lunedì 3 novembre 2014

Portobello survive qualification drama in British league

It will be a case of ‘same again’ when the UK’s top men’s clubs compete in the British League’s Super 5s in the second half of the season. Lancaster, Cheltenham, current champions City of Manchester, Portobello and Bristol Central qualified as they did in 2013. Liverpool Lizards, City of Coventry, City of Manchester, Otter and – in the only change from last year – City of Sheffield Sharks were the successful women’s teams.

The first half of the British League season involved the eight top clubs from last year battling for the five elite Super 5s places. The men’s finale at Cardiff International Pool proved to be anything but straightforward for Portobello. The Scots crashed 13-12 to City of Sheffield on day one. It meant they had to win their final match against Bristol Central to avoid the possibility of being overhauled by the Yorkshire side. In the event, they made it, beating Bristol 9-6 thanks in no small measure to the contribution of five-goal Antonella Padolecchia. Bristol led 2-1 after the first quarter but Portobello dominated the second to build a 5-3 lead. Bristol caught up to 7-6 in the final quarter before two late goals took Portobello clear.

Impressive Lancaster completed the first phase with a 100 per cent record thanks to victories over London club Polytechnic (19-14) and Invicta (17-15). Poly, once the giants of British water polo, confirmed their welcome revival with a thrilling 15-15 draw against Sheffield. The London team trailed 9-4, 13-7 and eventually 15-13 with a minute to go. Chris Icely’s sixth goal then cut the deficit to one goal and there was just one second remaining when Domat Safranko claimed the equaliser.

In the women’s competition, Liverpool Lizards strolled through the final stages at Grantham, hammering reigning champions London Otter 15-1 and following up with another 15-1 victory against Sheffield Sharks. For the all the results from the UK, go to

Thanks to Chris Ducker.

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