Water Polo: Lancaster’s perfect start to new season

Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club.
Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club.

Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club kicked off their 125th year by making a perfect start to the new British Water Polo League season.

The multi-time national champions had two tough outings on Saturday and Sunday against last year’s runners up Cheltenham and fifth place Bristol Cantal respectively.

Lancaster however came through with 15-10 and 13-8 wins led by coach Zak Sly team manager Nigel Sharpe.

In Saturday’s opener against Cheltenham last season’s top scorer, London 2012 Olympian Alex Parsonage, soon opened his account for the new campaign as he scored both goals in the first quarter to leave it level at 2-2.

In the second quarter goals from Parsonage, Tom Curwen, Roger Kennedy and Graham Harrington meant that Lancaster ended the half 6-5 to the good.

The second half was a tale of two very different quarters.

In the third City allowed Cheltenham to score four easy goals but good countering resulted in Decland Ellwood pulling a goal back with Glen Robinson and Parsonage getting two further goals to leave the game tied at 9-9 entering the final period.

Lancaster then really found their form in the fourth quarter, outscoring Cheltenham six to one with two goals each for Robinson and Parsonage with Kennedy and Curwen also adding their second goals of the game to seal a 15-10 win.

Sunday’s opposition Bristol had Olympic Games captain Craig Figes in their ranks but Lancaster welcomed back Marc Robinson in goal after serving his ban in the season opener.

Again it was a nervy opening with goal from Scott Sharpe and Parsonage making it 2-2 at the end of the first quarter.

A second for Parsonage and a goal from Curwen then made it 4-3 at the half-time interval in what had turned into a tight game.

Lancaster hit their stride in the third quarter however with two penalties from Curwen followed by goals from James Moffat, Sharpe, Lewis Peach and Curwen again putting City into a commanding 10-6 lead entering the final period.

Curwen added his fifth in the final period with two more from Parsonage completing the 13-8 win.