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2023 Autumn State League - Round 5

WSL2 Report by (editor)

This week the girls were scheduled to play Richmond's second team over at Melbourne High at 8.45pm. Looking to improve on their ladder position with this final game before finals, it was somewhat disappointing to learn that Richmond were throwing in the towel and officially forfeiting. On the plus side, that counts as an 8-0 win, elevating the team to 4th spot on the ladder and a chance at a broze medal finish.

Essendon defeated the Richmond Cubs : 8 – 0 (FORFEIT RECEIVED)

WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal

Coming into this game we were placed 3rd on the ladder with 6pts. Above us was Monash on 9pts - but they had a scheduled a bye this week so no more points were on offer for them. All we needed was a win to equal them on points, and we needed to win by 3 goals at least, to pass their goal difference and take their 2nd spot on the ladder, thus securing a grand final place for next week. Simples right? Except our opposition this week, was the undefeated ladder leaders, Old Ivanhoe. Quite a task lay ahead made more challenging by the 6PM start (!!) at Melbourne High (with no street parking, and limited school parks). But our girls all stepped up - and I mean all - with our newly expanded list of 14 players, we had a full squad of 13 all arrive on time to get the pool set up and ready for a 6.10pm start (WPV were kidding themselves thinking it was ever going to start at 6pm - swim squads are just finishing at that time!). With 6 on the bench, we needed a plan if we were going to try and win this one. A strong starting 7 was selected, and we decided to use them for the majority of the first half to see where that would take us. Benched players swapped in to offer the core group a quick spell when required. This approach allowed our girls to settle and they quickly found their rhythm mounting several good attacks and thwarting similar attempts down the other end but the game remained scoreless for the first quarter. Tension was building like a grand final game, as both sides attempted to gain the upper hand in the second. We continued to attack well and create opportunites but couldn't get a shot in the net whilst defending hard with some great saves from Sandra in goals helping us too. The first goal of game came late in the 2nd quarter, with Old Ivanhoe's top goal scorer for this comp doing the damage. Being down 1-0 at half time, and still with a chance of winning this game, we elected to stick with the plan but gave a little water time to those warming the bench as the third quarter got underway. The arm wrestle continued and both sides scored twice - Taryn and Clare for us - and another 2 for Old Ivanhoe's top goal scorer. By the end of the third, Old Ivanhoe were really starting to hit their straps, despite the even scoreline, as we struggled to cover some of their breaks and got lucky with their poor shots and Sandra's good keeping. Down 2-3, and just a 6min quarter left to win by 3 goals seemed unlikely. So for our final quarter we let the benched girls get some decent pool time. We had 2 first WSL3 gamers on board in Frances (a junior graduate) and first gamer ever Clara (who has a surf lifesaving background). Both girls did a great job fitting into the side, and Clara will absolutley be given a future swim up role as she swam down several of the fast breaks that Old Ivanhoe created but they still managed to add 4 unanswered goals. It was a fantastic effort by our girls to match them for as long as we did. We've missed the grand final, but we now play off in the bronze medal game next week, against St Caths!

Essendon were defeated by Old Ivanhoe : 2 – 7

Goals : Taryn 1, Clare 1

BELOW : The next generation of players - Clare's twin girls Freddie and Milla trying the caps on for size, before cheering mum on

MSL5 Report by Marcus Jones

It is often said to me that sport and religion should not be mixed and I reply back “But Water Polo is the sport played in heavan!!!!” That’s right readers, most Water Polo players get express tickets through the Pearly Gates – trust me, read the bible – at the back (under the verse of Steerey). And tonight I became aware of Saint Liam Venosta of the Essendon MSL5 Team. Saint Liam not only plays Water Polo but is also is a self-proclaimed Saint in the water – just ask him!!!! Liam exercises extreme tolerance in and out of the water and completed his two miracles through shooting a goal in his first game and not getting suspended in his first Water Rats season. Tonight Saint Liam didn’t have the direct link to the Almighty sorted because his shooting was a long way off……… the rest of the team. The boys tried really hard and the Silverfox won all four swim offs but our goal shooting was something like Coyote from Warner Bros – so many good ideas but just as many failed executions. Bad luck guys and I promise not to tell anyone it was 0 - 6 halfway through the 3rd quarter……..just remember Saint Liam is always there for you.

By the way... Saint Liam is available for Weddings, Christenings and Milestone Birthdays – just contact the club for bookings.

Essendon were defeated by the MC Chiefs : 3 – 8

Goals : Hayden 1, Silverfox Lee 1, Ryan 1

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