Ipswich suffer narrow defeat at Southend
SWIMMING: Ipswich Water Polo team suffered a narrow defeat against Southend in a thrilling recent away match.The club side fought hard throughout the game but ended on a painfully close18-15 score.
By Debbie Watson
IPSWICH Water Polo team suffered a narrow defeat against Southend in a thrilling recent away match.
The club side fought hard throughout the game but ended on a painfully close18-15 score.
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For the Suffolk squad it was destined to be a trying challenge from the very outset.
The Ipswich side had arrived in Southend fielding a minimum seven-man team. But, despite the obvious disadvantage, they quickly went into an early lead in the pool, showing a credible display of both skill and determination.
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Southend soon edged ahead however, offering some powerful shooting and bounce shots from and impressive five metres distance.
But Ipswich refused to relent. Guy Smith, playing a lone role up front, kept up a steady flow of goals throughout the game.
Other scores included two spectacular bounce-shots from Chris Pryke, plus goals from Dave Mcartney, Faron Hart, Stuart Morgan, and Nick Blaxill.
Despite this attacking form, it was the defensive strength that added to Ipswich's troubles.
Playing without a regular goalkeeper the squad was unable to fully stem the flow of Southend goals as the home team rotated their squad.
Although more mobile, Ipswich were unable to sufficiently build-up their attacks, and struggled to cope with the power of Southend's attacking players.
Chris Stephens, for the Ipswich side, commented: "It was a tough game for our side because of the defensive situation, but we still achieved a really close result.
"We achieved some great goals so it was still very much a game to have been pleased with."
As with many of Suffolk's pool-based teams, the coming weeks will fall quiet because of the holiday period.
Ipswich's Water Polo squads – both senior and junior – will be back in action for a busy competitive agenda throughout September and October.