Roses 2017 spotlight: men’s water polo

Lancaster defend their goal against a late York push in the final quarter of the match.
Lancaster defend their goal against a late York push in the final quarter of the match.

York has had a rough day in the pool during Roses, suffering several defeats at the hands of their rivals. Following Lancaster’s victories in the swimming competitions, a large crowd came to the York Sport Village to watch action in the men’s and women’s water polo.

The men’s match began steadily, ending the first quarter with a 3-2 score in York’s favour. In the second quarter, a speedy York goal was soon matched with a Lancaster follow-up. A subsequent penalty, the first of many penalties to Lancaster in the match, brought the visitors back into the game.

In the third quarter, it looked as though York’s strength was on the wane, as a string of goals brought Lancaster into a comfortable 12-7 lead. York carried great strength when on the offensive, but each time that their opponents gained possession of the ball, they could not defend in time. Lancaster’s strikers capitalised on this setback, remaining close to York’s half of the pitch in the knowledge that an easy goal was likely.

The two teams in action.
The two teams in action.

Lancaster’s recent performances at Roses have been renowned for their aggression and, though not as destructive as their last visit to York in 2015, their players kept tremendous pressure on the home team. Several of Lancaster’s players were sent off by the referee for their improper tackles. Lancaster’s ‘#9’ deployed a number of underhand moves and fouls and was not hesitant about causing drama when it suited the match, crying about the pain of a terrible attack to the throat from a York player’s toes, a pain which mysteriously vanished a few seconds later. The audience briefly booed his embarrassing ‘injury’. With luck, he’ll have ample time to reread the rulebook on the coach journey home.

By the last quarter, fatigue was setting in, with players from both sides taking shots from the middle of the pool, not wanting to entangle themselves in tiring action near the goals. However, York’s players were out of steam. Several desperate tackles only gave Lancaster more penalties. The match concluded with 18 goals to Lancaster, defeating York’s 10 and earning the visitors yet another few points in the water sports today.

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Jack Harvey

Alumni & Public Relations Officer at The Yorker
Comment and Politics Editor 2015/2016, Editor 2016/2017, Alumni & Public Relations Officer 2017/2018 and acting, 2018/2019. Waiting to graduate with MA in Philosophy at University of York in 2019.