Torpedoes women lose in penalties; men fall short of Fremantle

THE UWA Torpedoes home opener in the Western Derby on Friday night didn’t quite go to plan with the Fremantle Marlins beating the Torps in a penalty shootout before the Mariners kept their hot form going to open the 2018 OVO Australian Water Polo League season.

The Torpedoes hit the UWA Aquatic Centre pool for the first time in 2018 on Friday night as part of Round 4 of the OVO AWL season after seven road games against Fremantle, the Hunter Hurricanes, UTS Balmain Tigers and UNSW Wests.

It was a welcome sight to be back in the home pool to host Fremantle in the second Western Derby already of 2018, but it didn’t turn out how the Torpedoes would have been hoping.

PLAYER COLUMN – ANDREW FORD ROUND 4 
TORPEDOES HIT UWA POOL FOR FIRST TIME IN 2018 AGAINST FREMANTLE 
PLEASING DEVELOPMENT CONTINUING FOR TORPEDOES WOMEN 

The Torpedoes women started tremendously with the first three goals but the Marlins hit back with the only three in the last quarter to force a penalty shootout. While there, Fremantle hit four of their five shots to end beating the Torpedoes 7-6.

It was then all Fremantle in the men’s contest as the Mariners continued their hot start to the season beating the Torpedoes 15-6.

The night got underway with the women’s contest at UWA and after just 30 seconds the Torpedoes had drawn a penalty. Tayla Walsh converted to put the home team up 1-0 in the best possible start in their home pool for 2018.

Things were dominated by the defences for the rest of the first quarter until with 28 seconds left, Madi Rigo found some space on the flank and got a good shot past Fremantle ‘keeper Lillian Hedges.

That gave the Torpedoes the 2-0 advantage at quarter-time and it remained that way at half-time with neither team managing to score in the second quarter.

The Torpedoes’ lead grew to 3-0 in the third quarter when Canadian import Jakie Kohli marked her first game at UWA with a goal.

But you can never rule the Marlins out of any contest and they showed why in the final period. Goals to Lara Zimmerman, Ebony Brown and Zoe Arancini levelled things up when Arancini scored at the penalty spot with 1:15 remaining.

The game went to a penalty shootout with the Marlins going first up against Claire Durston.

Madeleine Quinn scored first and then Michelle Martinelli answered in kind for the Torpedoes. Erin Redbond also scored for Fremantle next as did youngster Claire Whitaker for the Torpedoes.

Mercedes Ralph nailed another for the Marlins to put them ahead when Cathryn Earl missed for UWA. The win was sealed for Fremantle when Arancini also scored and Dayna O’Leary missed for the Torpedoes.

Zimmerman missed the final shot for Fremantle but confusion then took over. The women all departed the pool and the men warmed up.

Then the men were lined up ready to be introduced when the officials eventually ruled protocol means the Torpedoes had to take their final shot in the shootout despite the result being decided.

Walsh and Hedges returned to the pool and Walsh scored for the Torpedoes, but the Marlins still won the shootout 4-3 and the game 7-6.

The men then returned to the pool to meet for the second time in the opening month of the season and it was the Mariners who got on the board first thanks to James Fannon.

But the Torpedoes drew level with three minutes remaining in the opening quarter with American import Kevin Oliveira marking his home debut with a goal.

But Fremantle flexed their muscles with three goals in the last two minutes through Petar Tomasevic, Will McKay and Tom Prior to take a 4-1 advantage into quarter-time.

The Torpedoes got a goal back to open the second term with a strong shot from Andrew Ford. But over the next two minutes Fremantle scored three times again thanks to Joel Swift, Nick Redbond and Tom Prior to lead 7-2.

Nick Hughes got one back for UWA just before half-time but it was the Mariners with the last say before the break with Tomasevic hitting his second of the night to put Fremantle up 8-3.

Again the Torpedoes managed to start the third quarter well with a goal to Tom Beare. But this was the Marlins’ night and they piled on goals to Swift, Drew Verboon, Redbond and Clancy Neesham in the final four minutes of the quarter.

Fremantle went into three quarter-time leading 12-4 and that became 13-4 to start the final term.

UWA did manage two last quarter goals to Japanese import Kenta Araki and Beare while Prior and Redbond found their way past Damian Williams in the final term to secure the 15-6 victory.

The Torpedoes remain home next weekend to take on the Drummoyne Devils on Friday night and Sunday.

ROUND 4 AUSTRALIAN WATER POLO LEAGUE RESULTS
FRIDAY
WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 6 lost to Fremantle Marlins 7 (3-4 in penalty shootout) at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 6 lost to Fremantle Mariners 15 at UWA Aquatic Centre