A winning start for Newport Water Polo
City of Newport’s season got under way last week when its newly established second team travelled west to play Swansea in a friendly. Having been created to give some of the less established senior squad players more game time, Newport II’s line-up on the day was comprised of a combination of up-and-coming youngsters and experienced veterans, with the players ranging from 15 to 54 years of age.
Despite missing several leading first team players – including the club’s four senior internationals – Newport II’s made relatively easy work of the inexperienced opposition, who themselves have only been in existence for a few years. Captained by centre-back Lewis Jones, and employing a high tempo counterattacking game, Newport II’s raced into a 7-2 lead at half-time, with Gareth Campbell scoring four, Jack Tod contributing two and Isaac Bowen also getting on the scoresheet.
The second half was a much more even affair. Nevertheless, with Newport II’s press defence holding firm and the counterattack continuing to paid dividends, it was the visitors who ultimately came out on top. Both Bowen (2) and Daniel Griffiths managed to get on the scoresheet, but it was 15 year old Ollie Chilcott who stole the show, scoring a brace late on. One of Chilcott’s goals - a particularly sweet long range effort that flew into the top right corner of the net – was arguably the highlight of the match.
Whilst Newport II’s 12-5 victory was fairly comfortable in the end, it was an important win nonetheless. On 8 March, the club kicks off its fifth season in the Bristol & West League since re-entering the competition in 2013, when Frome visit Newport International Sports Village. Having been crowned champions of the Second Division last year, it promises to be a testing season for newly-promoted Newport. Therefore, the victory against Swansea was a great opportunity for the players to get some much needed water time and momentum ahead of a big year.
It is also hoped that the match will be the first of many for Newport II’s. A number of friendly matches are being arranged over the next year, with the ultimate aim of entering a Newport II’s team into competitive tournaments and leagues from 2018. To this end, the club is looking to recruit new players. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve played before – the club caters for players of all ages and abilities, from complete novices through to current internationals. All that you will need is a reasonable swimming ability and a willingness to learn in a friendly, social and supportive environment.
If you’re interested in giving water polo a go, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.newportswimmingclub.co.uk/about-water-polo.