Warriors show improved team game to edge out win over Basingstoke Bluefins (match report by Mark Lewis)
Portsmouth Warriors 13 – 11 Basingstoke Bluefins
- Portsmouth Warriors v Basingstoke Bluefins
- Hampshire League
- Date: Thursday 19th October 2017 21:00
- Venue: Mountbatten Centre – Portsmouth
Since topping the table in Division 2 for the 2016/17 season, Portsmouth began the new season playing in Division 1 after undergoing a rebrand to reflect the rich naval history of the city. The newly named Portsmouth Warriors assembled in trepidation of what lay ahead in Division 1 but were keen to invite the opposition to ‘Come Out To play’. Basingstoke took up the challenge and it was game on!
Max won every swim off for the Warriors giving Portsmouth the early advantage in each quarter. Within the first minute Jack ‘The Tug Master’ Woodland had opened the scoring by guiding the ball into the top right of the goal with precision. One of his two fine goals of the night. Subbing in for Jack W, Mark was next on the score sheet with a fine push shot assisted by James who’s vision spotted open space in front of goal inviting the on-swimming player to flick the ball past Basingstoke’s Omar.
After his fine assist, James was next on the score board clearing up some messy balls around the pit to hammer one home. A fine start by the Worriers put them 3:0 up but led to some complacency. Basingstoke put pressure on Portsmouth in their own half of the pool and forced three poor passes as players shipped on bad ball in panic in the face of tough pressing. This eventually resulted in a turnover and the Bluefin’s first goal by Matt Girb. With just one minute left to play in the first quarter Portsmouth were again undone by the Bluefin’s. Some over eager defence saw Clem spending time in the corner exclusion zone with Basingstoke capitalising on the man-up. Basingstoke scored again with seconds to go and it was game on at 3:3.
Max was visibly getting frustrated after making some fine brakes but Portsmouth unable to capitalise on them in the first quarter. In the second quarter Max’s persistence was to pay off as he found the back of the net twice – charging clear of the defence and making good the shots. Max sealed his MOTM display with a third in the fourth quarter. Added to his swims, he was a constant thorn in Basingstoke side.
Kester made some fine saves keeping Portsmouth in the game during a tough second quarter when they fell behind, and then helping maintain the winning lead in the third and fourth quarters. Backing up the keeper and working tirelessly Josh and Jack N’s excellent defensive and team play helped keep the ball moving in the right direction – and epitomised the overall teamwork on display throughout the match.
Tim was starting his first competitive match for Portsmouth and his performance was praised by all as he showed his composure in attack helping to set up and assist a surgical score by Lorenzo in third quarter. Lorenzo shooting from range and leaving the Basingstoke goalie with no hope. Lorenzo added to his first goal with a second in the final quarter making use of the man-up to fire in from the left at close range. Adam entered the game from his sick bed to take over from the departing James and assisted in Max’s third goal.
The stand out goal of the game came from Porto’s finest export, Pedro Goncalves. Fighting his way with the ball through several players, Pedro found himself in front of goal and unmarked. Then came the genius of Pedro’s dummy, fooling the goalie the ball fell majestically to the water (as planned) before he picked it up again to hammer it home. That’s one for the slow-mo replay!
James added to his first quarter goal with a silky second and Trevor added two more for good measure. A clever chip over the on-rushing keeper and a fire-bolt long range effort to seal the win. Constant battling from Clem, Mark and Jack in defence proved too much for Basingstoke who were eventually muscled out of the game with the final score finishing 13:11.
- Max N: 3 (MOTM)
- Mark L: 1
- Jack W: 2
- Lorenzo B: 2
- James J: 2
- Trevor J: 2
- Pedro G: 1