After last Sunday’s victory over Devonport Royals, Weston faced Taunton Deane for the first time in the Bristol and West Water Polo League Division 1, having travelled the relatively short distance to the county’s capital.
Taunton have recently been boosted by a number of new signings from Devon, Andy Barry, former Newton Abbot and Exeter player, as well as Stuart Noyce, again a former Newton Abbot and Exeter player, and together with ex-international and former Weston player, Simon Tomlinson, they are now a formidable force.
Weston’s captain, Reece Trapani, opened the scoring after 1.42 of the opening quarter to give the visitors the lead, but it only took Noyce 10 seconds to reply with the equaliser for Taunton. Liam Coles regained the lead for the visitors in the second minute, but again Taunton were quick to get the equaliser, this time through Milo Barratt.
Kyle Maloney edged the Seasider’s back into the lead with a fine shot, but a second goal for Noyce once again levelled the scores at 3-all.
Weston were unable to advantage of a man-up power play after a Taunton player had been excluded, and they were able to take the lead for the first time on the counter move, netted by Rob Pryke. They then had their own power play which they took full advantage of to extend their lead to 5-3 through Tomlinson, at the end of the period.
Weston were shaken at the start of the second period as a powerful shot by new signing Barry, rocketed into their goal, leaving Danny Jacobs in goal for the Seasiders, no chance of saving, and the home team we4re three goals up at 6-3.
Trapani pulled one back for the visitors, only to see Tomlinson score at the other end a few seconds later, taking them 7-4 in front.
Weston dug deep and they were rewarded when Coles on the attack was fouled by Pryke and was awarded a penalty which was duly converted by Trapani. Pryke made amends for the penalty by scoring a short time later to make it 8-5. This seemed to spur Weston into action and three goals followed by the visitors through Coles, Scott Bradley and Trapani to bring the scores back level at 8-all, and a glimmer of hope for the Seasiders at the half -time interval.
Soon after the start of the third period it was Taunton who broke the deadlock when once again powerful forward Tomlinson proved to strong for Weston’s defence to pick up his third goal. Weston then suffered further problems when Steve Etchells, in defence, picked up his third major meaning that he was excluded from the remainder of the game, and leaving the defensive duties to Dean Bird and Ed Tye.
The home side took full advantage of the situation and were able to score a further two goals through Tomlinson and Barry, but Coles managed to find the net for Weston to peg them back to 9-11 going into the final period.
Barry opened the scoring for the home team soon after the start of the period, and Pryke extended their lead to 9-13 as Weston tired, through a penalty conversion given away by Trapani. Again, hope was offered to the Seasiders when Barry picked up his third major to be excluded for the remainder of the game, but this was too late for the Seasider, as Pryke finally put the nail in the coffin for this game with a goal shortly before the final whistle to give the final score of 14-9.
Weston’s team and goal scorers were: Danny Jacobs (goalkeeper), Matt Vincent, Kyle Maloney (1), Ed Tye, captain Reece Trapani (4) and man of the match, Liam Coles (3), Scott Bradley (1), Vaughan Clarke, Steve Etchells and Dean Bird.
Special mention must be given to Clarke who was excellent in support of the forwards, and Bird, who did well in defence.