Commonwealth Championships: day five

9 Apr 2014

Many expected the first game of day five of the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships to be the most competitive as Canada Women and South Africa were in good form after convincing wins. But Canadian forwards Emma Wright and Kyra Christmas continued their good form and helped their team to 12-3 (4-1,2-1,5-1, 1-0) win.

Then it was onto the Men’s competition. After drawing with Wales on the opening day, Singapore had impressed but lost their other two games. Opponents South Africa were looking for their second win of the week after being narrowly beaten by Malta yesterday.

In a tight first quarter Nardus Bardenhorst opened the scoring before a Paul Tan penalty cancelled it out.Both teams’ defence were strong but South Africa started to make the breakthrough in the second quarter with goals from Lood Rabie and Wingate. With Singapore's Paul Tan wrapped, South Africa started to find their rhythm and extended their lead in the second half. Jared Wingate-Pearce completed his hat trick with two more goals, giving his side a 9-2 lead in the third. A late rally from Singapore saw Zhi Zhi get his hat trick but it was South Africa who won comfortably with a 9-4 (1-1, 4-1, 3-0, 2-2) victory.

The third game of the day saw Malta Men beat Wales 25-12 (5-2, 6-3, 6-3, 8-4) in a game that was more competitve than the scoreline suggested. The Maltese started strongly racing to a 4-0 lead but two goals just before the break from Dan Laxton and Chris Taylor gave the Welsh hope.

Laxton completed his hat-trick in the second quarter and Malta's Jerome Gabbaretta was wrapped. But two goals from Jordan Camilleri just before half-time kept Malta’s lead safe. The second half was much of the same and top goalscorer in the competition, Matt Zammitt's eighth goal helped to give Malta the win. 

Then it was time for the highly anticipated double header between Scotland and England. First up was the Men’s match with the home team looking to ruin England’s 100 per cent record.

Both teams had chances in the first quarter but it was England who took advantage with Matt Holland in the England goal keeping a clean sheet. Scotland finally beat Holland early in the second quarter with James Scobie finding space in the pit to convert home. But a goal from Sean King meant England kept their lead at half time.

The Scots needed momentum but a Jake Vincent goal from range gave England a five goal lead before O’Regan completed his hat trick to make it 7-1.England added five more before the end of the third quarter with only two replies for Scotland through Scobie and Fraser Rutherford. The English built on their lead in the closing stages with five goals in the fourth, winning the match 17-4 

Then it was time for the Women to play each other. After a disappointing performance against South Africa last night, the Scots were looking for better against an England side full of confidence after two straight wins.

Like the Men, England started strongly with Angie Winstanley-Smith scoring after just 14 seconds. She added her second as England took a 5-1 lead into the second quarter. Winstanley-Smith and Ciara Gibson-Byrne completed their hat-tricks before the end of the second quarter as England extended their lead to 9-1 at half time. A second goal for Nicola Tate and a hat-trick from Rosie Huck gave them an 18-2 lead at the end of th third. England captain Rosie Morris continued her impressive form in net, shutting out Scotland for the whole of the fourth quarter as her team ran out 24-2 (5-1, 4-0, 9-1, 6-0) winners.

The win means England book their place in Saturday’s final against Canada, with both teams keeping a 100 per cent record so far.