Sunderland Aquatics Centre

Sunderland Aquatics Centre

A poor performance saw University of Sunderland Water Polo men’s team lose their opening two BUCS fixtures on Monday against Durham 2nds and Northumbria 2nds.

Sunderland were dominated by Durham in their first competitive match of the season and found themselves 14-0 down, before Jay-Dee Ferguson found the net after receiving a long pass by debutant Cosmin Petcu. This ended up being their only goal of the game as they lost 17-1.

Sam Balmbra was chosen as goalkeeper for the first match as they as they look to find a replacement for Alex Counsell and club president Maeve McLaughlin explained that decision was difficult to make.

“The first game was frustrating because Durham are such a strong team that I never expected to win, but as the goals just keep going in your just see the guys getting more and more deflated,” said McLaughlin.

“It was also hard as we took a risk with the goalkeeper. It wasn’t necessarily the right one but we always knew we where going to have to experiment.”

A change of tactic saw Petcu in goal for the second game against Northumbria and Sunderland showed some improvements but defensive errors were constant and Sunderland were 8-2 down at half-time.

Former GB player Adam Woods and Ferguson had both hit the post in the first half – the game was reduced to two half’s of eight minutes due to pool time – before Scott controlled a long pass and finally found the net.

Woods found the net again with a stunning strike from the centre. With seven seconds on the clock, Ferguson passed to Woods from kick-off and a powerful throw deflected of the Northumbria defender to give the Sunderland side something to cheer about.

Woods completed his hat trick, in the second half after reacting first when Ferguson’s shot rebounded off the post but the game finished 12-3.

“You could see in the second game the guys played well but just couldn’t keep up with the other team,” McLaughin continued.

“If we consistently had that team at training they could be a really strong team. But we don’t. They can’t give off about losing when they don’t turn up to training and I think they have realised that.”

In the earlier game, Durham beat Northumbria 8-1 even though they were 1-0 down early on.

The result leaves Sunderland second from bottom and yet to register a point. Durham lead the division with four wins out of four but have played one game more than York 1sts who are still unbeaten.



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