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FREMANTLE WATER POLO 2019 AWL ROUND 6 WRAP UP: Freo vs Balmain

Round 6 was a busy round for Fremantle as we played a total of four games across Friday night and Sunday morning against the Balmain Tigers.

Friday night’s games:

Marlins v Balmain:

Going in to this game the girls were facing their hardest opponent of season 2019. Balmain were undefeated from 8 wins and were in very strong form. The Marlins were also tracking along very nicely being undefeated from 5 wins, so they were up for the contest.

The Marlins got off to a great start in the match with a brilliant goal by Freo veteran Glencora McGhie, quickly followed by a goal to Pia Rodgers which had the girls looking on fire early. Balmain responded quickly with 2 goals of their own in the first 5 minutes of the match tying the score 2-2. The game was electrifying early on with a goal scoring frenzy from both teams.

Marlins Veteran Glencora McGhie shooting through the Balmain Defence

The speedster Fanny Valyi scored her first goal to put the girls back up, followed by Aussie Stingers star Zoe Arancini who worked herself in to a good position in front of goals. Glencora McGhie then got her hands on the ball and scored again, extending the girls lead to 5-2 as they looked in full control of the match. Balmain needed to respond and were patient passing the ball around to look for their next scoring opportunity, which eventually came as they pegged back the margin to 2 goals.

Zoe Arancini who has been the best goalscorer for the Marlins this year then scored her 2nd of the match, and it was looking like she may have another bag of goals up her sleeve. Pia Rodgers then scored her 2nd, giving the Marlins a healthy 7-3 lead before the first break.

Balmain scored the first of the 2nd quarter, signalling that they were still up for the fight, however Chloe Nella quickly responded for the Marlins. The Tigers then really kicked in to gear mid way through the 2nd quarter and scored back to back goals, reducing the Marlins lead to 8-6. McGhie scored her 3rd goal to stem the flow, as she continued to have a big say in the match. Balmain responded well as they did all game with a goal, followed by a Marlins goal through Lara Zimmerman just before half time, giving the Marlins a lead of 10-7.

Lara Zimmerman looking dangerous in front of goals

The third quarter was all Freo. First Sofia Chaves scored her first, followed by the superstar Arancini who scored her fourth, and then the skipper Erin Redbond who also scored her first. This gave the girls a very handy 7 goal lead at the final break. Balmain scored two early goals in the final quarter, however it was too late to come back for them. Lara Zimmerman scored for Freo just before the final siren, giving the Marlins an inspiring 15-9 win over Balmain.

FINAL SCORE: 15-9

GOALSCORERS: 4: Arancini, 3: McGhie, 2: Zimmerman, Rodgers, 1: Nella, Valyi, Redbond, Chaves

Coaches Thoughts (Katie Finucane): It was a great win. The team came together with a good spread of goalscorers and our defence worked really well. It was a great team effort. Zoe (Arancini) had another great game working really hard on drives and counter attack. Lara (Zimmerman) was given the very difficult job of neutralising one Balmain’s gun players, Rowie Webster, and I think she did a fantastic job of doing so.

Mariners v Balmain:

The Balmain mens team were coming off 3 wins from 7 matches, however Freo knew that they were a much better team than the ladder suggested. Balmain got ff to a flying start, scoring the first two goals of the match. You could tell that they had really come to play and were switched on early. The Mariners finally got something going through the inspirational skipper Joel Swift, who got himself into a good position close to goal and was just too big and strong for his opponent. Swift was on fire early as he scored his second goal of the match, tying up the scores 2-2.

Balmain defence look helpless as Petar Tomasevic prepares to shoot through his blocker

Balmain then took full control of the match scoring the next three goals, which gave them a handy three goal lead at 5-2 at quarter time. The boys really needed to rally together here and start working as a team to get their game style going. Some better ball movement from the Mariners saw an opening for Jordan Kremers-Taylor who scored his first. Kremers-Taylor then got going again for the Mariners and was looking dangerous as he got himself in to a good scoring spot but was fouled for a penalty shot. No stranger to the big moments, Kremers-Taylor put the ball straight through the net, showing great signs of composure, pegging the margin back to just one goal.

Some great work in goals by the experienced Marko Draksimovic helped the Mariners as they welcomed back his services. As we sent the ball back forward, Will Mackay found himself with the ball and took it upon himself to score, tying the scored up at 5-5. We then went goal for goal with the Tigers as the scores tied up again at 6-6. As we lapsed in concentration for a moment, Balmain took full advantage and scored the next two goals. Will Mackay then responded with his second goal, as he looked to have really come in to the game. This was followed by a ripping goal by Luke Pavillard who drew us level with Balmain at 8-8.

Last week’s QUBE Player of the Round – Clancy Neesham

The skipper Joel Swift scored to put us up for the first time in the match, followed by a penalty from Pavillard which gave us a two goal buffer. The Tigers then responded to an eruption of cheers from their bench. They weren’t going to let this one get away easily. Pavillard sensed he needed to strike as the Tigers were coming, working himself in to a good spot and scoring off a powerful goal, giving the mariners a two goal lead. The Tigers responded again and put them within one goal, as this game was going right down to the wire. The siren rung soon after and the Mariners had won in by a goal in an absolute thriller. After coming back from 3 goals down early in the piece, this was a great team effort and their best win for the season.

FINAL SCORE: 11-10

GOALSCORERS: 4: Pavillard, 3: Swift, 2: Mackay, Kremers-Taylor

Coaches Thoughts (Laurie Trettel): We continued to show a bit of rust from the month long lay-off and really struggled to convert our extra man opportunities in the first half, and costly turnovers led to easy goals for Balmain. The team showed really good composure in the second half to come back from a 3 goal deficit and close out the game. Overall we were happy to get the win and know that we need to improve if we want to challenge the top teams.

Sunday mornings’s games:

Marlins v Balmain: 

With a very short 1 day break since Friday’s game, it was always going to be interesting to see how the girls would fare in their second game against Balmain. We got off to a slow start with Balmain scoring the first two goals early in the match. They then went on to score two more, as we went in to the half time break 0-4.

Madeleine Quinn prepares to let rip on a powerful shot from out the top

Madeleine Quinn scored the first goal after half time as we tried to find some momentum, however it never came. Balmain scored two more goals for the rest of the game as we went down 1-6 in a low scoring affair.

TOTAL SCORE: 1-6

Coaches Comments (Katie Finucane):  It was just one of those games where you can’t buy a goal, everything that went in on Friday night bounced out or floated along the goal line in this game. Balmain’s goalie really stepped up and put a lot of pressure on our outside shooters. It was also an extremely heavy game and I think our Centre Forwards had a pretty hard time in there. 

Every team has at least one of those games and I’m just glad that it is over with now. We are ready to move forward from this game with a few important lessons learnt. I couldn’t fault the effort of the girls though.

QUBE Player of the Round: Lilian Hedges

Mariners v Balmain:

Similarly to the womens, it was always going to be interesting to see how each team responded to the one day break between games. The Mariners got off to a flyer, with a goal from Luke Pavillard. Balmain were quick to respond to tie up the scores. Will Mackay got on the board early, after he looked dangerous with his two goal effort on Friday night. Luke Pavillard then scored his second to put us up by two goals leading in to half time.

Will Mackay leaping out of the water to score a powerful penalty

Mackay opened the scoring after half time as the boys went up 5-1 and were looking on fire. The youngster Jordan Kremers-Taylor followed with his first, before Davis “Tuck” Verboon registered his first from 2m, flicking it in to the bottom right corner after a cracking pass from rookie Alastair Bruce. Mackay followed up on his good work early on and scored his third goal, all of which were impressive shots. From here on it was a lottery as to who was going to cash in on the goals as the Mariners took total control of the match. The skipper Joel Swift scored his first and Petar Tomasevic scored a late goal as the Mariners won comfortably.

TOTAL SCORE: 9-1

GOALSCORERS: 3: Mackay, 2: Pavillard, 1: Swift, Verboon, Tomasevic, Kremers-Taylor

Coaches Comments (Laurie Trettel): 

The game was very impressive from a defensive point of view and John Hedges played a fantastic game in goals. Defence was the backbone of our success last season and it was positive to see the commitment to improve in this area compared to the game on Friday.

UNSW will present a real challenge next round as they have recruited well and are one of the favourites for the championship. We have had success against them in recent seasons and tend to match up well so it will give the team great confidence going in. The team is really looking forward to the challenge to see where we are at, and we will be continuing to focus on improving in all areas of our game.

QUBE Player of the Round Davis Verboon

Davis Verboon all “Tuck”-ered out after a great effort in the 3rd quarter

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