Devils get the better of Torpedoes in four tight affairs

THE first weekend of home double-headers didn’t quite go to plan in Round 5 for the UWA Torpedoes in the OVO Australian Water Polo League with the Drummoyne Devils going away with four victories.

After the opening four rounds of the 2018 season saw the Torpedoes play Fremantle Marlins and Mariners both home and away either side of a six-game, six-day road trip to New South Wales, it was back home to UWA Aquatic Centre in Round 5 for the games against Drummoyne.

It began on Friday night with the Devils women leading the whole game before holding on to win in a tight finish 9-7 over the Torpedoes. Then in the men’s contest, Drummoyne scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter to score the 8-6 victory over UWA.

The teams returned to UWA Aquatic Centre on Sunday morning for the return clashes starting with the women’s match. That saw a strong fight back from the Torpedoes to draw level in the last quarter but the Devils scored the last two goals to win 9-8.

The Torpedoes men then appeared on track for their second win of the season leading 4-2 early in the third quarter. But the Devils scored the last two goals to force it to a penalty shootout where they nailed all five shots to end up winning 9-6.

Friday night’s action got underway with the women’s match at UWA Aquatic Centre. The Devils started well with a goal to Morgan Baxter before an extra man play by the Torpedoes ended with a goal to Michelle Martinelli with a second left in the first quarter.

But Drummoyne pulled away early in the second term with goals to Jayde Appel, Baxter again and then Elle Armit to lead 4-1. UWA did pull one goal back with a penalty from Claire Whitaker, but Drummoyne remained on top with goals to Armit and Emma Jones leading into half-time to lead 6-2.

The Torpedoes came out inspired to open the second half, though, starting with a goal to Alyssa Diacono with a strong play at centre forward. Jakie Kohli then delivered another soon after and suddenly UWA was just two goals in arrears.

Drummoyne did steady to lead 8-5 by three quarter-time but two quick goals again for UWA in the last quarter by Dayna O’Leary and then Diacono meant the margin was just one with 1:22 to play.

But the Devils scored the last goal of the contest through Armit with a minute left as they went on to win 9-7.

Alyssa Diacono finished with two goals for the Torpedoes. Emma Jones scored three for Drummoyne, Elle Armit two, Morgan Baxter two and Jayde Appel two.

Then in the men’s match on Friday night, it was the Devils who scored first after just over a minute through Tyler Martin. But the Torpedoes responded thanks to American import Kevin Oliveira with his powerful left-hand.

But Drummoyne led 2-1 at quarter-time after a goal to Connor Stapleton and that grew to 3-1 by the half with another from Martin.

The Torpedoes fired back in the third quarter, though, and goals from Tim Putt, Nick Hughes, Andrew Ford and Putt again saw scores all square at 5-5, and still 6-6 by three quarter-time with another goal to Oliveira.

But the Devils finished strongly with the only two last quarter goals to win 8-6.

Tim Putt and Kevin Oliveira scored two goals each for UWA. Tyler Martin finished with three for Drummoyne, Mitch Emery two and Connor Stapleton two.

Both teams returned to UWA Aquatic Centre on Sunday morning and this time it was the Torpedoes women starting impressively with the only two goals of the first quarter courtesy of Tayla Walsh and Michelle Martinelli.

But the Devils worked their way back into the contest in the second quarter with the Torpedoes’ cause not helped when Walsh received her third exclusion before half-time.

That helped Drummoyne head to half-time with a 4-3 advantage after a goal from Savannah Henshaw with four seconds left on the clock.

UWA drew level to start the second half when Martinelli scored but Drummoyne still managed to hold a 6-5 advantage by three quarter-time.

That lead grew to 7-5 to start the last period with a goal to Kelly Mendoza. But a penalty from Claire Whitaker and another to Martinelli in quick time saw scores level. Another goal each, to Whitaker and Jayde Appel respectively, and it was 8-8 with 2:26 remaining.

An extra man conversion for the Devils with a goal to Elle Armit saw the Devils claim the 9-8 win.

Michelle Martinelli scored three goals for the Torpedoes and Claire Whitaker two from the five-metre penalty spot. Elle Armit scored three goals for Drummoyne, Morgan Baxter two and Jayde Appel two.

It was then time for the last game of the round with the men back into the UWA pool. The Torpedoes scored first with a penalty to Andrew Ford after less than two minutes and the home team led 2-1 by quarter-time with another score from Tim Putt.

It was all square at 2-2 by half-time with a second quarter Drummoyne goal to Rowan Farrell.

But UWA started the second half impressively with goals to Matt Oberman, his first in the national league, and Putt as the Torpedoes opened up a 4-2 advantage.

But the Devils wouldn’t go away and scored the last goal of the third quarter and then the only one of the fourth to level scores at 4-4 to force the game to a penalty shootout.

The Devils shot first and Tyler Martin, James Smith, Samuele Avallone, Mitch Emery and Chandler Jarrels all scored from five metres. Only Tom Beare and Tim Putt made their shots for the Torpedoes with Lach Pethick, Kevin Oliveira and Nick Hughes unable to score as Drummoyne won 9-6.

Tim Putt finished the game with two goals and a penalty for the Torpedoes.

The Torpedoes remain home in Round 6 of the OVO AWL to host the Adelaide Jets on Thursday and Saturday nights.

WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 7 lost to Drummoyne Devils 9 at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 6 lost to Drummoyne Devils 8 at UWA Aquatic Centre

WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 8 lost to Drummoyne Devils 9 at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 6 lost to Drummoyne Devils 9 (2-5 on penalty shootout) at UWA Aquatic Centre