Canoe polo - Steve shows his worth in tournament
PUBLISHED: 17:14 01 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010
THIS weekend saw Letchworth canoe polo team, which is part of Baldock and District Canoe Club, play the final tournament of the National Division Four South East. Royston canoeist, Steve Bratton, has kept goal for a large part of the season and has proved
THIS weekend saw Letchworth canoe polo team, which is part of Baldock and District Canoe Club, play the final tournament of the National Division Four South East. Royston canoeist, Steve Bratton, has kept goal for a large part of the season and has proved difficult to get past. This tournament he proved to be as reliable as he has all season. The first game was against Nomads from Watford who were joint league leaders with Letchworth. A fast and furious game saw Letchworth come out on top with defenders Joe Gibson and Chris Morley putting Letchworth in front. Nomads came back in the second half to level the game, but Paul Stephens made the game safe for Letchworth, to win 3-2. The second game, against Braintree, saw Letchworth have the majority of the play. All the team members had good goal attempts, but it was Chris Morley with a pair of well-taken efforts who gave Letchworth a 2-0 win. The third game, against ULU from London was similar to the previous game with Letchworth dominating, but struggling to make the breakthrough until Clark opened the scoring following a defence splitting pass from Brian McCusker. Morley then added a second to give Letchworth a 2-0 win. The fourth game against Meridian, who were now the only team who could beat Letchworth proved to be tough. The first half saw Letchworth trailing 1-0 at half time. Stern words and a change of tactics with Letchworth using a rolling defence and attack, saw a more organised structure, but Letchworth went 2-0 down. Some quick thinking by Paul Stephens and a distracting run by Brian McCusker, saw a goal within seconds of the restart with Meridian not knowing what had hit them. This gave more purpose to the Letchworth team and inevitably Chris Morley got the equaliser. There was more sustained pressure from both teams, but time ran out and the game finished 2-2. The final game of the night was against Loughborough and though Letchworth had done enough to finish top of the league, there was no complacency. Solid defence and good awareness saw Letchworth absorb some early pressure and take the lead through Paul Stephens who used his pace to outwit the Loughborough Defence. Soon it was 2-0 when Morley muscled through a packed defence to leave the goalkeeper no chance. The second half saw a third Letchworth goal with Chris putting in from a narrow angle. Letchworth now go forward with the Nomads and Meridian to meet the top three teams from the other Southern division in a playoff final.