LOCAL side North Coast Phoenix and Melville Marlins kicked off the first round of the Women's Water Polo Premier League at Bicton Pool on Saturday, with much aplomb.
Both sides displayed agility and dexterity with the ball, but it was the Marlins who triumphed over their opponents 15-8.
Despite the loss, North Coast Phoenix coach Gemma Hadley was positive about her team’s performance against a strong side.
‘The team played well and it is the start of the season. We had a couple of new girls that have never played with us before and I think they did an excellent job coming in and playing today,’ she said.
‘We’re only going to get better and Melville, to their credit, are an exceptional team and they’re very, very hard to beat.’
Melville set the pace in the first quarter by scoring an impressive six goals with relative ease.
Gemma Beadsworth and Erin Redbond notched two goals apiece, with Chloe Nella and Kassia Ralston each contributing a goal.
Phoenix responded with an aggressive offence and managed to find the net three times, courtesy of Lara Zimmeran, Sofia Chaves and Alicia Anderson.
But the ferocity was short-lived as the Marlins dominated the second quarter, increasing their lead by a further five goals.
Not wanting another fruitless quarter, Phoenix rallied against a strong Marlins defence, with Arrie Koteka and Claire Rechichi adding two goals each to Phoenix’s tally, and Melville answering with two goals of their own.
Although last-ditch efforts from both sides saw the Marlins and Phoenix squeeze in another goal to their respective totals, the game was already effectively over.
Melville Marlins captain Gemma Beads-worth said it was a good start to the season and the team played very well.
‘I thought it was a reasonable first game. We’re missing a few players, so it was a good opportunity for some of the young girls to get some game time; overall they played pretty well,’ she said.
‘I think we could improve in all areas; that’s natural at the start of the season and it’s good to get the first game out of the way.’