Seasiders overcome Welsh Dragons

Weston Senior Water Polo Team, part of Weston-super-Mare Swimming Club, travelled to Aberdare in South Wales last Thursday to play their opening game of the Bristol & West Water Polo League Division 1 game, and tamed the Dragon, coming away with two points from a hard-fought match.
Weston, who have had a torrid close season time with several players leaving the squad due to job moves, etc. However, this was all behind them, and although they gave away an early goal 15 seconds into the opening period, this year’s captain, Reece Trapani, grabbed the equaliser in a man-up power play.
The home side were rattled when the official wrapped one of their members for answering back on a decision, meaning he could take no further part in the proceedings, and youngster Vaughan Clarke pushed home the advantage from the man-up position to give Weston the lead at 1-2.
Clarke was again on the scoreboard a minute later with a fine solo effort to grab his second goal, extending the lead to 1-3, and completed his hat-trick a minute later with another fine goal, making it 1-4.
The Dragons rallied in the latter stages of the period, pulling two goals back after Weston had players excluded for major fouls, pulling it back to 3-4 before George Forbes found the back of the net for the Seasiders shortly before the end of the period making it 3-5.
They continued to have the upper hand in the second period with goals from Forbes and Liam Coles, but gave away three goals to the home side to make it a close 6-7 at the half-way stage.
Soon after the start of the third period it was Forbes who got the first and only goal of the period for both teams, and it re-established the Seasider’s two-goal cushion, and Forbes completing his hat-trick. Cwm Draig were unable to break down the visitor’s strong defence which saw Weston’s former goalkeeper Jim Padden travelling from Guildford to be back between the posts, as their regular keeper Danny Jacobs was unavailable., but the final period was to prove an explosive end to the game.
Coles got his second and Weston’s ninth goal, but then an incident was spotted where both Forbes and a Cwm Draig player were excluded from the remainder of the game and penalties awarded to both sides simultaneously. Trapani scored his shot from the spot, and Cwm Draig netted their, despite Padden getting a finger to the shot.
With both teams down to six men apiece for four minutes, Trapani again found the next to complete his hat-trick at 7-11. However, Weston started to look shaky and the home side pressed home their attacks to score three goals in quick succession bringing it back to 9-11. Trapani showed his team how to do it and netted a superb backhanded shot to the top right of the opposition’s goal to take it to 9-12, but the home team would not lie down, and netted two more goals in the last minute of the game, but the Seasider’s hung on to take victory and the points at 11-12.
Weston team and goal-scorers: AJ Padden (goalkeeper), Matt Vincent, Kyle Maloney, George Forbes (3), Reece Trapani (3), Ed Tye, Liam Coles (2), Scott Bradley, Vaughan Clarke (3), Steve Etchells and Dean Bird.
Weston’s next game is at home on Sunday, 24th March, at 6pm, when they play City of Bristol Barbarians at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, and will entertain the visitors at their headquarters, The Lamb, at Worle, after the game. The Lamb are the main sponsors of Weston Water Polo Team.
Vaughan represents South Gloucestershire
Vaughan Clarke of Weston was in action in the final of last year’s Bristol & West Water Polo League’s Knockout Cup, with his other team, South Glos, who play in Division 2 of the league, and competing for the Phil Whiting Trophy, and playing against a strong Swansea team at Newport International Pool at the weekend. They won 11-14, one the goals coming from Clarke, who is pictured in the centre of the photo together with other members of the South Glos team.