Water polo: Melville Sharks go down in close grand final 10-8 to UWA City Beach Bears

Water polo: Melville Sharks go down in close grand final 10-8 to UWA City Beach Bears

MELVILLE Sharks came up just short in the Water Polo WA Men’s Premier League grand final on Saturday, with UWA City Beach Bears claiming a second straight premiership with a 10-8 victory at Bicton Pool.

The two teams were the standouts of the Men’s Premier League and their line-ups feature the majority of the respective Fremantle Mariners and UWA Torpedoes National Water Polo League squads.

The grand final did not fail to deliver on expectations with the result still up for grabs until the dying stages.

The score was tied at 6-6 with a minute left in the third quarter but UWA City Beach managed to hit the next three goals to set up the victory.

The win gave the Bears a second straight Premier League title with German international Florian Naroska claiming the Tom Hoad Medal as the best player in the grand final.

The Sharks had been on top of the table throughout the season and started strongly with the first two goals to Tom Prior and Drew Verboon.

But the Bears hit the next four scores either side of quarter time before Melville scored just before half time to James Fannon.

A run of three goals for the Sharks to open the third quarter levelled the scores but the Bears had the answers from there and went on to win.

Both teams will resume hostilities in the NWPL starting in January while those not involved at a national level will continue playing with their local clubs in the Challenge Cup which also starts early next year.

The Melville Marlins remain on top of the Women’s Premier League despite having a bye on Saturday.

The unbeaten defending premiers resume action this Saturday against the winless Dolphins at Claremont Pool.