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.