The OVO Mobile Australian Waterpolo League round eight, pride and diversity round, action has wrapped up after three days of action spanning two different states with the fight for final spots heating up.
Dmitry Gorshkov’s Breakers men clinched back to back AWL victories after to end a four year derby drought over the Brisbane Barracudas in an entertaining OVOPlay live stream match.
Billy Miller’s return from overseas was not enough for the Barracudas side who faced a confident a defensively strong Breakers team on Saturday night.
Speaking after his side’s 8-4 win, Breakers goalkeeper Nic Porter was proud of the team.
“Full credit to the boys, I know it’s such a cliché but that was honestly one of the best defensive displays I’ve seen from them and to only concede four goals from a team with players like that is fantastic, I couldn’t be happier right now.
“We were saying before the game it’s been four years since we’ve last beat the Barras, I think we put in maybe three and a half good quarters today which is probably the best effort we’ve put in all season,” he said.
In the women’s match, a second half fightback from Barracudas provided a great show for the Valley Pool spectators.
One of the night’s highlight went to Barracudas and Japanese national player Kotori Suzuki who sunk a spectacular long-range effort on the stroke of half time to give her side some hope at 5-2.
Barracudas Assistant Coach Kate Gynther said the message from head coach Melissa Rippon at halftime was all about defence.
“We need to focus on our defence and be a bit smarter with how we defend. Obviously, they’ve got a couple of really strong shooters.
“We just need to put a little bit more pressure on her (Bronwen Knox), she adds a great amount to her team, she’s a great shooter, a very strong centre forward and we probably just need to be paying a little bit more attention to her when she has the ball,” she said.
A 2-nil third quarter swung the momentum in Barracudas favour setting up a thrilling final quarter with Breakers holding a slim 5-4 lead a three quarter time.
Breakers held onto their one goal advantage and closed the match out 6-5 with Breakers player Alice Williams describing the elation post-match.
“It’s amazing, getting wins in this competition is so tough so to come away with one in the local derby is such a good feeling,” she said.
As part of pride and diversity round, a highlight at Valley Pool was the Pride Shield.
Players from Melbourne Surge, Sydney Stingers and Brisbane Tritons as well as current and former AWL players united to form the Equality All Stars and Pride All Stars teams squaring off for the Pride Shield in its third year.
In a much-anticipated match Equality All Stars took the Pride Shield 9-4 over the Pride All Stars.
Round eight was a big round for FYFE Adelaide Jets, travelling to Sydney and competing in three matches in three days.
It was a tough first up encounter against the ACU Cronulla Sharks for both their AWL teams.
In a positive sign for Aussie Sharks fans Joe Kayes netted five goals, followed by import Serbian import Ugljesa Mihailovic’s three goals in the Sharks 15-3 Friday night victory.
The ACU Cronulla Sharks women also put in a dominant display against a young Jets team, taking the match in a 14-2 win with senior Sharks player Joanne Whitehorn (5) and Amy Ridge (4) combining for nine goals.
On Saturday Jets faced UNSW Wests with the Jets women displaying high levels of effort and enthusiasm, but they just couldn’t match it with the Killer Whales’ eight different individual goal scorers going down 11-6.
Jets men’s Montenegrin import Stefan Porobić continues to show his class in the competition by scoring three out of the four goals for his team against Magpies, but Magpies players Jarrod Gilchrist (5) and Lachlan Hollis (4) did the damage between them scoring nine goals, to beat Jets 10-4.
In yesterday’s inaugural David Woods Cup, home team UTS Balmain Tigers were remembering, celebrating and recognising the achievement of a great man and his love for water polo.
With the cup up for grabs, UTS Balmain Tigers came out firing in both matches but couldn’t match it with UNSW Wests composure going down 11-3 in the men’s game and 9-5 in the women’s game.
Yesterday, Drummoyne Devils, Justin Trabinger (100), Matteo Sessantini (100) and Samuel Avallone (200) were all notching up milestone games for Devils jumping in into Drummoyne Pool against ACU Cronulla Sharks.
It was not to be the fairy-tale ending the Devils wanted for their trio with ACU Cronulla Sharks holding on to a 10-8 victory.
In the women’s match Sharks held a 3-nil first quarter lead over Devils, however a resilient effort led by Queenslander and Aussie Stingers player Elle Armit with three goals in the second quarter and four for the match secured them a 9-4 victory.
Another good sign for Australian fans heading into this weeks test match series against USA were hat tricks to Lions Isobel Bishop and Keesja Gofers in their 12-6 win over a Jets side which pushed their opposition for the whole match no matter the margin.
For all results from round eight please click here.
The OVO Australian Waterpolo League will now take a two-week break, returning April 12 due to international duties:
- March 26-31, Australia vs USA test match series and training camp (Sunshine Coast, Queensland)
- April 3-8 FINA World League Intercontinental Tournament (Auckland, New Zealand)