Waterpolo: DHS v Northwood

Coach’s Report – DHS

Once again we started extremely well and once again we allowed our concentration to lapse at vital stages. At the end of the first quarter we led 2-1 with a well taken goal from Khan from a snap long distance shot and a good persevering follow-up shot by Naicker off a save by the opposing goalkeeper.

The second chukka was a real “ding-dong” affair with a great deal of action by both teams and some superb saves by goalkeeper Stroh. For half the quarter there were no goals but Northwood scored two quick goals in succession to go 2-3 up. We clawed one back with a well-taken shot by Naicker to level things again, but within seconds of the restart our opponents once again took the lead at 3-4. There had been frenetic action with three goals being scored in the space of forty-five seconds of play. With the clock running down the last minute we scored the equalizing goal through sheer hard work and perseverance by hole-man Andreas Kyprou and we went into the half-time break deservedly level 4-4.

The start of the second half saw some unfortunate confusion. We had had a player excluded in the last seconds of the game and so should have started the next quarter a man down for ten seconds.

The Northwood coach had indicated that should they win the ball, he wanted a time-out to take advantage of the man up situation. The teams lined up for the start – DHS had someone in the water in the exclusion zone – the referee controlling that side started the game – and all six School players entered the playing area!! The referees immediately awarded a penalty for us having an illegal player in the water. Despite the vehement protest of Coach Lawson the penalty stood and we were 4-5 down. This incident seemed to unsettle our players and we became disjointed and rudderless for a while which enabled Northwood to score three unanswered goals to be 4-8 up with 12 seconds left on the clock. Never-say-die hole-man Kyprou scored a great goal right at the end of the chukka to narrow the gap 5-8.

The fact of having a depleted bench with only three substitutes now began to take its toll and our tiring team began to lose concentration and we began to allow goals on the counter-attacks mounted by Northwood with regular monotony. We leaked three goals in the space of a minute to find ourselves 5-11 down. Some harsh words from Coach Lawson saw our team dig deep into their physical reserves and Naicker pulled one back for us with a good goal to make it 11-6. We had hopes of a dramatic comeback but it was not to be and we leaked two more goals for the final tally to be 6-13. Beaten but by no means disgraced.

Alan Burt
M-i-C : Water Polo

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