Clifton Clinch Home Tournament Against Reddam

Sun, 23/09/2012 - 20:46
  • Reddam vs Clifton Final

After four days of tough competition at the 8th Annual Clifton Water Polo Tournament, Clifton and Reddam stood ready to take to the pool for the Cup deciding game.

Both teams came into the final without notching a single defeat. Clifton suffered a scare against St. Stithians, but rallied to win the game 5-4. Reddam had a fairly comfortable road, managing to get convincing wins against all the teams they played against. They found a tougher challenge against home side and tournament favourites, Clifton, who boasted 5 South African U18 players compared to Reddam’s one. A fair number of spectators came to support Clifton in their bid to regain the tournament trophy.

First Half

The first chukka was a tight affair as both teams looked to feel each other out in the early minutes, though both keepers were called into action as the chukka progressed. Clifton fired 7 shots at Reddam’s goal while Reddam managed 6 toward Franco Conversano who was playing his 101st game for Clifton.

Reddam keeper Miguel Espinha managed to save 3 goals before letting one through. Mike Brakspear broke the dead lock toward the end of the chukka to see Clifton go a goal up 2-1. Franco Conversano was not having it easy as he saved 5 shots, denying the Reddam attack an equalizer.  Reddam was more accurate than Clifton in front of goal as 5 out of 7 shots hit the target compared to 3 out 6 shots from Clifton. Clifton had the majority of the possession by making 45 passes compared to Reddams’s 20.

Reddam managed to equalize early in the second chukka through Kenton Mobey who has been a stand out player throughout the tournament. Clifton rallied with a goal of their own to take back the lead through another of their stand out players, SA U18 member Dayne Jagga. Clifton fired 5 shots at the Reddam keeper, 3 went wide, Espinha saved 1, and the other got through bringing the score to 2-1 Clifton.

Reddam were searching for the equalizer again after going behind and fired a total of 4 shots at Conversano, finally managing to equalize through James W-Fitnum. Both teams ended the half with 2 goals on the scoreboard.

Second Half

After the halftime break, Reddam were playing more with a ball, making 35 passes out of 38 attempts while Clifton were restricted to 27 from 29 attempts. It became evident why Conversano was the number one choice for the SA U18 team as he saved 4 from 6 shots with the other two going wide. Clifton were not sitting back as they fired 5 shots but only produced one save from Espinha with the other 4 shots flying wide of the mark. Reddam had Kenton Mobey sent off and played a man down until the end of the chukka. With the score still at 2-2 at the end of the 3rd chukka the game would be decided in the 4th chukka.

The game was there to be won by either side in the 4th chukka, but it was Clifton who took the initiative and scored their 3rd goal grabbing the lead yet again through Murray Howard.  Reddam was moving the ball around more as they notched up 42 passes with 39 of them being successful, although it was Clifton who were taking more shots. Reddam took 3 shots at goal but none troubled Conversano as they all sailed wide. Clifton took 6 shots with 2 being on target. Clifton put a bit more distance between themselves and Reddam when Mike Brakspear put the ball past the keeper to bag his 2nd goal of the game and the 4th for Clifton. Reddam only found a stubborn defence as they attempted to get back into the game.

To Clifton and their supporters' delight, the game finally ended 4-2 with Clifton taking the trophy on home ground.  In a tight game Clifton made 137 successful passes out of 149 (91.94%) compared to Reddam’s 130 out of 140 (92.8%). Clifton managed 24 shots, forcing Espinha to make 6 saves while Reddam got 19 shots, forcing Conversano to make 12 saves. Clifton was the deserved winner of the 2012 Clifton Water Polo Tournament against equally skilled competition from the Reddam boys.

Coaches Take

Coach Brad Rowe of Clifton

HSSM: Congratulations on your win, what is your take on your boys' performance today?
Brad Rowe: We struggled, it was a final of finals and nothing seemed to work but everyone focused on defence and we were lucky to get away with a few goals.

HSSM: Second close game of the tournament, do you think the form of your players dipped toward the end due to stamina?
Brad Rowe: No, I think it was just a very tight game. Both teams swam hard, played well and both teams focused on defence. There wasn’t a lot on attack so because of that we forgot to score goals.

Coach Jason Sileno of Reddam

HSSM: Disappointing to lose the finals in a game that could have gone either way. What is your take on the game?
Jason Sileno: Obviously it’s disappointing, no player wants to lose but in the end they got it right where it counted and we didn’t. We didn’t execute what we needed to at the crucial times. As polo is, some calls go your way and some don’t and we didn’t take advantage of the ones that went our way. So it is what it is.


Player Chukka 1 Chukka 2 Chukka 3 Chukka 4
Franco Conversano (Clifton) 5 1 4 2
Miguel Espinha (Reddam) 3 2 1 0

Clifton Stats

Player Chukka 1 Chukka 2 Chukka 3 Chukka 4
  Shots/Goals Shots/Goals Shots/Goals Shots/Goals
B.Christie-Taylor     1/0  
M.Howard 1/0   1/0 2/1
N.Downes 2/0   1/0  
M.Brakspear 2/1 2/0   2/1
L.Scott   1/0    
J.Williams 1/0 1/0 3/0 1/0
D.Jagga 1/0 1/0   1/0
Pass/Complete 49/45 45/41 29/29 27/24
Total Saves Passes Shots Goals
  12 149/137(91.94%) 24 4

Reddam Stats

Player Chukka 1 Chukka 2 Chukka 3 Chukka 4
  Shots/Goals Shots/Goals Shots/Goals Shots/Goals
T.Rezelman 2/0 1/0    
C.Rezelman   1/0 2/0 1/0
C.Ash 2/0 1/0 1/0  
J.W-Fitnum   1/1   1/0
J.Stubbs 2/0   1/0  
G.Cragg     1/0  
K.Mobey   1/1 1/0  
Pass/Complete 22/20 38/36 38/35 42/39
Total Saves Passes Shots Goals
  6 140/130(92.8%) 19 2


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