Warrington looked to continue their winning streak as they headed over to Europa Pools to face off against Birkenhead. Before the game Addison was desperate to speak to the match report writer about comments last week and desperately tried to clarify that he is not desperate. Warrington were fired up as they knew the squad assembled stood a good chance of beating Birkenhead. Tom Costello was again captain and he was to continue his 100% win record. The whole game was nip and tuck with both teams exchanging blows and rarely more than one goal separated the sides. Two goals from Addison and one from Tom Hadley put Warrington 2 - 3 ahead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was not so good and was typified by a frankly shambolic man up opportunity. Warrington took too long to get into position and the chance came to nothing. There was some good play though, Tim Mainwaring making an excellent steal with the help of Tom Costello. The visitors lost the second quarter despite another goal from Addison and at half time were 4 - 3 behind. One constant theme in this match was Warrington’s impressive defensive display, nullifying Birkenhead’s main threats and saving two man down situations. Birkenhead often resorted to long range efforts and these were easily dealt with by Peter Burke in goals who was in fine form and clearly fired up for the game. The return of David Price and his high pitch whooping added extra strength and aggression alongside Andy Burke, which formed the platform for Warrington to work their attacks. Before the match Andy Burke was quoted as saying “I’ve hurt my shoulder but it’s ok it’s not like I’ll be doing much swimming” never a truer word been said there Andy. Warrington gave a few people a go at the swim off and not even the young spritely swimmers such as Sam Cooper or Tim Mainwaring could win the ball from the restart, Warrington lost every one.
The third quarter saw a change of ends and two new hats due to damage and loss which gave the crowd an idea of the physical nature of this game. However the visitors new it was all to play for with only one goal in it. A good piece of play from Tom Hadley and an eventual pass after some delay set up Conor Dean for a well taken goal. Addison also scored two more goals, although one could argue the goal Tom Hadley scored which bounced from inside the goal to Addison to put in the empty net was not correctly noted on the team sheet. Tom will have to speak to the dubious goals panel on that one.
This set the game up for a tense final quarter as the score was now 7 - 7. Warrington took the lead in the first minute and then successfully defended a man down situation. Then after a foul on five metres Tom Hadley fired an audacious back hand shot which deflected of the head of Sam Cooper into the goal. Sam claimed to have skilfully guided the ball past the goalie, others would say it smashed him on the side of the head before he knew anything about it. The dubious goals panel this time ruled in favour of Tom. 7 - 9 with 5 minutes to play. Birkenhead then scored two goals sandwiched either side of Addison’s 7th on the night. Ian ‘gerrard’ Musgrove then took to the water and was sent out for a pit defence foul within seconds of getting in. Not fit equals major fouls it would appear. At 9 - 10 this could of cost Warrington the win but thankfully the team defended it well and held out the last few seconds of the match to record a great victory. Noted performances on the night were James Barker and Sam Cooper who both put in a real shift on the either wing and played some excellent polo. Although neither scored it could be argued as their best game yet. Although it was clear from James’ breathing rate after, it was more swimming than he was used to in goals. Another great team performance and a well earned few weeks rest before Bridgefield A and Liverpool at the end of April.
Team: P Burke, T Mainwaring, A Burke, T Costello, D Price, J Barker, S Cooper, I Musgrove, C Dean (1), T Hadley (2), A Brown (7).