Guildford Water Polo Club News pages

25 Jun 2014 : Igaz Invitational Shield - Crawley Tournament 2014

We were looking a bit thin poolside when I arrived at 5.30pm at K2 Crawley, we only had 8 players, but after a few minutes Callum arrived and a few email exchanges with Roger and he was on his way with Ant, they both arrived as we were getting out of the water from playing our first game against Hastings.  In Rogers absence, Marc had frustrated their shooters in the usual manner by saving their well directed shots.  The first few minutes were closely fought, both sides scoring a few goals, but our continued good use of the drop zone defence and balanced attack saw us through to the final whistle a few goals ahead. 
We had a 3 game breather before our 2nd game against Crawley B, which gave Roger time to warm up.  He wasn't looking very sharp as he had spent most of the day drinking Bucks Fizz and other intoxicating liquors.  But as they say, looks can be deceiving and he quickly showed that the Bucks Fizz was his performance enhancing drug, plucking the ball out of the corners with one hand like a ball girl catching a tennis ball at Wimbledon.  Our youngsters continued to make breaks and score goals, against the advice of Callum to conserve energy for the inevitable final against Crawley A.  Levy exploited there inexperienced marking, scoring a few goals from breaks after we swiftly turned defence into attack.  Ant received the ball in the middle of the pool and delivered a 90 mile an hour shot past the keeper’s ears using a bowling action not seen in the water since Crawley last one this tournament in 1991.  With a few minutes to go, Dis made a dash down the right hand side and was awarded a well earned 5m.  After his long swim he just managed to pass the ball over to Oliver to take the penalty, which was saved by the Crawley keeper.  We won comfortably and were commended after the game by one of their  players for the spirit in which we played the tournament, particularly the way we eased off against this young Crawley B team.

We were in the final for the second year running, against Crawley A.  Having just played the previous game, we only had a few minutes to catch our breath and discuss tactics.  The 1st half was a close encounter, James scored with his trademark flick, Callum scored a few long shots and Trevor frustrated the opposition further with a long shot that trickled over the goal line, causing one of the Crawley players to give there keeper a bit of a tongue lashing.  Crawley responded with a few goals from their centre forward, but there comeback was extinguished by our solid defence and the end of the 1st half.  In the second half we soon broke the back of the Crawley team, stealing the ball from there centre forward time and again.  They were beginning to tire, we knew this because Steve had made an un-answered break down the wing, only to be far to sporting by putting the ball over the cross bar in a drop goal style like shot that would make Jonny Wilkinson proud.  Chris put away a long shot pulling us further into the lead which we held until the final whistle.

After winning the final we convened upstairs for a well earned beverage, only to find the bar still not open.  When it did eventually open, we were denied further by the fire alarm as we were told to evacuate by the confused bar staff.   We gathered outside to await the fire brigade, which gave us opportunity for a rare team photo.  The fire truck arrived soon enough and put a halt to Crawley’s stalling tactics.  We re-convened in the bar and were presented the Igaz Invitational Shield.  Well done team

Team (from left to right)
Callum Bailey, ​Steve Pentreath, James McCormick, Chris Ayers, Andy Disley, Trevor Tiedt, Anthony Metelerkamp, Marc Guimerà Busquets, Oliver Norton, Roger Metelerkamp, Levy Andrachnikov

11 Mar 2013 : Guilford win 2012 /2013 SERL
Refer to match report.

09 Dec 2012 : Club Captain's Report 2012
As usual we had the club end of year dinner and awards. We had a bit of a mixed season. On the positive side James captained the Vets to success in the Vets cup but unfortunately hasn't been able to locate the silver ware. The previous bunch of old codgers have forgotten which bar they left it in. We finished 3rd in the Surrey league behind Amphibs and Avondale. No mean feat given we were playing the national league sides of those 2 clubs. The SER league was well within our grasp but we narrowly missed it and ended 3rd. In the London league we were plagued by the unfortunate clashing of social and work events of our top players. Roger was sorely missed, with his new appointment he spends a lot of time in the air but somehow he balanced his time between us and his family. Russell had time out for a hip operation that was thankfully successful. Trevor's goal scoring was limited having to play in goals, Killer spent a lot of time in  Europe and Alan C also had time consuming work commitments. All things considered we are a realistic club and acknowledge we also let ourselves down by playing really poorly in most of these games.  Hey sometimes life happens while we're making and executing plans. Coming in second last was no reflection on our capability.

Chris had an admirable initiation into the captaincy and in spite of being dogged by low match attendance figures throughout the year he achieved the results above. Furthermore we won our tournament, the army one and came 2nd at Crawley. However his greatest feat was beating Avondale's top side very convincingly. This was the first win against that team that I know of in 8 years.

The second team we knew would have it hard and Alf was hard pressed to fill the fixtures but what is important is that as a club we are providing games for the 2nds. Hopefully as our 1st team ranks grow us chronological empowered individuals can move down and continue playing a good standard of polo.

It's always disappointing to see players move on if only for what we hope are short sabbaticals. Duncan, Matt, Roy, Sam, Cameron, Andy H and others who only made brief appearances. Then as is the cycle of life, new people come on board, the 2 Johns, Mike Mc, Dan, Christos, Marco..... welcome all of you, and we hope you get as much from our club as we do.


The best player of the year went well deservedly to Callum Bailey. Not only for his goal scoring capabilities but his coaching and involvement with the club and the Uni getting us more practice time than most other clubs and integrating the two. The endeavour award went to Alf Ramsey. A great result in my opinion. Alf continues to improve his goal keeping skills with each game and is always there for the club to help, especially at the Mike Clark Tournament where he took over and ran the show, raffle, team sheets, refs, catering the whole enchilada. Following on from that casually included lead, the fun social we all enjoyed at the Son Of Sombrero Mexican restaurant. Alf organised the function and collected all the money on his own. Well done Alf a true club man. A further thanks to Alan C for recommending a fun venue(well for me anyway). 

Golden gloves(best fight/ fighter of the year): Attila as usual, firstly for a game against OMW at home where he was excluded. The defender all but stood on his shoulders. Killer obviously bottomed out because suddenly the defender was lifted clear of the water in the prone position and after much posturing and indignation Killer was excluded. Big Tony for putting an opponents teeth through his lip, the only player to draw blood since I have been a member of Guildford. Then also his verbal chirp to Trevor when he told him to keep his comments for the referees and opposition. Beware, the wrath of Big Tone is not exclusively reserved for the opposition. Andy Dis for his over the water attack against Watford that resulted in being wrapped. Dis has to be castigated for this offence. He not only failed to hide his killer punch in the tackle but he took his fist to the rafters to fetch it. Killer again for his indiscretion against one of the 7 Oaks players when 4 minutes from the end of the game he retaliated for a foul against Chris and spent the remainder of the game in abstinentia.

I chose Dis for the award because its been a long time coming for him to be acknowledged for his passion and commitment to the game and our club. As I first said when i started these fun awards they are not indictments rather a backhanded acknowledgments and an opportunities to laugh at ourselves. Killer Karsai was given a governors reprieve at the 11th hour because when all considered his actions were of noble intent. He was reacting to a beastly attack on our captain and we all know, Chris being the quiet reserved, diminutive church mouse that he is could not have adequately defended himself. Man up Chris and stop getting our players excluded (that'll teach you to call me a miserable old grouch in the pub).  

As a counter balance to the violence and blood thirsty nature of the last award I though I would moderate the proceeding with a softer award to Roger. In acknowledgement for finding his ......shall we say less masculine side during the Olympics. Roger mentioned to Martin that he was so moved by the syncro swimming that he felt it would be nice to have music to play polo by. Roger received a suitably pink Hello Kitty Advent calendar to commemorate this enlightenment.

Shot /goal of the year: Trevor for his astounding goal against S&C where he scored a goal from our 5m while playing goalie. Callum for his cheeky goal in the Army tournament. He lined up to shoot on the half way mark, looked at the clock saw there was 5 seconds left, decided that wasn't enough of a challenge so he put the ball on the water, paused and then with 2 seconds left slammed the goal home. Me for my masterly left handed goal against Basildon. When I play in the pit I am surprised to even get the ball, if I score, well the whole team demands an action replay but if I score from the pit with my left hand I have to buy a lotto ticket because the Gods are smiling on me.

It has to go to Trevor, I have never seen a keeper score and as Chris will attest to I am well old. Trevor is one of our more passionate and committed (in the other sense as well!) club players. It has to be a substantial crisis that keeps him away like driving over cyclist to get to Croydon on time. Last week even when he was ill he came down to help on the table.
Missing in action award (the most exclusions): Alan chitty for making a concerted effort not to be the running for this award thus kind of not doing his job. Alf who has been excluded more this year than Alan was obviously doing Alan's job. Trevor for managing to get himself excluded while we were man down..... and he was goalie! Matt Yoevils in his first match for the club got wrapped in the first 5 minutes against Kingston. Roy for being the last back when out on the lash after Russell's stag night(I was sick with worry and not for reasons Chris and Alf will tell you) also for leaving us at the end of the year. Alf was my choice because he has become such a consummate polo player in such a short time. He not only heckles the refs but his tackles (and subsequent penalties) on attackers trying to reclaim possession of a 50:50 ball can only be compared to a bar fight or a hippo mating ritual. Either way condolences must go to those who get between Alf and the ball. Roy got a runner up prize, of a bottle of Newcastle brown ale that may not be consumed till we meet again.

16 Oct 2012 : Upcoming Guildford Waterpolo Tournament 28 Oct 12

16 Sep 2012 : Guildford Win Army Tournament

15 Apr 2012 : Vets Team win cup
We have won the Vets Cup and now start a treasure hunt to bring the Cup Back to SSP!  The team played well together and pulled off a convincing 16 - 4 win (1 goal handicap).   Well done team.

26 Oct 2010 : 24 October 2010: Charterhouse Tournament

The club had a great tournament in all respects. Guilford came in a respectable 3rd we almost clinched a better place in the last game against Southampton but I deflected a shot past Roger and gave them the winning edge. As always huge thanks go out to Mike Clark for bringing it all together, Steve and the staff at Arena Cars for their sponsorship, Alf Ramsey for running the raffle, Martin who controlled the money and got Mark registered in time, Richard and Mike Clark who manned the table and of course the players who contributed the prizes.

We also had an unprecedented support column in the balcony. There were heel marks and scratches on the doors where we dragged our wives, girlfriends, children, hostages, etc.. in to witness our beloved sport. I stayed to the end and everybody that was there thoroughly enjoyed the polo, food and fellowship. As a club we can be extremely proud of the service we do water polo in the south each year through our tournament. Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm!

In the pool we made a good account of ourselves. I was really pleased to be able to field a first 7 of younger and new players who would undoubtedly have floundered and washed up in the scum channel if they did not have Steve, Roger and James guiding them. The results are below and with the exception of the Basingstoke match the team played consistently. In the said game we dropped our focus and intensity a bit and it showed mainly in our defence. Throughout the night the attack was very positive and aggressive, attempts on goal were too numerous to count. The Charter house water polo fund will have to broaden the budget this year for repairs to the goal posts and tiles next them. This is an aspect of sport we often forget, luck! Many would say you make your own which is true but sometimes lady luck exercises her sense of humour and I believe we were on the receiving end quite often.

Basingstoke      Lost      4-8
Crawley             Won     5-2
Marlins              Won     9-3
Southampton    Lost      4-5


At times the play was quite physical but Steve remained solid at the back although he is putting in a sick note for facial and rib injuries. Sometimes you’re allowed to let go of your man to protect yourself but he’s not pretty enough to be allowed to do that, so after massaging his ego a bit he felt the injuries weren’t so bad. Our new polo man Mark was inspirational to watch his strength and skill in tackles are similar to Russell’s but whereas Russell dummies and swims himself out of trouble Mark manages to fight his way around and still keep control of the ball. I point these things out not to embarrass anyone or undermine the efforts of others. My intention is to bring them to the attention of us lesser player on what to watch and how to improve our game. Andy H overcame an international hang over (ask him about it) to win the ball every time, bar once and put in a tremendous swimming display. Before closing, my wife tells me I owe everyone an apology for my shouting and gesticulations. I hope I did not come over too pain in the butt passionate. In my defence I had to shout load, as we all know acoustics in the water are pretty poor. Then again as Marjorie says “It was like at home, you shout and everyone does what they want to anyway”.

Thank you all for a great polo night out. Many stood down because of the good response to the call for players. Thank you all of you who could play but didn’t. Hopefully next year we will be able to field 2 teams and the way things are going they could be quite equally matched.

Back to the water!

23 Sep 2010 : 20 September 2010: Avondale Match Report

Guildford Water Polo Club 6 – Avondale 12


What a game! Unfortunately the score is not a true reflection on how we played. How frustrating is it, when 2 minutes into the final chukka we are 6 all and for it to end the way it did. Our fitness let us down in a pool that felt like it was heated by the fires of hell. I was so wasted Russell pulled me over for cocking up and not only didn’t I know what I had done but I didn’t understand when he explained it to me. 4 weeks off for the more senior man feels like 6 months when I was younger.

I felt we played very well; as usual Russell steamed us ahead 3 -0 in the first Q the first goal coming in seconds. Another was an awesome feat of individuality. He picked up the ball on the halfway, swam it in, dribbled 2 defenders, feigned the keeper one side and put it passed him on the other, wow, to finish like that after the sprint and tackles truly fantastic to watch. At one stage I said their shooting was off. On reflection what I should have said was”We are containing them and they aren’t getting their shots on target.” Defence was pretty sound at most times.

We gave away quite a few opportunities with slack passing and the usual faults that seep into our game the last Quarter when coming out high means getting ones head high enough to breathe air and not water.

Trevor scored a classic goal from the post. Dis passed in to him and all of us on the side sighed - alas too high. No chance, not only did he catch it but on his way down put it passed the keeper, this with 2 defenders on him and his back to the goal. The 4-2 practice and the passing exercises are paying off in many ways. Roger saved a great penalty (I think it’s the first in a league match) and although the second one missed, what we forget is that when the opposition realise they have a good goalie to beat they have to try that much harder and that pressure should never be underestimated.

All in all it was the best we have done against Avondale away (we drew at home) and we though we really missed Steve and James, we did manage and either one of them would have given us the edge we needed. With the new players we have and the additional training at Cranleigh we have a new depth to the side. However I think we should employ a secretary to co ordinate our goalies and key player’s calendars. Jim what can I say, ignored again, though not by me this time? Jim has this ability to swim under the radar and suddenly appear unmarked on the left side post. You’re so bloody good at it we don’t see you! We have to become more aware (hands up I’m the worst culprit) of Jims breaks if not to score more goals, for Jim’s self esteem. He has taken to entering quiz shows and advertising it on our network (Martin will have the invoice for your advert ready next week) to get some form of recognition.

Thank you all for a sterling effort. Our goals for next year: Amphs and Avondale we’re closing the gap.

Guildford water polo: appearing in a pool near you soon!

23 Sep 2010 : 22 September 2010: 2nd Team Friendly vs Crawley at K2

The 2nd Team had a bit of a selection crisis in a busy week for Guildford WPC and handing it over to the combined, but deteriorating, grey cells of Messrs Disley and Boucher ensured that, from a possible 8 or 9, we ended up with a nice round seven. But a magnificent seven that saw the 2nds confirm the future is indeed bright with a second win on the trot. 

Crawley had not adopted previous tactics of near-slanderous journalism in the lower reaches of the West Sussex gutter press and assured us that our seven would only be faced by eight scraped together from a week's unavailabilty crisis. However, by the start of the game we'd counted ten opposition hats and Senior Tactician Disley sagely observed that we'd have to conserve energy, particularly as "Steve" Baker had endured 36 holes of golf rather than a day's work. 

The first quarter was a tight period, involving a fair bit of good defending and hassling, and shots hitting the white bits round the nets at both ends. Our tactics involved careful placement of players in key roles and then having the elders surprise the opposition with stealthy breaks into the opposition's danger area. Pit duties were generally shared by Lyle and "Four elbows" Jeanes who notched up four and two goals respectively in the game.  

We stayed in touch with Crawley despite inferior numbers and played controlled, mainly sensible, water polo with most people genuinely trying to pass to similarly-hatted players. And this worked damned well if I may say so. Good points included a slow approach to the pit, making the critical pass at the right moment (even when the pitman is watching!).  We scored at least three goals by keeping our heads, looking around and moving the ball when a shot wasnt on. Man-up didnt produce any goals (our reporter thinks) but we had a couple of close shots and the positioning was excellent.

Defence was dominated by the massed ranks of the elders - "Steve" Baker, Dis and Jim - and we had numerous breaking opportunities as a result of the ball becoming loose as Crawley's attack broke down. All of the outfield players featured in breaks, Matt got all round the pool, and we had more nouse on the break in the latter quarters.

By the end of quarter three we had had to dig deep stamina-wise and despite our controlled game, Crawley had managed to keep in the hunt, tying the score at 7-7, as we occasionally had players who just couldnt get back to defend. "Alf" Ramsey had another good game between the sticks, occasionally being left to get on with defending the goal single-handedly when the energy levels dropped.

Remarkably though, we took the last quarter with a great display of breaking and defending to run out winners 12-9. A very pleasing result and we should also mention the spirit of the game, with Crawley being a decent bunch to play against, and with a home ref who played a very fair game too. We agreed to direct our respective fixture secretaries to organise another friendly at a convenient time.

At some point we managed to introduce Matt to Tony Baker and unsurprisingly he saw a lot more of the ball when he stopped asking "Steve" to pass to him. Tony had a great game scoring four goals and demonstrating he is as deadly on a break as he is loafing up in the pit when the 36 holes proved a few too many! Jim confirmed that he had indeed received numerous passes in the course of the game and celebrated with two goals from breaks..

Thanks to the magnificent seven who turned up and made it a great game to play in. Bring on the next one.

04 Aug 2010 : 28 July. Blue Marlins 6 Guildford 9

This was a need to win game and again we could only muster 9 players. We had Steve at the back and James back in the pit so it was a good 9. I should have realised it was an omen when they asked if one of theirs could ref because the real one was late. Then we took a massive hit and lost Russell in the first 2 minutes not just for 20 secs. but the whole game. Russell and Marlins, oil and water, what more can I say. For new members Russell has history with Marlins which started last year at the Hampton court tournament when one of their players was drunk in the water.

 Russell does very little wrong but when he does he does it in spades. We always have a problem playing shallow at Elmbridge it’s about 3 foot deep and you have to lie like a crocodile to stop standing as Steve told us throughout the game.-which was good because it is so easy to stand there and it draws the ref’s attention to it sublimely when defending.- Russell gets a reversal decision for standing and gives a sarcastic thumbs up to the ref. who takes exception and sends him out, Russell takes exception to this and while standing applauds the ref. Final score Russell 2 - ref. 3, he gets excluded for the game. I don’t think total exclusions was necessary but we were in the wrong and I decided not to provoke the situation and contest it. Sometimes one has to take the higher ground and play your way out of a predicament. A difficult decision to make in the heat of the moment but I think it worked for the best. I must say the team took it extremely well, no ones head went down, we did just what I expected and played our way out.

I don’t want to harp on it because I feel the punishment was unjust and it is so out of character for Russell, we have to remember to stop talking, pleading, beseaching and appealing to the ref. No ref will reverse a decision, live with it! It is an unnecessary habit some of us are getting into.

It goes to show though as Alan C mentioned to me later, we can play without Russell and it was a good thing in some respects because the rest of us had to take it up a notch. And guess what? We did. One thing we have to address is our handling of the extra man situation. We had 10 decisions in our favour and never converted 1 of them. It seemed like confusion reigned we lost our head and the ball so many times. Guess what we’re doing at training Tuesday night? Positives from the game were. Good awareness apart from afore mentioned 6 on 5. Fitness is improving and we are playing like a team with confidence. One of the best moments of the game was when I realised Andy H has a contender for skip shot of the year. Andy, Steve has the answer for you, he scored a skip shot from our 7 metre. The secrete is to bounce it off James’ head when he is on their 7 m. The 2 SA guys in their side who normally give us a hard time were closed down and ineffectual. Well done guys. In every game there is always something that stands out, and something I keep meaning to mention is Steve’s blocking ability. He had an off game against Kingston when he deflected some out of Paul’s way which was unfortunate. What is special about Steve’s block is that even in a tackle as soon as he realises his man is going to shoot his hand comes up.  Essentially he fights with one arm and blocks with the other. Another aspect I was impressed with was Paul’s positioning, even after your lay off Paul you still put yourself in the right place. I only saw you having to dive once, most times you were right there. Jim scored the goal of the game from the pit, I should have written this sooner because I can’t remember exactly how he did it but I though it was great.