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2023-2024 Summer State League - R9 + Jnr Finals

WSL2 - Round 9  Report by Darren Steere

Was it the early game time, playing on a very warm night for a change, or the thought that it was the last game of the year?  What ever it was, all the girls were up and about. We were playing the top of the ladder side NYPD Blue and the first quarter was very tight, with neither team getting on top. We created many shots on goal, which has been our achilles heel all season. Unfortunately most hit the woodwork, except for Ando's, that leveled the scores at quarter time, 1-1. This second quarter was similar to the previous, but I think we had many more opportunities than them, only to squander chances. Alex converted a penalty, Olivia scored one, but also racked up her 2nd major and Emily was dangerous on the left hand side also adding one. Katie was stopping nearly everything, but NYP got a couple of long range lobs in, finishing the term in front at 4-3. We were getting NYP kicked out on a regular basis, but our extra man attack was lethargic and therefore easily defended and didn’t produce the goals we needed. We had 6 extra man plays and a penalty in the first half. Goals in the third quarter came from Emily and Ando, but NYP added 3 to tie it all up at the final break, 6-6. The final quarter was the most frustrating of all. We had NYP on toast. They dwindled to 7 - no bench - when a player had to leave, and 4 of those 7 were on 2 major fouls. We were unable to take advantage of this situation. Emilys driving goal was the only highlight of the quarter that slowly panned out to the finish.

**** I'll take this opportunity to wish everyone at Essendon Waterpolo Club a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy your holidays if you have them, or make the most out of the days you have. Come back refreshed and ready to continue your waterpolo journey.

Essendon were defeated by the NYP Dragons Blue : 7 - 8  Goals : Emily 3, LisaAndo 2, Alex 1, Olivia 1

WSL3 - Round 9  Report by Taryn Bretherton

This week we were excitied about playing in good weather for a change (30oC) and focussed on doing well, being the last game for 2023. But the need to do exceptionally well, came from the appearance of our special guest coach and former team member Taryn! We've missed her, and were delighted she came along to support and guide us (Editor).

We had good numbers this week, with 10 players up against Monash's 7. A very close swim up to start the game with Monash just getting their fingers on the ball first. As they made their way towards goal, Essendon applied some solid defensive pressure to turn over the ball which lead to a fantastic backhand goal from Laura to open our account and take the lead. Plenty of back and forth after that, before we had another 2 good chances without result - one inside 6 and the other off the back of a free. Monash finished off the quarter with a sneaky top corner shot leaving us at 1-1 at quarter time. In the second quarter we had another strong start, with a quick pass to Laura and a shot that found the back of the net, up 2-1. Monash started to get agressive with experienced centre forwards taking control with our girls trying to stay in the battle. Monash scored twice using their bodies and strength, so we went into the halftime break down 2-3. Clara won the third swimup and set off to convert, but couldn't make the shot. Monash managed to get some kick outs and scored 2 goals from extra man. But we weren't done yet, as Laura converted another fantastic back hand shot to bring us to 3-6 at the end of the third. It was a tense start to the final quarter with Essendon focused on great pressure against Monash, before Clare had a whopper sit up and successful shot at goal! Back in reach at 4-6. Solid pressure and blocking from our back line stoped a hard shot at goal from Monash, and with a quick pass up the pool to LisaMS, going head to head with the goalie… there was another goal on the board, 5-6. We kept Monash scoreless for the quarter but just weren't able to add another to our tally. A very close and well played game! Great work girls to finish off the year - so close to getting that first win!!

Essendon were defeated by Monash : 5 - 6  Goals : Laura 3, Clare 1, LisaMS 1

YthG (16&U) - FINALS  Report by Danielle Tulloch

GAME 1 - Semi Final (winner into the Gold Medal Game / Loser into the Bronze playoff)

An early and cold morning start in Geelong to begin the finals. The Ess/Monash/DVE were on time, with caps, a coach and a sub ready to play for a spot in the grand final! Up against a stong side in the Richmond 14s, it would be a tough ask for our girls to steal this game and book a spot in the GF. But they were here to give it a go, and Essendon was represented by Amelia, Frankie, Maddie and Emily. The first quarter saw Ess/Monash/DVE start well with Emily winning the swim up and a good play in offence. The Richmond team were strong in both defence and offence, pressing every pass the Ess/Monash/DVE players made. The first quarter saw Richmond’s fitness and confidence with the ball shine and they scored 6 unanswered goals. The second quarter was identical to the first. Our passes under pressure were intercepted by Richmond who were quick to pounce in offence. At the halftime break we were down 0-10. The third quarter saw Frankie move into goals! Ess/Monash/DVE had more opportunity to set up play this quarter. Amelia found good space and made some great passes but we couldn't land one, and Richmond racked up another 3. Down 0-13 as the final quarter started, Emily won the swim up to claim all 4 for the game. The team earned a kick out and then scored their first goal - but unfortunately it was disallowed as they didn’t pass the ball first. Richmond continued their strong play this quarter and added another 4 goals for a resounding win.

The team needs more time to develop together - calling names and making better, safer passes. They need to remember to play the ball and watch the 2M. More fitness will also help to team to improve.  

Ess/Mon/NYPD were defeated by Richmond 14s : 0 - 17   

GAME 2 - Bronze Medal Game

The team had a nice break and a chance to reflect on their first game. They had an opportunity to talk about playing the ball and setting up in offence. Another player arrived bolstering the squad to nine just before the Bronze medal game began against Richmond Yellow. Emily started strong winning the swim up and sprinting past the Richmond team. A quick pass and Amity converted the goal! A score within the first minute. Ess/Monash/DVE showing much better pressure in defence leading to a turn over and a great swim from Piper to covert the goal! Two goals to start the quarter! Richmond wasn’t going to be dominated and scored the next two in quick succession.  So a tight first quarter scoreline of 2-2. The second quarter started again strongly with a swimup win and another great shot on goal. Unfortunately the player hadn’t played the ball in time and the goal was disallowed. Richmond pounced on this and converted their third to take the lead for first time this match. Ess/Monash/DVE had so many opportunities on goal hitting the post! They eventually scored their third heading into half time at 3-3. The third quarter started well, with Frankie once again in goals. Emily won the swim passed to Amelia who made an excellent pass to Izzi. Such a strong shot from Izzi to covert! Piper followed this up with another goal to give us a two goal buffer in the third. Ess/Monash/DVE were now controlling the game pressing Richmond and putting pressure on every pass. Frankie held Richmond scoreless this quarter and we held on to a narrow 5-3 lead at three quarter time. Last quarter! The Essendon girls Amelia, Frankie, Maddie and Emily looked great this quarter! All four making excellent passes and finding space. Richmond, who had no subs, were starting to tire. The team put another two unanswered goals this quarter (Emily and Maka) and played out to win by 4 goals!. Congratulations to the team to win the bronze medal!!

Ess/Mon/NYPD defeated Richmond Yellow : 7 - 3   Goals : Piper 2, Maka 2, Emily 1, Amity 1, Izzy 1

BELOW : YthG Game Day photos courtesy of Danielle Tulloch

MSL4 - Round 9  Report by Marcus Jones

I would like to dedicate this wrap report to our award winning president - Bryan Wee and his 3 chins - administrator, lawyer and cherry-picker. Each of these chins have helped the club over his 19 year journey. This Christmas special game had a great turnout tonight with a full book of players as Nick organised a group dinner after the game - thanks Nick for a great night and the ordering was superb. The game was a solid consistent performance from the boys with the team youngsters taking the opposition to the cleaners.

Highlights of the night :

  • Ambrose Mills generously passing off to Ryan Mills each of his 6 goals

  • Sammy Jeffrey scoring a huge goal deep in the pocket

  • Vince only playing the last quarter in the field and still scoring 2 goals

Lowlights :

The silver fox missing the game because of a 'Just for Men' incident

Essendon defeated the OTG Pups : 15 - 1  

Goals : Ryan 6, Lucas 3, Vince 2, Cherry Bryan 2, Ambrose 1, Nick 1

BELOW : MSL4 team out celebrating their final game for 2023

14&U Boys - Finals Playoffs  Report by Tim Elmore


In the finals week that marked the end of the 2023 season, the boys embarked on a journey to Geelong for two critical games. The first match against Geelong MC was met with immense enthusiasm from the boys. Playing 7 on 7 meant a game that promised both speed and moments of deliberate pace. Lazar and Jack kicked off the scoring in the first quarter, setting an assertive tone. In an interesting shift, Toby and Jack took on defensive roles in the second quarter, maneuvering strategically to create scoring chances that Zac and Nate capitalized on, extending our lead to 5-0 by halftime.  The pace slowed down in the second half, with Geelong managing the only goal of the third quarter. Despite conceding, Manguns put on an incredible performance in the pool, denying a 5m penalty and absorbing considerable pressure from subsequent attempts. In the final quarter, a few positional changes, like Toby moving to the wing, increased our attacking opportunities. This adjustment resulted in four goals from Zac, Jack and Nate, putting significant pressure on the opposition and securing a conclusive victory.

Essendon defeated Geelong/MC : 9 - 1 Goals :  Zac 3, Jack 3, Nate 1, Lazar 1, Toby 1


The second and final game of the season against Monash, placed 5th on the ladder, proved to be a tight contest. With only six players, both teams agreed to even the field by having one player on the bench. The first half showcased intense competition, ending with Monash leading 3-2. The third quarter was a battle, yielding no goals but escalating frustrations due to calls not favoring our team. The pressure began to impact our game plan, leading to some structural issues in the final quarter. Despite a valiant effort, late goals from both sides concluded the game, with Monash securing a 6-4 win.

Essendon were defeated by Monash : 2 - 4   Goals : TBC

BELOW : 14&U Boys Game Day photo courtesy of Ilona Elmore

🌟KIDS Vs PARENTS🌟 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen

At the last training session for the year, we lined up for our annual Kids vs Parents game. I know we all focus on the championship wins and the medals, but we all know which is REALLY the most important game of the year! The numbers were looking strong this year for the kids with about 15 in the pool, including a few budding u-10s looking to test their capabilities in the water, they were joined by Claudia Cover lining up against Andrew, and the Seles twins waited for mum Karen to finish work and hopefully join us.

The Parents on the other hand needed a bit of help from the men's and women's teams to reach a total of about 10. The kids got into the groove quickly and with some slick passing and some terrible foul calls from the Ref, they shot out to a 2-0 lead by half time. The Parents had to give themselves a serious talking to at half time but it had no effect with a 3rd goal going in straight after the break. Things were not looking good, but there was a change in fortune (with the terrible ref calls suddenly going the other way) and all of a sudden they started to look better and strung some good passes together. Ex-pro Natalie Meissner was flexing her historic water polo muscles in the goal zone and a couple of slick shots brought them back to 2-3. As the clock was ticking down another Parents shot went in and it was all tied up at 3-3. The Parents were looking good for the win until milliseconds before a final shot went in for the Parents, the final buzzer went for a 3-3 draw. At this point everyone completely ignored the ref (me!) and carried on playing so I had no option but to play extra time. The kids had some good shots on target but Andrew Cover was at his best saving them and one final slam shot from Sam Brown allowed the Parents to ease to a 4-3 win, keeping their proud record intact for another year!

BELOW : Kids Vs Parents photos courtesy of Ilona Elmore

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