Cross town Sydney rivals, UNSW West Magpies and Sydney Uni Lions, once again faced off in the gold medal game of the National Water Polo League Finals, with the Magpies taking the crown with a 6-5 win.
2017 NWPL minor premiers, the Lions got the game off to a flying start, leading 5-2 at half time, with Jermey Davie leading from in front with two goals.
But the second half was all the Magpies, with triple Olympian and NWPL Finals Series MVP Richie Campbell producing four goals his side.
His fellow team mates and Olympians Joel Dennerley and Jarrod Gilchrist were also major contributors to the side’s 6-5 victory.
Captain Dennerley managed to the keep the Lions scoreless in the second half, but felt the pressure in the dying seconds when the Lions had the opportunity to tie up the score.
“We gave them an opportunity right at the end of the game unfortunately we were lucky enough to scramble, get the stop and come away with the win.
“It wasn’t just half time we needed to talk. We had a game plan we wanted to execute, we knew that in the second half that our hard work could pay off. We weren’t worried too much about the scoreline we were just trying to stick to our systems and they prevailed in the end,” said Dennerley.
For Campbell, he didn’t think too much about the side finishing on top of the podium but wanted to simply focus on one day at a time for the Finals Series.
“We had to take it one game at a time. We beat Drummoyne, we beat Cronulla in the semi and then we knew we had to leave it all in the pool today so we are glad we are here (winners).
“The result just shows how we could dig deep and the get the result we wanted,” said Campbell.
“It’s a fantastic venue, thanks to Pymble Ladies College for having us here. Thanks also to the young Magpies fans in the stand that cheered up on,” said Campbell.
Full time: MAGPIES 6 LIONS 5
Qtr Time scores (MAGPIES-LIONS) 1-3, 2-5, 4-5, 6-5
MAGPIES Goal Scorers: CAMPBELL (4) GILCHRIST (2)
MAGPIES Goal Keeper: Joel Dennerley
LIONS Goal Scorers: DAVIE (2) KEARNS (1) ROSENTHAL (1) DYSON (1)
MARLINS Goal Keeper: Anthony Hrysanthos
Bronze Medal Playoff
In the Bronze Medal Playoff it was ACU Cronulla Sharks that defeated 2016 NWPL Champions UWA Torpedoes.
The Sharks, who finished second on the table this season, outclassed the Torpedoes with a convincing 15-7.
While the Torpedoes came back strong in the second half, the Sharks were strong in both attack in defense proving why they were one of the strongest sides of the 2017 season.
Southern Cross Trophy – Minor Premiers – Sydney University Lions
Charles Turner Medal MVP Season – Jarrod Gilchrist, UNSW Wests Magpies
Tom Hoad Medal MVP Finals – Richie Campbell, UNSW West Magpies
All Star Team:
Goal Keeper: Luke Quinlivan, UWA Torpedoes
Jarrod Gilchrist, UNSW Wests Magpies
Florian Maresko, UWA Torpedoes
Jonno Cotterill, Sydney University Lions
Rhys Howden, Brisbane Barrcaudas
Joe Kayes, ACU Cronulla Sharks
Ciarion James, UTS Balmain Tigers