Monday, February 19, 2018

T&T water polo team finish 18th

Trinidad and Tobago's 18 & under men's team lost their final game against South Africa 10-8 to conclude their FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships campaign in 18th place yesterday in Perth.

South Africa gained their first victory of the tournament, defeating T&T for the 17th spot. Through a quirk of the draw and the pre-tournament withdrawal of Spain, South Africa eased into the playoff while Trinidad had to beat Peru 13-8 to get to the match.

Trinidad and Tobago held the upper hand in the first quarter with a three-goal burst to lead 3-1, midway through the period. South Africa opened and closed the period's scoring to pull back to 3-2 at the break. T&T captain Russell Ferreira and Shaquille Mitchell both scored from centre forward, while Andrew Chin Lee fired in a missile from 9 metres.

T&T stretched their lead to 4-2 thanks to an Adrian Hinds' extra-man score, before a three-goal surge by South Africa claimed the lead at 5-4 — Kyle Westman from the penalty line and Joshua Stubbs and Nicholas Downes on action. T&T leveled via Marc Stauble on man up, but South Africa went to the second half 6-5 ahead when Kyle Gibson scored off a 5-metre foul. T&T had a penchant for the backhand shot, sending three to the cage with just the one success.

The third period had plenty of bluff and shouting but only two goals came, Jonathon Gillette outfoxing South Africa with a shot off the first pass on attack. Two and a half minutes later, Dayne Jagga gave South Africa the edge again, scoring from deep on extra-man attack.

T&T eventually ran out of steam in the final quarter, committed silly fouls — including a misconduct foul on Daniel Tardieu —allowing the fitter South Africans a clearer view of the goal. T&T opened the quarter through Ferreira, who had to do too much, then South Africa got goals from Stubbs from 8m; Gibson and Chad Roman to go up 10-7.

T&T had a sniff at narrowing the gap with a timeout ploy at 0:38, however, the shot came too late to have any chance of getting a second. Mitchell scored off a rebounded shot with eight seconds remaining for 10-8.