City water polo side open with two victories

Ciaran James.
Ciaran James.
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Lancaster started their British Water Polo league campaign with two victories against teams from north of the border.

Newly-promoted Caledonia and this year’s British Champions Portobello were both swept aside at Ponds Forge, Sheffield at the weekend.

Caledonia were first up on Saturday with Tom Curwen scoring eight times in a 15-7 win.

Last year’s league top scorer opened his account to give Lancaster the lead before Caledonia equalised with a penalty.

Curwen put his side back in front with London 2012 Olympian Alex Parsonage also on the scoresheet before Glen Robinson, another to feature for Great Britain at last year’s games, taking a cross-field pass from Ryan Pinnington to score.

Parsonage and Curwen, with a penalty, soon doubled their accounts.

Lancaster’s third Olympian Ciaran James opened his account in the third quarter before goals from Curwen and Parsonage.

In the final quarter Lancaster eased off, Caledonia scoring four goals, which included a penalty whilst James was excluded after disagreeing with a couple of decisions.

Caledonia’s mini revival mattered not as Scott Sharpe added his name to the score sheet before Curwen scored a further two to complete the scoring.

Sunday’s game against Portobello was a much tighter affair, with Lancaster prevailing 13-12, Curwen scoring five.

The city side led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter, Parsonage opening the scoring from a penalty before a Curwen double, the Scots reducing the arrears in the final 20 seconds of the period.

Portobello then scored three without reply to lead 4-3 before Curwen levelled and new signing Roger Kennedy put his team back 5-4 up at half-time.

Pinnington converted a man up to level things up but some sloppy Lancaster defence saw Portobello come back into the game and take the lead which they held for the rest of the quarter despite Parsonage and Robinson hitting back with a goal each.

The Scots increased their lead to two at the start of the final period before Robinson added his second only for Portobello to regain their two-goal lead.

In a dramatic finish, Lancaster scored twice through Parsonage and Curwen only for the Scots to reply each time.

With two minutes remaining Pinnington calmly scored an equaliser then after the next Portobello attack was repelled Curwen gave Lancaster the lead with a minute to go for a hard-earned victory.