WPWL 2012 (Men): World Champions Italy hold off Brits

World League

The British Gas GBR Men’s Water Polo Team showed their fighting spirit in a battling defeat at home to World Champions Italy in the FINA World League Preliminary match.

Britain’s Craig Figes, Joe O’Regan, Rob Parker, Will Middleton and Ciaran James were on target in front of their home crowd in Manchester in their debut in the competition but succumbed to the World Champions in a final score of 14-6 (5-1, 4-1, 2-3, 3-1). 

After the performance British Captain Figes said: “The first half was quite tough for us and it did take us a long time to get into the match. But this is our debut in the World League and it is great to play at this level.

“The second half allowed us to show our potential. We really pushed them hard and I think we performed well overall. We will learn from playing the World Champions and I’m excited for our next match.”

The first quarter saw Italy take the game out hard despite losing the swim-off to Sean King. Alex Giorgetti scored the first goal for Italy as they took a lead of four goals before the Brits scored.

O’Regan was the athlete to get the Brits on the score sheet with a good goal in a man up situation. The quarter finished 5-1 to the Italian team.

The high-paced match continued into the second quarter with Valentino Gallo opening the scoring almost immediately. Rob Parker brought one back for Great Britain with a great goal under a lot of pressure from the Italian defence.

The Italians showed their dominance in the quarter by scoring another three goals to lead the match 9-2 at the half way point.

In the opening of the second half Italy’s Deni Fiorentini won the swim off and moved quickly towards the British defence but the Brits showed some good triple tagging of Olexander Sadovyy to stop ball going in the net.

Figes opened his scoring account with an impressive shot to put goal number three on the score sheet for the Brits. The Captain and James’ secured another two goals as they brought the score to 11-5 as the game entered the final quarter.

Italy took the swim-off and quickly got a penalty. Goalkeeper Ed Scott couldn’t stop the power of the shot as the Italians increased their lead. Will Middleton scored a good long distance goal to secure Britain’s sixth goal of the match.

The Italian team scored another two in the final minutes of the game as they finished the victors with a score of 14-6.