Men cel­e­brate strong vic­tory

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Perera

Vic­tory was sweet for the Kar­ratha men’s wa­ter polo team when they won the WA Wa­ter Polo Coun­try Cham­pi­onships ti­tle for the first time on Sun­day in a home fi­nal.

The Kar­ratha Mar­lins were in fine form and did not drop a game all tour­na­ment, al­though get­ting there was no easy road.

Their grand fi­nal match against Hed­land was a re­play of a tense pre­lim­i­nary game the Mar­lins won by a point af­ter the last 40 sec­onds of play had to be re­peated be­cause of an um­pir­ing er­ror.

They also had to fight hard to sur­vive close matches against tough com­peti­tors Ger­ald­ton, Bus­sel­ton and Bun­bury.

It all cul­mi­nated in a men’s al­lPil­bara grand fi­nal be­tween re­gional ri­vals Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land that had the stands packed with lo­cal sup­port­ers.

Kar­ratha made their mark on the score­board early on and dom­i­nated the game, de­spite a strong show­ing from Hed­land.

They won it 9-4, with six of those points com­ing from Kar­ratha Wa­ter Polo As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Justin An­gove.

Bus­sel­ton placed third in the men’s league, fol­lowed by Ger­ald­ton, Bun­bury and the Kar­ratha B side.

It marked a big up­set for reign­ing ti­tle­hold­ers Ger­ald­ton, who have won in five of the past six years.

In the women’s draw, Bun­bury and Ger­ald­ton bat­tled for the ti­tle again, hav­ing shared the spoils be­tween them in re­cent years.

Bun­bury tri­umphed af­ter de­feat­ing Ger­ald­ton 14-13 in a closely matched fi­nal that had sup­port­ers on the edge of their seats af­ter two ex­clu­sion fouls ex­tended the last two min­utes of play.

The Kar­ratha women’s A team put in a strong ef­fort through­out the com­pe­ti­tion, but suf­fered from tak­ing a few matches to set­tle in to play­ing to­gether, given top sides Bun­bury and Ger­ald­ton were their first two op­po­nents.

They placed third af­ter thrash­ing Hed­land 22-8 in the third ver­sus fourth de­cider match.

Play­ers cel­e­brated with a pre­sen­ta­tion func­tion on Sun­day night, where Port Hed­land’s Brad Horse­man and Bun­bury’s Emma Morelli were named fairest and best play­ers of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Kar­ratha’s Belinda Brooks was the high­est scorer with 19 goals.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Perera

The Kar­ratha women’s A team were happy to come third in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Hed­land goal­keeper Dan Weaver dives to save a shot from Kar­ratha’s By­ron New­bold.

The Kar­ratha men’s A team af­ter their WA Wa­ter Polo Coun­try Cham­pi­onships grand fi­nal win.

Hed­land goalie Ti­mara Simp­son saves a shot from Kar­ratha’s Kate Kala­jzich.

Kar­ratha’s Richard Clarke reaches to in­ter­cept a pass from Hed­land’s Josh Blair.

Kar­ratha’s Jes­sica New­bold de­fends against Bun­bury’s Anthea Brown.

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