Sydney Uni dominates the National Water Polo League over the weekend

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It was again successful outings for both our men’s and women’s water polo teams over the weekend. Each team had a game on Saturday and Sunday, with the club coming away with 4 wins and 0 losses. 

The women kicked off proceedings on Saturday the 27th at home against a UTS Balmain Tigers team who were desperate for a win to keep their playoff chances alive. Our girls started strong winning the first quarter 6-4 and kept the lead for the remainder of the match. In a fiercely fought contest the Lions come out victorious 16-12, showing too much class and depth for the Tigers. Keesja Gofers brought her good form from the Aussie Stingers back to club level as she netted in an impressive 7 goals for the Lions. Stinger team mates Hannah Buckling and Bronte Halligan were solid as always both scoring 2 goals, whilst 16 year old young gun Matilda Kearns also scored 2. Danielle Lewis, Emma Lewis and Daisy Nankervis rounded out the goals, all scoring one each.

The men were up next in a game they were expected to win against lowly positioned UTS Balmain Tigers. The Lions dominated from the get go, winning every quarter and getting the victory comfortably 16-7. Olympian Johnno Cotterill was again great with 5 goals, along with Croatian import Goran Tomasevic who had 4 and American import Michael Rosenthal who had 2. Trent Franklin, Clayton Whittaker, Tom Kearns, James Butcher and Jeremy Davie all netted one goal each for the Lions.

It was off to the Sutherland Leisure Centre the following day for both our teams to take on the Cronulla Sharks. Both sides faced an extreme challenging day ahead of them as Cronulla’s teams were both in playoff contention and hadn’t played since Thursday, conversely to our Lions who were backing up on less than a 24 hour turn around.

This however didn’t faze our women at all. The girls came out all guns blazing, scoring 4 goals to none in the opening quarter. They continued their supremacy for the rest of the match, not losing a quarter and getting the win 9-2. It was once again our dominant Aussie Stingers stepping up on the scoreboard for the Lions with Bronte Halligan (4 goals), Keesja Gofers (3 goals) and Hannah Buckling (2 goals). Considering the short turn around and that the Sharks are only one position behind our Lions on the National Water Polo League standings, this was a great win for our Lady Lions and capped off a promising weekend. With our key players firing at the right time of the season, the Lions are looking poised to make a big playoff push to go one step further then last season’s silver medal.

The men would find things a little more challenging against the Cronulla Sharks. The Sharks were sitting in the 6th and final playoff spot heading into the match and with the Brisbane Barracudas only one game behind them with one round remaining, they needed a win. Our men are sitting on top spot for a reason however and were thoroughly up for the challenge. The circumstances made for an excellent game of water polo. It was a tight and physical affair every quarter (2-2, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3) and could not be decided in regulation. The scores were tied at 8 at the end of the fourth, with the match coming down to penalty shootouts. As the Lions have done all season, they fought and clawed away for a victory, winning the penalty shootouts 3-2. Our imports Michael Rosenthal and Goran Tomasevic stepped up again scoring 3 and 2 goals respectively, with Goran netting the game winning penalty. Tom Kearns and Johnno Cotterill managed to feature on the scoreboard again, along with Chris Dyson as they all chipped in with one goal. With only one round remaining the men look ready to bring home the minor premiership and are set to be favorites for the gold heading into the playoffs.

The Lions have the Drummoyne Devils in the firing line up next. They will take on the Devils this Friday March 4th at home in the Peter Montgomery Pool at Sydney University Aquatic Centre. The women will start things off at 7:15pm with the men following at 8:30pm.

Get down to Peter Montgomery Pool this Friday night to see some great water polo and cheer on our Lions in their quest for the playoffs and National Water Polo League titles.

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