The new College 1st Water Polo Team travelled up to Johannesburg this past weekend to participate in the St Stithians Water Polo Invitational. This tournament has quickly become one of the biggest on the water polo calendar, with a rugby festival atmosphere and 58 teams from around the country participating in boys’ and girls’ competitions in four swimming pools over four days.
College started slowly against Michaelhouse on Thursday, eventually winning a close game 9-6. We found our stride on Friday morning against St David’s, winning 9 – 4, but a flat performance against Pretoria boys saw us suffer a disappointing 6-3 defeat. In our final pool game against eventual winners, St John’s, we were up 4–2 at half time, but could not hold off the St John’s attack in the second half, and we lost 7–4.
This meant we faced a playoff game against DHS on Saturday morning for a place in the quarter-finals. The game was on a knife-edge throughout, and DHS scored with 20 seconds left to secure a 9–9 draw, and send the game to a penalty shootout, which DHS won narrowly.
In our playoff game against Reddam, we took control early on and never relinquished our lead, winning comfortably 11–8.
Our final game against hosts St Stithians was a disappointing one, with College missing 24 shots on goal in a 6–1 defeat, to finish the tournament in 10th place out of 20 teams.
Despite some inconsistent performances at the tournament, the College 1st Team showed at St Stithians that they have the potential to be as good as any team in the country, and we will be a force to be reckoned with in the season ahead.