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31 Jan - 23 May 2004

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23 Apr 2004 Hutt Men Level Peg It With Harbour City Hawks
In a nail biting finish that saw the Harbour City Hawks equalize the score in a draw, tonights home game for the Hutt Water Polo mens league team at Huia saw another spirited display of play from the Hutt youngsters, three of whom had to race across from the city where they had been competing in the satellite B schoolboys tournament.

With coach Liz Burman on poolside and seemingly unaffected by jet lag having returned last night from Athens, the Hutt boys got off to a relatively slow start finding themselves 3 goals down halfway through the first quarter.But they soon found their rhythm and with the help of some lapses in the Harbour City discipline, were able to land 2 goals, one from hole set Poara Morrison and the other from Ben Bye making the score a little more even at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Hutt nudge ahead on the scoreboard with 2 more goals from Morrison and another from Evarn Flaunty.Harbour Citys' Matt Clarrige who dominated their side of the score sheet added another to bring his goal tally at half time to 4 gaols.

More ejections from the Hawks into the third quarter allowed further goal opportunities for Hutt and they were able to maintain the lead and stretch it out to a 2 goal margin by the third siren.

It was however the last quarter that provided the closest play of the match with Hutt holding out a one goal lead right up until the final seconds when they were unfortunate enough to suffer an ejection giving the Hawks the opportunity they needed to equalize the score with Matt Clarrige notching up his eighth and final goal of the match with 4 seconds left on the clock.

This was a very encouraging performance from a rapidly improving Hutt team who went down to the Hawks 11 goals to 16 in their first encounter last month. With 18 points from 4 wins and a draw and three more games to play Hutt are currently sitting at 4th place on the league table.

The game was refereed by Cory Williams and Brendan Ward

Harbour City (10) M.Clarrige (8) R Clarrige (1) E.White (1)
Hutt (10) P.Morrison (6) E.Flaunty (1) B.Pye (1) E Lui (2)
For the NZWPA report of the match, Click here
18 Apr 2004 Hutt Men Down QEII
It was a sparkling clear Autumn morning that greeted the visitors to Hutt City's Huia pool for the first of their two league games against the young Hutt squad, minus a coach again with Liz Burman in Greece for an Olympic briefing meeting with FINA referees.

The game kicked off sharp on time at 7.45am and settled into a fairly even match. Both sides were a little unsettled at first giving each other goal opportunities with early ejections from which points were conceded by both teams however Hutt managed to lift the score by an extra goal before the end of the quarter with a nice two on one counter attack.

The second quarter was an even match with two goals coming from each side. QEII were still a little edgy suffering two ejections giving Hutt both of their scoring opportunities to Matt Lutrell and Ben Pye.

The second half saw the tide begin to turn in Hutts favour with QEII discipline wavering at times and resulting in 3 more ejections, whilst the Hutt boys held firm and kept all their players in the game for the full seven minutes. Hole set Paora Morrison piled on 3 more goals and Scott James notched a single to bring the score at the third siren to 8 goals to 6 with Adam Cunliffe and Mitchell Spence lifting QEII?s total to keep them in the game.

With seven minutes left QEII could still even the score if they could keep the ejections under control. However a strong defence from the Hutt youngsters and two  polished manoeuvres from Evarn Flaunty, Hutts 15 year old back up hole set saw him firmly slot home 2 more goals bringing Hutt's full time tally to 10 goals. QEII managed a last quarter score from Fraser Bickley from a 6 on 5 and finished the game with a bonus point.

The game was refereed by Brendan Ward and Boris Kipnis

Hutt (10) P.Morrison (3)   E.Flaunty (2)  B.Pye (1)  E.Paul (1)  E.Lui(1)  S.Jame (1) M.Lutrell (1)

QEII (7) F.Bickley (2)  A.Cunliffe (2)  T.Coughlan (1) M.Spence (2)

Steve Flaunty - Hutt Men's Manager
29 Mar 2004 National League: Hutt Beat BOP, Lose to Marist
It was mixed fortunes for the Mens Hutt league team over the weekend at the Wellington Aquatic Centre.There could not have been more of a contrast in challenge for the games that confronted them on Saturday evening and again early on Sunday morning.The pool was a hive of water polo activity with six of the mens league teams gathered together for all five of weekend 7?s encounters in the one venue.

The return game against the Bay of Plenty Dolphins was the first match for the Hutt youngsters and given their recent form coupled with the narrow margin of victory in Rotorua last month, the stage was set for an eagerly anticipated and closely contested match.BOP fielded a younger squad for this away game so there was an air of uncertainty amongst the Hutt players as to how they would fare this time around.

The 30 metre pool layout was also likely to dilute the advantages of aggressive fast sprints that had been a hallmark of their previous two outings as a team.The first quarter saw both teams edgy and unsettled with an early ejection taken by BOP and Hutt missing several close shots that all took a rebound off the wood.Paora Morrison positioned in hole, slotted Hutts first ball in the net after the third minute, quickly followed by BOP after Hutt found themselves isolated on the counter attack.By the end of the first quarter the score was even at one goal each with neither side having found an early rhythm to their play.

The game continued throughout the second quarter as an even contest with BOP gaining the upper hand in the goal count.Ben Pye managed to open his goal tally early in the quarter and Evarn Flaunty centred a beautiful backhander into the net from a difficult hole position.However at the half time siren BOP were in front on the scoreboard and Hutt were beginning to think they had their work cut out for themselves.

Eventually they found their rhythm in the 3rd quarter denying BOP any room to manoeuvre on attack.This was frustrating for the younger dolphins who suffered 3 ejection's allowing Hutt to even the score, then go on to add three more to their tally.

Six on fives gave them 3 of the goals, 2 for Pye and another for Morrison, while Scott James took a clean ball unopposed on a possession change resulting in squarely placed shot under no pressure.The end of the third quarter saw a much more settled and confident Hutt team in charge of the game.Although BOP were the first to score in the final quarter Hutt were able to pile on 5 more goals to seal their third Senior mens league victory and place them 4th on the table.

HUTT: 13 P.Morrison (4) B.Pye (4) E.Lui (2) E Flaunty (1) B.Hudson (1) S James (1)
BOP GEYSER DOLPHINS: 5 T.Mutu (3) R.Williams (1) N.Gordan ( 1)

The following morning however was a different story.Against the hugely experienced and senior Mens team from Marist it was always going to be a tough contest.

The first quarter however was a settling in phase for both sides.Opening the game in the shorter and narrower 25 metre pool the Hutt players were swimming fast and giving Marist plenty of work to do, allowing them only a one goal advantage at the quarter siren.However it wasn?t to last for long.Marist found the weaknesses in Hutts game and piled on the goals to put the half time score at 8 goals to 2.

The age and experience of the Auckland squad was becoming very apparent throughout the third quarter; their precision passing and timing on catches was a pleasure to watch, but credit must go to a superbly disciplined Hutt team under such adverse pressure to avoid any ejections in the second half of the game as Marist extended their lead even further sitting on 13 goals to 2 before heading into the forth and final quarter.

Ben Pye managed to fire in two balls before the full time whistle, whilst Jonathan Ware, Andy Holt, Shaun Venter, Mark Collins, and Phil Howat all contributed to Marists? final quarter goal tally, setting the final score at 19 to 4.

Another very valuable learning experience for the Hutt boys and one can only look forward to their participation in the age group youth tournaments later this year.

MARIST MAGIC: 19 P.Howat (4), S.Venter (4), M.Collins (3), J.Ware (3), P.Swindells (2), J.Venter (2) , A. Holt (1)
HUTT: 4 (B.Pye 3, E.Lui 1)
19 Mar 2004 Hutt Beat Maranui in National League (Men)
In week 6 of the League .....

In their most convincing display to date, a full strength Hutt mens league team took it to Wellingtons? Maranui side with a resounding 12-6 victory.

With the return of coach Liz Burman to the fold after her Italian refereeing duties, the young Hutt side with four under 18, one under 16 and two under 20 players on board, set a blistering pace in the first quarter with goals from Eamon Lui, Paora Morrison, and Ben Pye (2), to Maranuis? solo return from Ryan Wilkinson.

The frustration of the Wellington team was evident during this opening quarter with four ejections from which Hutt were able to score twice.The vigorous swimming from the young Hutt players exerted its? toll on Maranui, and both teams used their full benches to the limit.

The second quarter saw a more even contest with both sides scoring 3 goals each, Morrison, Pye adding one each to their tally for Hutt, and Locorn O?Connor slotting in the third goal to bring Hutts? score at Half time to 7 .Caleb Tait, Stefan Curry and Ryan Wilkinson added to Maranuis? score leaving it 7 goals to 4 at half time.

Just when it looked as though Hutts? early lead was getting whittled away, the young swimmers were at it again driving Maranui repetitively back into their half, to pile on 3 more goals.

Again this was unsettling the Wellington team who suffered 3 more ejections and were only able to slot in one more Ryan Wilkinson goal.
Chris Naylor, the NZ Junior mens? goalie was on superb form, defending his goal space with precision timing.This now stretched the lead for Hutt to 5 goals, so by the time the third quarter siren sounded a fired up Hutt team were ready to seal Maranuis? fate in the final seven minutes and shut them out of a bonus point.

It was veteran Mark Willis who opened the score with his one and only goal of the match and that was soon followed by Ben Pyes fourth goal, a commendable achievement for the 17 year old Hutt representative swimmer. The ejections from Maranui continued to come with 5 more in the final quarter.By this stage the Hutt players were also starting to push the envelope and racked up 3 ejections, however it was clear that by this stage they had the game under control.James Davidson finally added to Maranuis score leaving it 12 gaols to 6 in Hutts? favour at the final whistle.

Goals for Hutt; P.Morrison (3) M.Willis (1) E.Lui (2) L.O?Connor (1) B.Pye (4) B.Hudson (1)
Goals for Maranui; C.Tait (1) S.Curry (1) R.Wilkinson (2) J.Davidson (1) R.Chambers (1)
28 Feb 2004 Hutt Men Valiant Against North Sport
The young Hutt side faced their stiffest competition to date, tonight in the Kilbirnie Aquatic centre as they hosted the visiting team for their forth game of the National League.

With coach Liz Burman overseas for the last two games, the guiding hand of Glenn Benge was on the poolside to coach the boys through what turned out to be a valiant performance considering the odds.

North Sport opened the score with a goal in the second minute, followed by another a short while after, however Hutt secured a 4 metre penalty shot  that Scott James  fired squarely into the net to bring the score up to 2 gaols to one. North Sport were able to slot another goal before the end of the quarter with the help of some fast return swimming on the possession  change to leave the score at 3 to 1 in their favour on the first quarter siren.

The second quarter saw a cluster of goals from North Sport as Hutt struggled to gain composure through some aggressive attacking manoeuvrers by North Sport. Eamon Lui did however mange to lob a ball over the head of North Sport?s goalie to give them another notch on the scoreboard leaving the half time score at 9 goals to 2.

However a more settled Hutt side after some words of encouragement and advice from Coach Benge kept North Sport at bay for almost all of the 3rd quarter with some effective defence work allowing them to only slip in a single goal in reply to another from Hutt.
Hutt goalie, Chris Naylor was on fine form and was a huge asset to the side having stepped up a level from the previous week which was his first game after a long spell on the dry. By the end of the 3rd quarter the score had only moved up a gaol each at 10 goals to 3.

The last quarter was again defended well by Hutt who managed to keep North Sport away from the net for most of the 7 minutes, however again some quick thinking from North Sport on the possession change allowed them to score twice with relative ease, with Hutt managing to net a final goal to leave the score at the final whistle 12 to 4.

Overall it was a match the guys could be proud of given their youthfulness and relative lack of experience at this level. They learned a lot from this encounter and they go into the remainder of the series knowing that they can foot it with the best.

Quarter scores: 3-1, 9-2, 10-3, 12-4

North Sport 12 (M Payne 5, S Bennett 2, L Campbell 2, S Callen, C Ainley, C Broome)
Hutt 4 (E Lui 2, S. James, M. Luttrell)
26 Feb 2004 Mens National League Game This Saurday Night
North Sport Men - the current national champions - are travelling down to Wellinton this weekend for a National League game against our Mens team.

**** Come along and support your team ****

Saturday 8pm at the WRAC Kilbirnie

Hutt vs North Sport MenSee you there.
23 Feb 2004 Hutt Men Take Their First Points in National League
Last Saturday saw a much improved senior mens' team take it to BOP Dolphins at their third National League game in Rotorua.

The team was down to 9 players for the first of their away games, however the return of Chris Naylor in the goal was a huge boost to the team both in moral and in defence.

With head coach Liz Burman overseas for refereeing commitments the replacement coach Glenn Benge led the guys through a methodical game plan that paid dividends from the opening quarter. Much emphasis was placed on defence leaving a frustrated BOP side unable to place the ball effectively in the hole. It was Chris Naylor's first appearance for several weeks having been sidelined with an injured hand, and he improved constantly throughout the game to return to his former strength as a top class goalie.

The Hutt team were firmly in front at the end of the first quarter at 4 goals to 1, however BOP were able to slot in 2 more goals from out wide in reply to an extra one from Hutt leaving the score at 5 goals to 3 in Hutts favour at half time.

During the third quarter Hutt placed the first goal of the quarter on the board to lead 6 to 3, however BOP rallied for the remainder of the quarter to put three more balls into the net to draw the score. Hutt placed another goal before the end of the quarter to leave the score marginally in their favour on the sound of the siren. A run of ejections during the quarter did not help Hutts efforts to maintain the lead.

Going into the final quarter, the team were primed by Glenn in the defence message again after a lapse in concentration during the previous 7 minutes and this time the message seemed to stick  with Hutt effectively shutting down every attempt by BOP to get within effective shooting distance. Only a lone outside attempt managed to slip pass Naylors hands in reply to a further 3 goals from Hutt to seal the game at 10 to 7 at full time.

Time out was called by Glenn at 35 seconds to go with Hutt possession in an effort to run in one more ball and close down the bonus point for BOP however a valiant attempt went astray with a wayward pass and it was not to be.

The following morning a return match was played and although it did not count for league points it was a well-contested game and gave Glenn the opportunity to refine some of the defence manoeuvrers used the night before. Chris Naylor by now had well and truly bedded in his goal keeping skills and deflected a number of attempts by BOP to net the ball. The game finished in Hutt's favour at 12 goals to 6.

Overall the team played superbly for what must surely be the youngest side in the league, demonstrating constant improvement to their skills and co-ordination. There will be  tough games ahead however we can expect to see some close and exciting play from this side over the next 2 months.

Goal scorers, Saturday 21st Feb.

Rotorua Aquatic Centre: Hutt 10 (B Pye 4, P Morrison 2, E Lui, E Flaunty, B Hudson, M Luttrell) BOP Geyser Dolphins 7 (R Williams 2, B Law 2, T Mutu, K Ruri Gardiner, L Olsen)

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