Warrington’s Senior Team were the first Warrington team in the history of the club to play on the continent when they took part in the ‘Angry Fish’ waterpolo tournament at The University of Twente in Holland.
On Friday 31st August 2012 a small team of 8 players flew from Liverpool Airport to Schipol and then took a 2 hour train journey to Enschede arriving around 10.30pm just in time for a drink around the pool with the other teams.
But first we needed to put our tents up as the team had opted to camp out. Tents were erected within 10-15 minutes perhaps in another life we had all been boy scouts!
After a short walk we arrived at the pool where the bar was also situated and soon obtained 10 tokens for 11 Euros to taste the locally brewed ‘Grolsch’
The pool was 25m long outdoor heated pool, 1.8 m deep in the shallow end and 3m deep at the deep end, perfect for waterpolo! With over 30 teams taking part in two leagues including mixed teams from Italy, Denmark and of course Holland. We were the only team from Great Britain.
After a cold first night in the tent we woke in the morning to bright sunshine. We were straight down to the pool for breakfast and to watch the first match of the day which started at 8am.
We were soon in the fray at 9am playing Schuurman BZC. It was a tricky game as playing outdoors is really different to playing in doors the position of the sun can be a significant factor sometimes leaving the goal keeper completely blinded. Each game lasted 7mins each half. The refereeing was a good standard but we suffered throughout the tournament in giving too many majors away and therefore power play to the opposition. Martin Bosson and Glen Musgrove scored our two goals but we were beaten 3-2.
We all felt we should have draw at least but not too bad for our first game. Our next game was against a team called Jaws. In warm up I took a look down the pool to see the opposition warming up on butterfly they looked like a team of Great Whites slipping through the water with ease. During the game the opposition played an excellent game, relentless pressure on the arc and fast breaks when in possession. Sometimes water polo can be a simple game! Ian Musgrove scored a consolation goal but there was no doubt about who was the best team.
In the afternoon the team entered the water with a determination to play better polo. The next game was against Piranha 2, we stated to play a lot better with goals coming from Ian Musgrove (1), Martin Bosson (1), and Glen Musgrove (2) who has an excellent shot. I dropped in myself to give players a rest and got on the score sheet with two goals including a shot from half way (sorry chaps had to mention it). The match finished with a 6 – 4 win for Warrington. I could feel the confidence come back to the team and although tired we had one more match to play before the end of the day.
The final match of the day was against Olstars 2. Again Warrington looked the better team throughout with goals coming from Ian Musgrove (2) and Lee Chadwick (1) we felt the game was always under control although the score was a little close for comfort. We had a continuous stream of players being sent out on the plus side we continually defended the man downs, a credit to all the team.
We finished day 1 fairly satisfied with 2 wins and 2 defeats. It was then time for the tournament party starting at 6.30pm with some excellent Chinese food and a really good friendly atmosphere the night went on until around 1am when we all made it back to our tents some worse the ware more than others!
The final day some teams had two matches some had one match with the games starting at 8am, we had only one game to play. We were lucky with a 12noon start for 5th & 6th playoff. We played ZPV Neunen 2 in our final game and it soon became clear that they had drank more Grolsch than we had. We played surprisingly well with goals from Lee Chadwick, Paul Wilkinson and myself. We finished 3-0 winners and 5th overall out of 8 teams.
The whole competition was played throughout in a friendly low key way. The division 1 teams were certainly a little more serious but still played in a friendly way. In one game a player played with his sun glasses on and in another a mixed team with a male goal keeper decided he would wear a bikini top very disconcerting when the attacker attempted to shoot to see the hairy chested bikini wearing goalkeeper kick up out of the water Im not sure if that’s covered in Fina rules!
The whole weekend was a real success all the players enjoyed the whole experience and vowed to return the following year.
My thanks go to Ian Musgrove for organising the event so well our transfers were seamless thanks to Ian’s attention to detail and hard work prior to the event.
I would like to thank the whole team which included Martin Bosson, Dave Price, Paul Wilkinson, Neil Mugrove, Glen Musgrove, Ian Musgrove, and Lee Chadwick for being great ambassadors for the club.
I’m sure all the above would want to return next year perhaps with 2-3 more players. If you are interested let Ian or myself know, as soon as we have the 2013 dates they will go onto the fixture list.
Game 1 9am (Saturday) vs Schuurman BZC 3-2 loss.
Scorers Martin Bosson 1 Glen Musgrove 1
Game 2 11am vs Jaws 6-1 loss
Scorers Ian Musgrove 1
Game 3 1pm vs Piranha 2. 6-4 win
Scorers Chris Byrne 2 Glen Musgrove 2 Ian Musgrove 1 Martin Bosson 1
Game 4 5pm vs olstars 2. 3-2 win
Scorers Lee Chadwick 1 Ian Musgrove 2
Game 5 12pm (Sunday) vs ZPV Neunen 2. 3-0 win
Scorers Lee Chadwick 1 Paul Wilkinson 1 Chris Byrne 1