Nine team members headed to Durham on Friday October 26 for the opening BUCS fixture for the Leeds University water polo team.
In front of a hostile Durham crowd the boys started slowly and conceded an early goal. Unnerved they brought it back to 1-1 in no time. Trading another goal each, the game quickly moved to two all with a great shot off the top of the arc by George Wibberly.
Unfortunately they couldn’t quite find the momentum to push on and let in two more goals to finish the quarter 5-2 down. Maybe due to a lack of warm up and the overwhelming support from the home fans, things got worse for the boys team as they letin three more goals in the second quarter with too many fouls, giving Durham the opportunities they needed to take a lead.
Not to be made fools the boys had a stern word at half time and returned all guns blazing. Solid defence in the form of a tight press from every player and resolute pit defence dried up the flow of goals. With Dan and Tim Heng countering off the top of the arc opportunities started to open up for Leeds who scored two goals, bringing the score back to 8-4. Heng came up with a little flick which was by far the best goal of the match and added a touch of class to an intense game.
Heading into the final seven minutes confident of the possibility of bringing the game back to a draw. Dan scored a couple of quick goals to reduce the deficit to just two, with four minutes remaining. One good shot from Durham gave them their first goal in over 12 minutes of play, highlighting how well James Craven was playing in net and how tight they had kept their lines defended.
However 9-6 just proved to be a little too much to came back from and despite scoring once again the Leeds Uni boys narrowly missed out on a fairytale come back to finish proceedings 9-7. A commendable performance from everyone. Leeds’ fitness was evident and despite having only two subs, they finished with a flourish.
Author: James Heap