Watford Men’s 1st team win BWPL Championship Title in dramatic fashion

The Men’s 1st team travelled to Gloucester for the final round of BWPL Championship two matches at the weekend knowing that a positive result against the Welsh Wanderers on Saturday afternoon would hand them the title but in a dramatic twist of late drama on Sunday afternoon Watford were handed the title after the Welsh side failed to beat Worthing.

At the start of the weekend the equation was simple win or draw against the Welsh & the title was Watford’s however as in life not everything is that simple.

Watford started the game well taking an early 2-0 lead with goals from Jack Pickford (an excellent spinning lob shot) and Nandi Cseh, a bullet of a goal from a 5m foul and with defence & particular goalie Peter Pickford in fine form the team frustrated the Welsh side to only a handful of chances but one chance did fall their way which was taken & the first quarter closed 2-1.

The second period saw the Welsh step it up and in a blistering four minute period they had turned the game on its head by taking a 4-2 lead, Watford reduced the arrears with a goal from Cseh with only 12 seconds remaining but a lapse in concentration with only one second of the first half  to go allowed the Dragons another goal for a half time lead at 5-3.

At the start of the second half another Welsh goal had them 6-3 up but a goal from Ciaran Walshe kept his side within touching distance and further chances came & when for both sides but mid-way through the third period another Welsh goal had them in a commanding position at 7-4.

Into the final period & it was make or break for Watford & a chance of the title. A good start had Watford within one goal after only 2 mins play as goals from Jared Baker & Cseh had the score at 7-6 but the Welsh weren’t going to roll over that easily & two quick goals within a min from them had them back in front at 9-6 & with 3.54 mins to play that was a commanding lead. Watford reduced the deficit with a goal from Baker again but further chances were very limited & with only 25 seconds remaining another Welsh goal was the nail in the coffin but for a final strike from Steve Behr the final scoreline was 10-8.

So with a first defeat in the second half of the season it looked like the title was lost however the team needed to respond with victory over Birmingham on Sunday as a win or draw for Worthing in the final game of the season against the Welsh Wanderers would hand Watford the title.

On to Sunday morning and after a late night celebrating promotion & a game against Birmingham we needed to get our job done with a victory & then rely on Worthing giving us a helping hand.

In a one sided game Watford won each quarter 7-1, 4-3, 5-3, 6-2 for an overall scoreline of 22-9. Ciaran Walshe lead the line well with eight goals, two a quarter, neat & tidy, Jared Baker, Jack Pickford & James Warman weighed in with a hat-trick each and Cameron Baker scored twice & goals from Alun Dorrington & Nandi Cseh completed the rout.

So it was over to Worthing and that final game of the season against Welsh Wanderers if the south coast side could win they would be promoted however a draw for both sides would be a disaster as Worthing would miss out on promotion & the Welsh would miss the title.

Worthing won the first quarter 2-1 but the Wanderers hit back to level the game at 4-4 at half time. The sides couldn’t be separated at the end of the third period as the score moved on to 6-6.

The final period was nail biting for the Watford team sitting in the balcony watching as the Welsh lead the game for the first time at 7-6 & then extended their lead to 8-6 with only 4.52 remaining. Worthing called a time-out & this gave them the time to re-group and with a final effort pulled themselves level at 8-8 with 2.41 remaining.

As the clock ticked down both sides had chances to take the lead but good defending & poor shooting kept the scores level & then with only 11 seconds remaining the Wanderers won a man-up, nails were gone by this stage by the Watching Watford team and the title chance looked like it was gone for Watford however the Welsh failed to convert their man-up advantage & the title was handed to Watford, a first in the club’s History.

water polo promotion 2017

Team:

Peter Pickford (GK), Steve Behr (Vice-Captain), Danny Davis, Jack Pickford, James Warman, Jared Baker, Nandi Cseh, Cameron Baker, Luke Rogers, Alun Dorrington, Ciaran Walshe.