Watford Water Polo U19′s miss cut to final four after tough weekend in Gloucester

Watford’s U19′s made the long trip to Gloucester last weekend (8th/9th April) and in a tough set of games the team failed to make the final four after losing to Exeter, Sedgefield & Manchester & drawing only with Croydon in this year’s ASA National Age Groups. In truth making the qualification round and the top five was a great acheivement for the club & team, given that the majority of this U19′s team still have another one or two years to play in this age group & facing teams that had players two year’s older proved to sterner test. In the first game against Current ASA U19′s Champions Exeter the team struggled to get going and Exeter raced into a half time lead at 8-2. The second half saw Watford score four times but Exeter weren’t going to be caught as they ran in a further seven themselves to take the game 15-6.

Next up on Saturday afternoon were Sedgefield who finished runners-up to Exeter in the 2016 Championships & again this was a very tough game as it was really Men against Boys as Sedgefield won the game 24-4.

On to Sunday morning and a game against local rivals Croydon this was a game that could go either way & a win for Watford would have meant they would make the finals weekend. The team got off to a nervy start as Ben Chapman gave Watford the lead but Croydon hit back to level at 1-1. Into the second period & Croydon moved in front at 2-1 but Watford leveled via Daniel Atkinson for a half time score of 2-2.

Into the second half & Croydon again snatched the lead at 3-2 but with 2.21 to play goals from Petar Djordjic and Atkinson gave Watford a slender 4-3 lead going into the final period.

The team opened the last quarter with a goal from Jack Warman for 5-3, a penalty awarded to Watford minutes later would hand the team a big advantage but this was missed & Croydon snatched this lifeline to level the game at 5-5 45 seconds later.

With 34 seconds of the game to play Head coach Edi Brkovic called a time-out but the team couldn’t taken the opportunity and the game finished all square, not the result Watford wanted.

The final game of the weekend against Manchester was another tough encounter and following the earlier draw against Croydon another draw or win would meant progress to the finals but again Manchester were far too strong and they won the game 10-5 and with it ended Watford’s chances of making the final four tournament.

Head Coach Edi Brkovic commented after the weekend:

“It was a tough weekend and playing last year’s Champions & runners-up in the opening two games wasn’t ideal, the game against Croydon was realistically our best chance of getting a win but even if we had make the finals it would have been a major achievement, next year we will have a better chance with this group of players”.

Watford-U19s ASA-NAGs-Gloucester-2017
Aril Pandya (GK), Will Eggleton, Jack Warman, Matt Rosenfeld, Adam Page, Josh Silverbeck, Thushira Kumarage, Petar Djordic, Jarryd Myburgh, Cameron Gilmour, Tom Mills, Daniel Atkinson, Ben Chapman, Thomas Gould.