Seagulls soar to second in trophy tussle

The Hastings Seagull mini polo team at the Observer Trophy
The Hastings Seagull mini polo team at the Observer Trophy

Hastings Seagull welcomed teams from Crawley, Brighton, Haywards Heath and Holland for the annual Observer Trophy water polo tournament on Saturday.

The hosts came second in the prestigious competition after winning three of their four games, losing only to first-time champions Crawley.

Seagull began with a 2-1 win over strong Haywards Heath side. Seagull captain Duncan Izzard scored the first goal of the tournament after just three minutes and then repelled fierce attacks from the opposition before Izzard doubled the lead at half time. The second half brought constant attacks from the determined Marlins squad, but staunch Seagull defence meant they could only muster a consolation.

Seagull got off to a flyer against last year’s winners Brighton with a very special goal from Dave Lee after only 23 seconds. Brighton evened the score after four minutes, but within a minute, Izzard put Hastings ahead again with a powerful shot. Brighton made it 2-2 in the second half only for Will Greenhouse to give Hastings a 3-2 victory.

Hastings conceded the opening goal against Crawley and although they equalised, the opposition edged ahead again by half time. Izzard got Seagull back on terms once more, but Crawley struck twice more to run out 4-2 winners.

The final game against Hastings’s Dutch twin town Dordrecht determined who took the silver and bronze positions. Dordrecht twice led in the first half only for Greenhouse and Izzard to twice draw Seagull level. Hastings scored two early goals in the second half and broke Dordrecht’s resistance.

The evening also featured a game between two teams of players aged 8-13 from the club’s mini polo section.