Marlins Ladies clinch promotion play-off place with two games to spare

Marlins Abbi Rocky in blue cap gets shot away against Otter
Marlins Abbi Rocky in blue cap gets shot away against Otter
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Mid Sussex Marlins ladies enjoyed further success when they travelled to Marlborough last weekend for the second round of matches in the British Water Polo League. Marlins started as joint league leaders with a 100% record, after the opening round at Sheffield last month.

Marlins continued their good form, making it four wins from four games in their opening match, defeating London Otter Lutra 10-4. Marlins quickly established their dominance to lead 6-0 by the half way stage, thanks to their high tempo attacking play and excellent saves from goalkeeper Amy Styles [see picture]. Otter rallied slightly in the third quarter but Marlins pulled away again in the fourth as six-goal Danica Brazier ensured both points for the Marlins, with further goals from Abby-Louise Rocky, Lauren Hand, Charlotte Bates and a penalty from Izzy Bates [see picture].

Marlins Eve Tidy in blue cap gets shot away against Otter

Marlins Eve Tidy in blue cap gets shot away against Otter

Marlins ended the Saturday, still top of the table after they maintained a perfect winning record with an 8-4 defeat of Manchester Comets. Marlins were only 5-4 ahead until last quarter goals by Isobel Bates, Gemma Deacon and Lucy Deacon made sure of the points.

Marlins’ final game of the weekend on the Sunday was always going to be their toughest and there was certainly no shortage of excitement as they clashed with second placed Hucknall.

Between Hucknall taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Marlins restoring parity in the second (with goals from Lauren Hand & Dani Brazier) and Abby-Louise Rocky edging Marlins into a 3-2 lead at the start of the last, there were a small matter of 11 exclusions (sin binnings), a missed penalty and two time-outs.

Three further Hucknall exclusions in the final quarter presented Marlins with “man-up” powerplays but they were unable to convert any of these. Hucknall, seized their opportunity and quickly levelled again at 3-3 and grabbed a 4-3 victory two minutes from the end when the excellent Marlins goalkeeper Amy Styles conceded a penalty by pushing the ball underwater while under heavy pressure on the goal line.

Marlins Izzy Bates about to score penalty against Otter Lutra

Marlins Izzy Bates about to score penalty against Otter Lutra

Both Marlins and Hucknall are guaranteed places in the Championship 1 play-offs in the second phase of the season. Before that, they travel to Walsall on 8 November for their final 2 games, still very much with the Division 2 title in their sights.

Marlins Full squad: Lucy Deacon(Capt), Amy Styles (GK), Lauren Hand, Izzy Bates, Charlotte Bates, Sherry Skinner, Rachel Moore, Eve Tidy, Abby-Louise Rocky, Gemma Deacon, Grace Walker,, Danni Brazier

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Marlins keeper Amy Styles in action against Otter Lutra

Marlins keeper Amy Styles in action against Otter Lutra

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