match 9 - fremantle mariners v barbarians
What some were calling a warm-up to this year final, the last game on day 3 saw, the all-star Barbarians take on the Fremantle Mariners.
Both teams who have inspired wins in their last two games, saw them at the head of the table with the Mariners positioned in first thanks to a hefty goal difference, a win for the barbarians in this match would mean a re-match regardless of other results going into the fourth and final day of competition.
And it was NWPL champions who got the ball rolling, winning the swim up and from the resulting possession found Joel Swift and Daniel Lawrence putting them two goals to the good. 2-0 Mariners.
The Barbarians first attempt came from Milan Nesic, arguably one of the best players for the Barbarians, if not the tournament, came up with his first sight at goal but was only able to put his shot over the bar.
Aaron Younger featured in the 2012 London Olympics this year, and for a reason, as the barbarian defense couldn’t hold him off when he fired home to make it 4-0 to the Mariners early in the first term.
The Barbarians didn’t see a goal until Chris Dyson managed to conjure up some space and fire home.
5-1 to Fremantle, the score at the first break.
The second period started like the first, Mariners goal for goal, which saw them, take a 6-2 lead right up until the final minute of the half,
It wasn’t until Captain Dyson got his second of the game that the Barbarians were back on the scoreboard.
6-3 at half time.
Tyler Martin has been amongst the goals for the Barbarians and he was first to find the net after the half-time break, 6-4 and a game was back on our hands.
But any scent of a comeback infuriated the Mariners and they punished some sloppy defending to take the score to 8-5 going into the final break, a 3 goal margin for the All-Stars to overturn in the final quarter.
The Barbarians are made up of all-stars from across the globe and are never ones to die down, although few have played together, it does take a while for teams to gel and find out each other strength’s and weaknesses,
So the final period of this encounter was the perfect time to get the ball rolling for the Barbarians as they found renewed life and going into the last quarter of the match, firing 3 answered goals courtesy of Dyson, Nesic and George Ford.
8-8 with just under 3 minutes to play, it was now anyone’s game, with the crowd roaring on, but the most decisive play came from Luke Altieri as he found some space to work the shot and score his 4th of the tournament, the most important goal of them all – as Altieri’s shot hit the back of the net, it proved all too much for the Barbarians who then concede a poor 5m Penalty, which Tamas Molner stepped up to convert 10-8, in favour of Fremantle,
But one more blow was still to come to the already crushed spirits of the Barbarians as they conceded another goal to Joel Swift with 0:35 seconds to play, 11-8 the final score, meaning the Mariners will be playing the Gold Medal match on Day 4, whist the Barbarians, will have to seal their finals birth with a win against Japan tomorrow morning.