A stunning 15-6 victory to the University of Nottingham (UoN) Men’s Water Polo was certainly to be expected by the BUCS league champions against Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) UPOLO Division 2 Trent Cobras.

A worrying start, with UoN’s loss of the first swim-off allowed Trent an initial advantage, immediately attacking and attempting to score, with the appearance of a strong team.

This was short-lived, as UoN’s interception preceded the first goal of the game, by UoN water polo’s Team Junior, George Sadler. A tough defence was led by Alex Souto in goal, consistently blocking any attempts by the Cobras, while the rest of the team intercepted players.

UoN followed closely behind with two impressive goals

Foul play by Trent resulted in the removal of team players, and UoN played a man-up for a significant amount of the first quarter, allowing three more goals leaving us with a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

A promising second quarter began as UoN’s Andro Tikvika won the swim-off. The unfazed Alex Souto saved goals successfully over and over again, and only when a free throw was granted to a Trent player pretending to drown did Trent score their first goal, by John Musson.

UoN followed closely behind with two impressive goals. Almost matching Souto, Trent’s goalkeeper had a powerful throw, reaching across the length of the pool where Musson scored for the second time to mark the end of the quarter at 6-2 to UoN.

An immediate first goal by Oliver Bowen-Ashwin after the swim-off again set high hopes for the remainder of the game. Musson managed to score twice more for Trent, which was no match for the five more achieved by UoN.

UoN’s last goal again proved our goalkeeper’s strength, who threw the ball all the way across the pool

Sam Richards scored three of these, the last of which remarkably bounced off the water before pounding into the back of the net. The score at 12-4, Trent began to feel agitated, visible in their more aggressive tactics, swimming over UoN players’ heads and pulling them underwater at any opportunity.

The most impressive goal in the final quarter was made by Bowen-Ashwin, with an incredibly clean back shot, which appeared to come out of nowhere. He scored yet again before Trent’s next goal, again by Musson.

UoN’s last goal again proved our goalkeeper’s strength, who threw the ball all the way across the pool to Joshua Harridine, who shot and scored. Shortly after, Trent’s only scorer ended the game with a final goal, leaving the score at 15-6.

UoN water polo’s player Callum Ingram felt ‘fantastic’, describing the victory as a ‘crushing win’.

UoN Goal Scorers:  George Sadler (4), Joshua Harridine (2), Sam Richards (2), Oliver Bowen-Ashwin (4), Sam Buckler (1), Ashley Wilkins (1), Rob Smith (1).

Trent Goal Scorers: John Musson (6).

Words by Sofia Knowles

Image: IMPACT Images Team

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