Weston Water Polo had a welcome win when they played Devonport Royals of Plymouth, at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre at the weekend.
On paper Devonport looked to be the stronger side with several key players missing from the home side, including their Dutch keeper, Danny Jacobs. However, he was replaced in goal by former Navy goalkeeper and Weston stalwart Steve Etchells, and a sterling job was done by him, helping the Seasiders to victory in the Bristol and West Water Polo League Division 1 game, and giving Steve Man of the Match award.
Weston were the only goal scorers in the opening period, netted by former skipper Matt Vincent.
The visitors finally scored 30 seconds into the second period, and then took the lead with just a minute and a half before the half-time interval. However, Kyle Maloney levelled the score at 2-apiece for a man-up set play inside the final seconds of the quarter.
Vincent gave Weston the lead shortly after the start of the third period, only to see Devonport score to draw level, and then find the net again to take the lead. 3-4.
Captain Reece Trapani then got himself onto the score sheet with a fine solo effort turning his man in front of goal and firing in a powerful shot from his left hand, to beat John Williams in goal for Devonport, making the scores level again at 4-all.
Weston were awarded a penalty soon after, and up stepped Liam Coles to convert. But his shot was stopped by Williams, but he managed to get to the rebound and scope it into the goal to give Weston back the lead at 5-4.
Devonport retaliated soon after to draw level once more at 5-all, but two goals by Vincent which foiled Williams, saw the Seasiders pull ahead to 7-5. Devonport pulled one back just before the whistle that signalled the end of the period.
So all to play for in the final period and the game could go either way, but both sides were finding each other’s defences strong, and it took Weston over three minutes into the final quarter before Trapani was able to once again twist and turn and finally get the shot away which found the back of the net and restored Weston’s two goal cushion at 8-6.
Despite some strong attacks from the visitors, they were unable to get the ball past Etchells in Weston goal again, and with a further two goals by Trapani, the Seasiders were ecstatic with the valuable two points.
Weston team and goal scorers: Steven Etchells, Matt Vincent (4), Kyle Maloney (1), Ed Tye, Reece Trapani (4), Lewis Sloan, Liam Coles (1), Scott Bradley, Vaughan Clarke.