2012 NWPL: Drummoyne 9 : 10 Sydney University
April 2, 2012 1 Comment
Due to the way the season has panned out, this was a crucial game for both teams, and in some regard this was their grand final. Sydney University had to win the match in order to secure a place in the top six to qualify for the Final series. Drummoyne was in a similar predicament given its mixed results throughout the season.
This was an exciting match that can be divided into two distinct parts. Drummoyne dominated the first 3 quarters to start the last one with a healthy margin of 3 goals (7:4) in its favor. Nobody expected that the Lions would stage such a comeback by completely outplaying its opponents in the final period. That was the second part of the spectacle – Sydney University scoring six goals to two to win the game 9:10.
Olympic Devils candidate, Samuele Avallone, made his presence felt in his second appearance after missing 4 weeks due to a rib trauma (see ‘Avallone continues to press for London Olympics’ post). He impressed many people by scoring 5 exciting goals in the first three periods and finishing the match with a total of 6 goals.
Sydney University had more contributors to the score line. The leaders, Thomas Whalan (3), Rob Maitland (2), Trent Franklin were well supported by the rest of the team and in particular by Scott Nicholson and Lachlan Hollis both of whom finished attacking combinations well at crucial moments.
Young Clayton Whittaker’s two action goals deserve special mention because they reduced the gap between the teams to 1 goal. It was the game’s turning point after which the Lions regained their confidence and belief that they could win the match. In the first instance, Clayton hit the target with impeccable precision placing the ball into the top corner of the net amidst a ‘forest’ of arms and past the Devils’ keeper, John Hahn. A minute later, Whittaker stole the ball off a Drummoyne player, dribbled up the pool and hammered it with confidence into the far bottom corner of the goals leaving no chance for the goalie to save it, bringing the score to 7:8.
In the remaining 3 minutes Whalan, Hollis and Maitland scored 3 individual quality goals to complete SU’s amazing comeback.
The win puts Sydney University in a good position to finish among the top 6 teams. Despite the loss, Drummoyne still has a chance to book a place in Final series.
X-man: Drummoyne 6/2 (33%); SU 4/0
Penalty: Drummoyne 1/1; SU 1/1
Referees: Nick Hodgers and Daniel Bartels
– Samuele Avallone (D):
Very disappointing loss last night. Terrible last quarter, I don’t know what happened. We dropped the intensity and lacked concentration. First of all, I want to thanks everyone who came to watch the First Derby Day that myself and John Hahn organised. Besides not great weather, we were very happy to see a lot of people, kids and families. We are hoping to have the Derby Day as an annual event from now on. Regarding my game, I was happy to be back in the water after 4 weeks I have been out due to a broken rib. Unfortunatly, my 6 goals didn’t help the team to win the game, we had a great start and then we had a terrible last quarter where we dropped the intensity and concentration. I am still confident that we can make the final as we are a top team!
– Thomas Whalan (SU):
We were obviously extremely happy with the win although we made it difficult for ourselves. This was a turning point for our team at the most important juncture in the season and it was pleasing that we put it together for the last 2 quarters at least. I do believe however Drunmoyne fell into the trap of changing their style of play in the 3rd quarter to more conservative and we were able to capitalize on that with good counter attacks.
My congratulations to Sam Avallone and John Hahn and all of Drunmoyne for putting on such a great event. Every club must strive to at least put on one such publicized event per year to promote our beautiful sport
– Tyler Martin (D):
After such a good start to the game it was bitterly disappointing to lose that way we did. It was great having Sammy back to full fitness and going into half time at 4-0, and three quarter time with a 3 goals lead we should have been going into the final quarter with all the confidence to win the game. Unfortunately, we tried to protect our lead and consequently lost the last quarter 6-1. We have shown we can beat the best teams in the league but we need to be able to maintain the form over four quarters and from match to match instead of the rollercoaster of form we have displayed throughout the season.
– Alastair Visch (SU):
We started the game poorly, failing to convert several opportunities into goals and gave away goals through terrible one on one defense. This allowed Drummoyne to get away with four early unanswered goals. During the second half our defensive game was much stronger and we managed to shut out their centre forwards who punished us in the first quarter. In attack Whalan, Franklin and Maitland showed their abilities as world class players by all scoring in the second half. The younger players Nicholson, Hollis and Whittaker stepped up to the occasion and made significant contributions resulting in what was a hard fought comeback. We showed tonight in the second half that we are serious finals contenders, however we will need to ensure we can play four consistent quarters of quality water polo to be successful.