Water Polo Report: Blood In The Water As KCL Get Violent
Two convincing wins for the Cambridge water polo team are marred by thuggery from King’s late on.
Both the Men’s and Women’s water polo teams sacrificed their Halloween bops and traveled to London on Friday night to take on King’s College London. The women played first and swiftly demonstrated the kind of dominance which saw them through to last year’s BUCS semi-finals, taking an early lead which they maintained throughout the match. This was particularly promising considering a number of new players were bedding into the team.
The men’s match followed and from the start it became clear it would be a fiery affair. In a very narrow pool, play was congested and quickly descended into a number of individual wrestling matches as players vied for position with elbows and fists flying under the water from the off. Fortunately, this Cambridge team is made of stern stuff and a snap shot from captain Mike Gormally put the light blues into an early lead. The outraged cries directed at the referee by every single KCL player because the goal was allowed seemed nothing more than a calculated attempt to intimidate the fairly inexperienced official, a ploy that they would continue to use throughout the match.
Going in to the second quarter the blues were keen to assert their dominance against a team who it was fast becoming clear were both deeply inferior and deeply irritating, and this is exactly what they did. Having given away an exclusion foul the King’s captain then proceeded to ignore the referees whistle and conceded a penalty clinically converted by fresher Ben Walker on debut. A third goal, this time from Matt Walton, turned the screw before Mike Gormally played an unintentional one two off the face of the King’s goalkeeper before dispatching the rebound.
The third quarter saw a mini revival by Kings as they managed an unanswered goal but two goals in quick succession from Gormally at the start of the fourth seemed to confirm a straightforward Cambridge victory. However, with 2 minutes to go and the game petering out, a King’s player decided to add a bit of drama to proceedings by taking a swing at Gormally. The blow was in fact pretty impressive, creating a wound that would require 5 stitches in A and E and leaving an incredibly badass blackeye.
What was equally impressive was the speed at which the offender then exited the pool to escape repercussions – demonstrating agility, speed and power which up to that point had been totally lacking from his play. As Cambridge celebrated victory, the utility of having a 5th year medic in the team was once again stressed as the flapping lifeguard proffering multiple packs of saline solution and plasters was thankfully sidelined.