photo courtesy of Inquire Media
There may not have been any Varsity points on offer at the inaugural Varsity Kayak Polo, but that did not stop it being an enthralling and competitive night of the sport at Simon Langton Grammar School. Christ Church took home the victory, winning three of the six matches played, with Kent able to muster two wins and one game being drawn.
In game one, you certainly would not have seen the Christ Church victory coming. Kent dominated from start to finish and really put on a show in a 5-0 victory. Christ Church were entirely suffocated for the whole fifteen minutes, barely able to leave their own half. After going a few goals to the good early on, Kent moved the ball around and toyed with their opposition. By the second half it was clear they were just having fun, attempting over-the-head trick shot attempts, as they attempted to slightly spare the blushes of CCCU on the score line. But, ultimately, this was as good as it got for them.
In game two, Christ Church unleashed their secret weapon. A man in his signature black kayak had one of the most dominant performances I have ever seen anyone have in any sport. He was everywhere. When Kent tried to attack, he covered at the back and won the ball back comfortably, and when CCCU had the ball, he was their creative fulcrum. He was unselfish too, giving his teammates the opportunity to finish off the chances he created. This added impetus was enough to completely turn the tables, a decisive 3-0 win that could have been more, had the UKC keeper not pulled off a superman save to deny CCCU.
In game three, the competition got dialled up to 11, as both knew they were in for a fight. A particular moment saw two players challenging for the ball in the corner and both ended up capsizing as they stretched to get there first. A 3-2 win for CCCU was a fair reflection overall as they seemed to have the edge over the Kent side that was utilising heavy rotation of their players in each match.
The effort, grit, and determination did not ebb even slightly for game four, as an incredible match akin was in store. UKC accelerated into a 3-goal lead and seemed to be in cruise control in the first half, with the third goal in particular being the goal of the night as the Kent player shot from distance as he fell to the side and found the back of the net, but it was not to be. They seemed to have poked the bear and CCCU came back in force. Christ Church’s talisman engaged overdrive and fought and clawed them all the way back to a 4-3 victory.
Game fivewas arguably the most low-key match of the evening, finishing in a 1-1 draw that wrapped up Christ Church’s victory. But that is not to say that this game was lacking the same competitive nature of the others, it was still there for all to see, with both defences being valiant to keep it down to just the one goal each. Moment of the game was certainly as CCCU’s main man made a dart up the field, doing keepy-uppies with each side of his paddle and then slapped it from range, and hit the bar. No exaggeration, it might have been the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen and deserved to find the net.
As the overall score was wrapped up in game six, the intensity from CCCU was less and the ball had been exchanged for a rubber chicken, but Kent were still intent on making the score as close as possible. A 3-1 victory was a fitting finale, as the contest deserved to be a narrower win for Christ Church than was the case going into the game. That concluded a fun and exciting evening, as Christ Church won 3-2 overall. This is an event I urge people to watch in the future, you might surprise yourself with the fun you have and how much you get into it.