on Wednesday morning, is slightly tougher. Leeds manages to score 8 goals, while Bristol put 19 at the back of the net. The impressive number of counter-attacks scored by Bristol shows a great alertness in defence as well as physical dominance in attack. Bristol’s Captain, Joe Worland summarises “we worked hard in the first quarter, and then kept our discipline”. Two down, last match is for the title.
Durham University prove to be the strongest opponent, as is shown in the final score of 9-6. Yet, in spite of the pressure imposed by Durham's tight defence, no one doubted Bristol’s ability to win. Bristol reacts with pride to the Durham’s strength, working hard to secure their 9 goals. Durham's defensive strategy, at times quite aggressive, is sanctioned by 2 penalties, which are both skilfully scored by Bristol’s GB Saxons player Tom Dean.
Bristol Men’s Water Polo team’s commitment to training is once again rewarded with success, only making them more determined to keep up the hard work and do it all again next year!
Written by Clement Rames