Pointers top of the food chain
The first full round of fixtures for the Hedland Water Polo season got under way last Friday night at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre. More than 100 children up to the age of 12 took to the water with Flippa Ball across three distinct age groups before the first of the men’s games began.
First up was a rematch of the 2017/18 season grand final between the Dragons and the White Pointers, last season’s champions. Both teams were missing key personnel from last year, with the Dragons missing monster centre forward Noel Morrison and the Pointers without perennial MVP Brad Horsman and, arguably the grand final’s best player, goalie Ben Gasior.
Despite fielding a bare six regular players, and having Kathryn Fisher as the seventh player in the pool, the Pointers were able to bag a 5-1 first-up win, which puts them atop the men’s table after the first week. Their goals came from Brad Pawlenko scoring three, Josh Blair getting two, with Blair getting the three votes for best in pool.
Dragons had a double-header on the opening night and, while they scored more goals in their second hit-out against the Blackstars, still left the pool as runners-up, going down 4-8. Blackstars, like the other two men’s teams were missing regulars — in their case Daniel Lacey and Regan Kubala.
After the opening night, White Pointers, with a superior percentage are top, Blackstars second and Dragons third. This week Blackstars have the double-header, with their first game against the Dragons at 7.30pm, and their match-up against the White Pointers scheduled for 8.30pm.
In the women’s matches, the winners were defending champions Orcas 6-1 over Piranhas with Kathryn Fisher bagging five goals and the three votes. Vipers continued their late season form from last year with a first-up win over Aztecs, 7-2, with Ty Kilmartin judged best in the pool for his four goals for the Vipers.
After one week, Orcas are top, Vipers second, Aztecs third and Piranhas fourth. Women’s matches this week pit Aztecs against Piranhas at 7pm, with last season’s grand final rematch at 8pm between Vipers and Orcas.
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