WATER POLO: Buoyant Weymouth & Portland in trophy triumph

Dorset Echo: TOP TEAM: Dorset County Cup winners Weymouth & Portland TOP TEAM: Dorset County Cup winners Weymouth & Portland

AFTER a hard couple of years, Weymouth & Portland Water Polo may finally be back on track after winning all of their last five games.

This fantastic run of form has also led them to winning back the Dorset County Cup off last year’s winners Christchurch.

This season, the club has begun to swim train and fitness levels are improving. This has been reflected in a very strong starting seven, with many more players training hard, fighting for that starting line-up spot.

Weymouth & Portland faced a strong Bournemouth team in the final of the Dorset County Cup.

Spirits were high going into the encounter following a hard-fought victory in the Hampshire League just a couple of weeks before.

Weymouth & Portland took control early on, winning the first quarter 2-0 with goals coming from Craig Bishop and team captain/coach Dan Kinsey.

In the second quarter, Bournemouth pulled two goals back almost straight away, closely followed by a third to take the lead.

Weymouth & Portland kept their composure though, and with some great defence from Jona Jones and Jon Mason, managed to win the ball back. A tactical move from Connor Aitken and Nial Laming allowed Dan White to hit the back of the net to equalise 3-3.

Laming won the swim off for the ball at the start of the third, allowing Weymouth & Portland to demonstrate their talent. Great ball control and some nice, clean hand-to-hand passing resulted in Matt White scoring a great goal from the left wing, taking them back into the lead.

After a number of breakaway swimming attempts from the Bournemouth defence, Bishop finally received a long pass from stopper Martin Rutland to be able to defeat the goalkeeper one on one, making the score 5-3.

Soon after, Bournemouth gave away a major foul, meaning Weymouth & Portland had an extra player in the water. A great high pass from Jones allowed Dan White to score his second of the night.

Again, the fourth quarter started well with another two goals coming from Bishop within a minute, making the score 8-3. Shortly after, Bournemouth upped their game again and began a strong attack, only to be met by Weymouth & Portland also stepping up a gear.

Both teams managed to score two more goals with George Fridd scoring from the pit, and Kinsey getting the last goal of the night to make the final score 10-5 to Weymouth & Portland.

All in all, Weymouth & Portland have high hopes for the rest of the season. They hope to continue winning games to finally bring back home the Hampshire League trophy at the end of the year.

If anyone is interested in playing water polo, the club trains on a Sunday evening at the Osprey Leisure Centre (girls 7-8pm, swim training 8pm-8.30pm (all players), men’s 8.30-9.30pm). Players of all abilities are welcome, so go along for a free trial.

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