Round five of the OVO Australian Waterpolo League wrapped up yesterday after fours days of action across four different states.
The OVO Play match between ACU Cronulla Sharks and Sydney University Lions yesterday did not disappoint with crowds at Sutherland Leisure Centre and at home treated to two hotly contested water polo games.
In the women’s match, the Sharks led deep into the last quarter but the Lions’ experience took the lead for the first time with a goal less than two minutes from full time to win 9-8.
Heading into the last quarter the key message from Lions head coach Deb Watson was for her girls to “go back to basics.”
Speaking on OVO Play after the match, Sharks player and top goal scorer with four goals, Amy Ridge spoke about the positives.
“I think it was a massive improvement from when we played them last week and I think we gave them a really good match.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t win, we don’t have that experience to take it all the way to the end, but hopefully we can learn from this and take it in to the back end of the season,” she said.
Lions players Keesja Gofers and Danielle Morrisey helped steer their team to victory both netting three goals.
After losing to the Lions by a goal one week before, the Sharks men’s team were looking for redemption.
The Sharks men gave away a big lead, trailing six goals to one early in the fourth quarter.
Four goals in the last quarter to Sharks players Joe Kayes, Ben Matthews, Ugljesa Mihailovic and Japanese import Atsudo Iida were not enough to make up the difference losing by one goal again, 6-5.
In a game where there was a good spread of goal scorers, Sharks player Ben Matthews top scored with a double.
Sharks centre forward Joe Kayes admitted the team had played away from their game plan for majority of the match.
“We played three and a half quarters which was just nothing to our game plan we have been training to all week and it was frustrating.
“Hopefully we get four from four next week [in Queensland] and bring that momentum back into the second half of the season. Hopefully we can get a bit of consistency,” he said.
Drummoyne Devils travelled to Western Australia with a point to prove to the competition about their mental toughness and physical fitness.
Both the men’s and women’s Devils teams walked away from Perth with three out of four wins each, both only dropping a match to Fremantle.
The Marlins women drew first blood against their Drummoyne counterparts defeating them 10-8 on Thursday.
In the return match on Saturday Drummoyne Devils turned the tables and claimed victory 9-4, with Devils player Ellie Armit scoring three goals in the match.
In both matches against UWA the Drummoyne women claimed victory by narrow margins, 9-7 on Friday and then 9-8 on Sunday.
In Sunday’s match Michelle Martinelli (UWA) and Ellie Armit (Drummoyne) top scored in the match with three goals each.
In the men’s matches Drummoyne started their tour with an impressive victory over Fremantle Mariners and backed it up with an 8-6 win against UWA Torpedoes on Friday.
On Saturday, the rematch between Fremantle Mariners and Drummoyne Devils, the Mariners fired back with a strong performance and dominated the Devil’s to win 14-8.
Even a six-goal haul from Devils’ Tyler Martin couldn’t overcome a strong Mariners team hungry after Thursday’s loss.
Mariner Joel Swift claimed four goals in the same match.
In the Devil’s men’s final match on the road, they finished on a high with a 9-6 victory over UWA Torpedoes.
Torpedoes player Tim Putt netted himself a hat trick, but was matched with doubles from Devils players Tyler Martin and Connor Stapleton.
UNSW Wests Killer Whales blew off any cobwebs they might have had from the plane trip north with a 5-3 victory over the Brisbane Barracudas on Thursday.
In the second match between these two teams, Killer Whales backed this up with a comfortable win over the Brisbane Barracudas, where former Barracuda Ash Southern sunk three goals into her old team for the 8-3 win.
UNSW Killer Whales were too good for the Queensland Breakers girls winning 11-9 courtesy of three goals from Killer Whales player Hannah Evans.
Killer Whales claimed the four wins from four matches by beating Queensland Breakers on Sunday 10-7, sending another strong warning shot to the competition.
The UNSW Wests Magpies backed up the women’s performances with an impressive clean sweep as well. Some big score lines against a young Brisbane Barracudas side afforded the Magpies the luxury to play some younger players.
Magpies beat the Barracudas 23-5 on Thursday and followed that match up with another scoring frenzy, 20-6 on Saturday.
In the second match against the Barracudas, Magpies player Jarrod Gilchrist scored seven goals all within the first three quarters to top the goal scorers list.
In much closer matches, the Queensland Breakers started slowly in their first match against the Magpies to go down 12-5. Magpie Lachlan Hollis top scored with five goals in the match.
In Sunday’s rematch, the Breakers were focused early, but the Magpies experience shone through securing a 6-3 victory and the clean sweep.
The FYFE Adelaide Jets hosted Hunter Hurricanes at South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre over the weekend.
However, the home pool did not provide the necessary advantage with the Jets going down in all four matches.
In a high scoring affair in Saturdays women’s match, the Jets fell short by one goal to lose 14-13 against the Hurricanes but can take confidence from the fact they had nine individual players on the scorecard.
Rachel Fattal scored three goals for the match to top the goal scorer list.
In the Sunday women’s match, the difference was slightly bigger to Hunter Hurricanes in their 11-5 win.
On Saturday’s men’s match Hurricanes claimed the points with an 11-8 victory headed up with an impressive five goals by Gordon Marshall.
In a similar story on Sunday, Hurricanes won the rematch 12-8.
Tigers fielded young teams in both the men’s and women’s matches against ACU Cronulla Sharks who were hungry to start their weekend well.
The Sharks women flew out of the blocks with a strong start scoring two quick goals from Joanne Whitehorn and Brooke McClean.
The young Tigers women regained their composure to level it at two all, but the Sharks defensive pressure was too much to handle for some of the younger Tigers players.
The Tigers effort could never be questioned but inconsistencies in their performances meant they could not match it with the Sharks who won 10-4.
The UTS Balmain Tiger’s men’s side met a physical Sharks team and were desperate for an important victory going into the match with two wins from ten matches.
However, it was not to be with the Sharks dominating from start to finish and claiming an 8-6 victory.
For full results from the OVO Australian Waterpolo League, please click here.