Positives come out of derby losses for Torps

THE UWA Torpedoes men and women might have both lost to Fremantle at Bicton Pool on Saturday night but there was plenty of positives in both derby games ahead of the run of home matches to close the 2019 OVO Australian Water Polo League season.

It was the first time for the 2019 season that a game in the OVO AWL was hosted in Western Australia with both WA clubs starting the campaign on the road.

For the Torpedoes it began with the week-long trip to Sydney before a weekend in Adelaide. Fremantle started its season in Adelaide back in Round 1 where they went through undefeated in all four games, but they haven’t played in the month since.

That set the stage for the derbies at Bicton Pool on Saturday night to provide an indication of where the teams were sitting.

Things got underway with the women’s fixture and the Torpedoes women did score first but the Marlins worked on top to end up winning 11-3.

Then in the men’s game, the UWA men continued to battle hard despite being up against a significant size, strength and experience differential on top of a lopsided penalty count once again.

But the Torpedoes never gave in despite the Mariners ending up winning the game 12-8.

The action for the evening at Bicton Pool began with the women’s encounter and it was a strong start from the Torpedoes with Sam Shead scoring the only goal of the first quarter with the extra man advantage.

Fremantle did come out and score the first three goals of the second quarter but the Torpedoes stayed in touch with a goal to Jamie Oberman.

However, the Marlins put their foot down in the second half scoring the only four goals of the third quarter and then the first two of the last. UWA did get a consolation score late from Raney Remme but Fremantle still managed to win 11-3.

Raney Remme, Sam Shead and Jamie Oberman were the goal scorers for the Torpedoes. Zoe Arancini hit four goals for Fremantle and Fanny Valyi two.

Despite the loss, it has still been a strong start to the season for the Torpedoes women with four wins from eight games ahead of now finishing the season in home pools.

It was then time for the men’s encounter at Bicton Pool and Fremantle started well with the only two goals of the first quarter. The home team went up 3-0 to start the second period before UWA got on the board courtesy of Canadian Devon Thumwood.

The Mariners responded quickly to go up 4-1 but then UWA debutant Lachie Emanuel ensured he will always remember his first national league game with a goal.

The Torpedoes added another thanks to Thumwood but Fremantle answered with two quick scores before half-time to lead 6-3 at the change of ends.

The Mariners then went up 9-3 thanks to hitting the opening three goals of the second half but UWA wouldn’t go away and responded in kind with goals to Lach Pethick and Gaelan Patterson.

Fremantle still led 10-5 at three quarter-time before Lewis Putt started the final period well for the Torpedoes to close the gap with two quick goals. UWA really had the chance to snatch the momentum further but Nick Hughes couldn’t capitalise on a five-metre penalty.

Fremantle did enough to hold on to win 12-8 but there was plenty to like in the performance from the youthful UWA side.

Lewis Putt finished with three goals for the Torpedoes and Devon Thumwood two with Lach Pethick, Gaelan Patterson and Lachie Emanuel all adding one each.

Will Mackay, Clancy Neesham, Joel Swift and Jordan Kremers-Taylor all scored twice each for the Mariners.

Torpedos coach Damian Kelly was reasonably happy with a lot of what he saw.

“The exclusion count was 9-0 at one stage and the score was only 5-3 so I was really happy with a lot of what we did. We stuck to our mantra, we never stopped swimming and we kept giving it to them. At the end it was 12-8 and I’m pretty happy with that,” Kelly said.

“When you look at our blokes compared to them at the line-up, there was a massive size difference so I’m happy with most parts of that. We missed some chances so could have been a little closer and I’m pretty happy to end up at 12-8.

“Devon had a one-on-none and missed it, Hughesy misses one and we did have some other chances. But I thought Damo Williams was outstanding in goals and the kids played really well.

“That was probably Lewy Putt’s best game, Oby played big minutes at centre forward and held up, and our centre backs were pretty good. Lachie Emanuel scored a goal in his first game too so overall it was really good.”

UWA now will play host to two games in Round 6 with both matches against Balmain to be played at HBF Stadium on Thursday night and Saturday.

UWA Torpedoes 3 lost to Fremantle Marlins 11

UWA Torpedoes 8 lost to Fremantle Mariners 12