“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same” are words that the Leander Midi squad should consider.

It all looked promising; a good result in the tournament last year, a similar squad of players and some new additions. The only way was up.

Except it wasn’t. Played 4, Lost 4

The teams we played: South Derby, Northampton gold and Grantham were all bigger, stronger and faster than us. If they were on a diet of raw meat and protein shakes we had overindulged on the quinoa. Our team took one look at the opposition, and before a ball had been thrown declared they were going to lose. We need to work on our attitude and be meaner, tougher and more confident in our attitude.

It was closer than the scores suggest; Emily, Aidan and Ernie had good games. Fran and Betsy played well in goal (not at the same time). Ollie swam some lovely lines and Matthew, Drew and Zoli looked to build on their experiences from the last tournament with some confident performances. Build up play was promising, but too often sloppy passes, a lack of movement and occasional debatable decisions worked against us. Hamza and Jessica had their first games, were assured and did not look out of their depth.

There was lots to be proud of. Our skill levels were good and there was commitment aplenty. We never looked scared when tacking bigger players, indeed some tackles were a bit too committed. If a few less shots hit the woodwork and had gone in, it could have been played 2 won 2.

It was a pleasure coaching the team. I am sure we will do well in the future but the players need to stay positive, engage their clever brains on the matter at hand (and not who is the latest boy band/England team that weekend) and keep on working for each other.

Thanks to Alex for refereeing and coaching the team.

Many thanks to all our supporters who never stopped cheering. My tinnitus is a testament to that.

Dominick Shaw

All news

Water Polo, Match Report