The semi-final of the B&D mini polo cup between Bridgefieldand Warrington was held on October 6th at the Austin Rawlinson leisure centre. A team of 7 from Warrington headed over to Speke to take on local rivals Bridgefield.
Unfortunately Warrington were slow to get going and before long were trailing 1-0. In reply James Boyce managed to get off a shot which was well saved by Bridgefield’s impressive goalkeeper. Sadly this was to be the story of the night. Soon after Bridgefield were 2-0 up as their accurate shooting paid off. It wasn’t all one way as Marcus Woods tested the keeper with a great shot, but again it was well saved.
Bridgewater maintained their domination, quickly racking up 2 goals, one a penalty for a dubious infringement by the goalie Joe Daley. But Warrington weren’t disheartened as first Louis Stowell with powerful shot from out wide and then Annie Sholl with another long shot, were both repelled by the Bridgefield goalie. Would they ever get passed him?
Despite dogged efforts from Warrington, they were often left exposed at the bag as Bridgefield stole forward scoring 4goals in quick succession taking the score to 8 without reply. Even under such pressure keeper Joe pulled off some fine saves, one in particular where he somehow managed to reach one goal bound effort deserves special praise. But it wasn’t all one way, with Marcus and Evie Sandell testing the keeper
Warrington started the second half with renewed optimism applying pressure on Bridgefield, now defending the deep end. Again Marcus and Annie were to the fore, with Annie hitting the post twice when she really should have scored and Marcus bringing another fine save from The Wall
As Warrington surged forward trying to get a goal on the board, they were again left exposed at the back and conceded their 9th goal. However new goalie James wasn’t to be deterred, pulling off a series of fine saves in an attempt to stop the onslaught.
But miracles can happen and as Warrington started to build some solidity at the back notably led by Evie in the centre of defence, their forwards were able to take advantage with first Louis scoring and then Marcus shooting narrowly wide. Had the tide turned? Unfortunately not for long, as poor timing of a substitution by the Warrington coach, left James without any defence and an easy goal for Bridgefield! 10-1.
At this point one might have thought that Warrington should have got out and gone home, but the team showed true strength and determination, and as Bridgefield tired, the blue caps of Warrington brought some respectability to the score. First Louis doubled his account and then it was 10-3 as Joe gave a great pass to Marcus to open his account. Not long after we had the move of the night as Lily Ireland moved swiftly to intercept the ball in defence before setting Marcus off to swim half the length of the pool and score in fine style.
10-4, would Warrington mount a fight back? Well in keeping with the rest of the match, our hopes were dashed again. This time James was penalised having made a great save, for taking the ball under the water. The pen was dispatched giving Bridgefield a 11-4 lead going into the last minute. The clock quickly ran down with only Marcus able to fire off an attempt which sailed just over the bar.
So ultimately disappointment for the U12s, as Bridgefield and their keeper in particular proved too strong for the Warrington juniors. Still there were positive signs with the side gelling in the second half as they worked on their defence and despite trailing 8-0 at the interval, came back taking the second period 4-3! Well done to everyone who involved.