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LAST year’s water polo champions Pool Pirates have survived a spirited comeback to open the season with a win at the Albury pool.
On the other side of the Border, last year’s fellow grand finalists Sharks were caught in a see- sawing contest with last season’s easy beats Northside Stingrays.
In the end the contest finished in a 9-all draw.
Stingrays coach Tom Madden said last year they would have been beaten by six goals.
“In the off season we had Brad Walsh come back from Canberra and he was a standout, while I was also able to convince Andrew Gott, who played rep water polo for Australia to get back into the water,” he said.
“But today it was the young guys too who stood up with Trent Remington in his first game out of the under 16s one of the keys to our attack.”
Albury Tigers coach Jimmy Scannell was left to rue giving away a start to the Pool Pirates in their clash.
“It was a one-goal game and pretty tight throughout the game — in the end we just couldn’t convert in the last quarter,” he said.
“Pool Pirates won the flag last year, while we have lost a few players and are going through a rebuilding phase, so with a lot of kids playing, to get so close today was a great effort.
“Josh Land played well and Col Taylor in goals made a lot of good saves.”
Pool Pirates Matt O’Connell wasn’t surprised by the contest.
“There is very little between all of us in this competition,” he said.
“We were three in front at one stage but they finished very strongly.”