By Charlotte Greenwood, Deputy Sport Editor and Masters Student, Contemporary Identities
With momentum on their side, the league leaders were once again impressive in a 28-4 victory.
Coming off a 22-goal win against Exeter 1s on the previous weekend, it was undoubted that Bristol Women’s Water Polo team entered this match with a real sense of confidence with an opportunity to take away another win. The second game of their year saw Bristol take on Exeter again in their BUCS schedule, this time welcoming their rivals on home ground. Yet, despite the adverse weather warnings and snow promising to affect the game being played, Exeter made the trip across to Bristol to try and regain their defeat in what could only be seen as another opportunity.
The sense of preparation from Bristol was unavoidable as the team were in the water, waiting for Exeter to assemble their team, provide a sheet of players and get their caps on in time for the beginning whistle. When the match did begin, an immediate penalty was allowed for Bristol, beginning their run of 7 goals within the first eight minutes of the game. The constant interception of Exeter’s passes, quick paced attempts and impressive progression towards the goal, immediately threw Exeter off guard.
Heading into the second quarter, Bristol held their impressive lead, adding a further 5 goals to their side against just 2 successful shots from their opposition. Within this middle part of the game, calls for formation and marking were constant, keeping their lead in tact and challenging Exeter’s advances even further.
At the beginning of the third quarter it was clear that both sides were beginning to tire. After Exeter scored two goals in the beginning of the quarter, this was enough motivation for Bristol to re-group, execute their plan, and continue their remarkable lead. Within this quarter, Jenny Herring, number 5, added to her impressive tally of scores, scoring 5 goals in just 8 minutes as well as nearly scoring half of Bristol’s overall total by the game’s conclusion. Whilst ‘man of the match’ may not be a position rewarded, it seems certain that had it been, Jenny would have earnt this recognition.
With the end in sight, the fourth and final quarter saw a confirmation of Bristol’s impressive technique, careful set-ups and successful shots, taking the goal count up to an impressive 28 to 4. The last quarter saw no attempt from Exeter to salvage their goal deficit with all goals in the quarter, all 8 of them, belonging to Bristol. With the final whistle blown, Bristol had continued their impressive win from the weekend before, in a near repeat of success; taking their 22-9 lead to a rewarding 28-4.
Reflecting on their repeated success after two strong performances and strong training ethic, top goal-scorer, Jenny said’ We’ve been working on our set plays following exclusions recently, so to see them looking so much sharper is a real credit to the training we’ve been putting in. We had a couple of girls who hadn’t played with us before and it’s great to see them making such positive contributions’. Captain, Lauren Harrison also agreed, stating that ‘the team cohesion in the pool has improved a lot since the beginning of the season’ with high hopes to ‘continue our form and remain undefeated’ at the close of the season.
With strong hopes to continue their dominance, Bristol Women’s water polo are in a strong position to close the season how it began; presenting their opposition with a well-practiced plan, a strong marking system and impressive scoring ability as a cohesive unit.
Since beating Exeter, the team went on to beat Bath and seal the league title. Bristol Women’s Water polo team will next face either Exeter or Manchester University in the cup on the 27th February. Best of luck to the team for the rest of the season.
Featured photo – Emily Dickinson
Are you confident Bristol Women's Water polo team could triumph over either Exeter or Manchester University in the cup? Let us know!