Clinton secure their top spot in waterpolo

2014-01-28 00:00

CLIFTON College’s first waterpolo team confirmed their ranking as the top exponents of the game in the country, with victory at the Grey High School tournament at the weekend.

Played over three days, Clifton, seeded number one in their pool, made light work of Grey High 17-1, and an invitation team 19-1, on the first day.

Day two saw the remaining pool games go to plan, with Clifton beating St Peters 10-3 and qualifying for the quarter-finals, where they dispatched Pretoria Boys’ High 13-3.

The semis served up some tight games, and Clifton’s clash with Grey Bloem was no exception. Starting poorly, with seven shots in the first period that were either saved or directed over goal, the deadlock was finally broken by captain Nick Downes, who scored for Clifton with the first bounce shot of the game.

In Clifton’s goal, Gareth May was kept busy and had to produce some fine saves to keep Clifton alive, but he was beaten soon after Downes had scored, to leave the teams level at 1-1.

The third period was goalless as each side probed for an opening and with both ’keepers in great touch.

It took an unwell Todd Petterson to set up Dayne Jagga in the final quarter to put Clifton 2-1 ahead, and they went 3-1 up when Petterson’s back shot found the net.

Grey replied with a late goal, but Clifton savoured a 3-2 win and a clash in the final with Wynberg Boys’ High.

The boys from the Cape had enjoyed a good tournament, but could not match Clifton’s precision and slick moves.

Finding themselves 4-0 down after the first quarter, it was always going to be a battle to contain the rampant Durban outfit, especially with Downes and Wyatt Edwards having so much firepower on the left and Mike Brakspear a perfect foil on the right.

Massimo Conversano and John Williams took charge of the defence and Clifton celebrated a tournament victory, and a solid three days’ work with a strong 14-6 win.

Westville vs Kearsney

In an isolated match, Westville continued their good form from the previous week against Glenwood, beating Kearsney 8-5 in an entertaining encounter.

Kearsney scored first after a slow start to the game, the strike spurring Westville into action.

Immediately after the restart, Westville equalised with their first attack and with each side scoring again, the quarter ended with both sides deadlocked at 2-2.

Westville came out firing in the second quarter, scoring three quick goals, two cancelled out by the spirited Kearsney outfit.

At 5-4 at the break, it was still any side’s game and Westville took the initiative in the third quarter, scoring another three goals to Kearsney’s solitary reply. Kearsney’s keeper pulled off some fine stops to keep his side in the hunt and the quarter ended 8-5 to Westville.

With all to play for in the final quarter, it was an anticlimax as both sides failed to find the net. Numerous chances were created but poor finishing cost both teams.

At the final whistle, Westville had got across the line eight goals to five.

Clifton vs Northwood

2nd Clifton 9 Northwood 2

U15A Clifton 9 Northwood 3

UI15B Clifton 8 Northwood 1

U14A Clifton 13 Northwood 0

U14B Clifton 12 Northwood 0.

DHS vs Glenwood

1st DHS 5 Glenwood 11.

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