Commonwealth Championships: day three

7 Apr 2014

Malta and England extend unbeaten runs as Scotland suffers narrow defeat on day three of the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships 2014 in Aberdeen.

The first game of the day featured England Women against South Africa, who were playing their first game of the tournament.

England won the game convincingly 9-3 (1-0, 2-0, 2-0, 4-3) thanks to inspiring performances from Angie Winstanley-Smith and Jade Smith.  

Winstanley-Smith started the scoring early in the first quarter while goalkeeper Smith kept a clean sheet until the fourth quarter when she was finally beaten from the penalty spot. The win gives England Women two wins in two and an impressive goal difference of 40.

With only one women's game on the schedule it was time for the Men’s competition with league leaders Malta up against Singapore.

Current tournament top goalscorer Matthew Zammit once again impressed scoring four of his side’s goals as they triumphed 18-8 (6-1, 1-2, 4-3, 7-2) over their opponents. The win keeps the Maltese favourites at the top of the table with three wins in three.

The third game saw one of the other tournament favourites, England, face New Zealand. The English also kept their 100 per cent record as they ran out with a comfortable 10-5 (2-2, 5-1,3-1,0-1) win.

New Zealand started well with goals from Adam Pye and Matt Lewis giving them a 2-0 lead after the first three minutes. But goals from Tom Curwen and Jake Vincent brought England level before the end of the first quarter. An early injury to keeper Ed Scott threatened to ruin England’s chances, but his replacement Matt Holland saved two penalties in a very impressive performance.

It was in the second and third quarters where England won the game as they scored five goals with New Zealand only scoring one. Despite coach Andrei Iosep feeling that his team were on the receiving end of some bad decisions England held on for the win that keeps them on Malta’s tail.

In the last game of the day hosts Scotland faced a strong South African team. 

Once again in front of a full capacity crowd at the Aberdeen Sports Village, the Scots put on an excellent display, battling with their opponents in the early stages. The second quarter was even tighter with just a goal apiece, keeping South Africa just one goal ahead at the break. Despite a huge amount of pressure on the South African goal, it was the visitors who won the third quarter, extending their lead to two.

Scotland needed a good final quarter but their chances of a comeback suffered a blow when two early goals from Chris Baker and Nic Mollyneux extended the visitors lead. And although the Scots replied with three late goals it was too little too late as they lost 8-9 (2-3, 1-1, 2-3, 3-2).

At the end of day three Malta top the Men's table and England top the Women's league table.