Bedford’s water polo team are back up and running following a pause due to the pandemic; and have bounced back with a convincing victory against Milton Keynes last week.
Buoyed by victory the last time the two sides met, and a noticeable physical advantage, confidence was high in the Bedford camp.
Bedford got off to a strong start, with Joe Stamp winning the “swim-off” – a starting race to capture the ball in the middle of the pool.
In the second minute, frantic defending from Milton Keynes resulted in two players being sin binned.
Bedford capitalised on this lapse of concentration, with Ed Carpenter effortlessly slotting into the top-right corner for the first goal of the game; with the first quarter ended 3-2 to Bedford.
However, in the second, a spell of madness for Bedford quickly ended hopes of pulling away convincingly.
In the deafening confusion of a busy pool, Tim Hughes, failing to realise a foul had been given against him, decided to throw the ball to safety behind him, resulting in a predictable spell in the sin bin.
To top off a chaotic second quarter for Bedford, Lewis Savory, who had been valiantly wrestling with strong Milton Keynes defenders for much of the game, let his desire for glory get the better of him.
Attempting a spinning “helicopter” shot, his effort landed closer to the corner flag than the goalpost, much to the frustration of goalkeeper Matthew Leydon.
The third quarter proceeded in a similar way, with Bedford hanging onto the lead but failing to dominate.
Justin Irvine then proceeded to show his team how it should be done, launching a rocket from the halfway line that left the keeper with no chance.
At the final whistle the score was 13-6 to Bedford, the team having won even when not firing on all cylinders.
However, Bedford will need to sharpen up in the coming months as they face stronger teams in the National League next year.
Bedford are continuing their training sessions on Thursday evenings at Robinson Pool from 8.30pm. More information can be found at the Bedford Water Polo Club Facebook page.