THE Water Polo WA Women’s Premier League is getting ready to return to action following the Christmas and New Year break with the Melville Marlins and Triton coming back on top of the respective Fremantle and UWA Conferences.
The new-look Women’s Premier League went through 10 rounds to finish 2017 having been broken up into Fremantle and UWA Conferences.
The 10 rounds so far have been made up of eight weekends of teams playing one another within their own conferences and then two rounds of Cross Conference action to date.
That has produced some tremendous water polo across the seven competing teams as we now move into the second half of the 2017-18 season.
How the 2018 season of the rebranded Australian Water Polo League that begins in February influences proceedings in the Premier League will be fascinating to monitor too heading towards the finals action.
In the Fremantle Conference, the Melville Marlins sit atop the standings having won five games, drawn twice and lost just the once.
The Marlins started off with a win over Dolphins before successive draws with Applecross and North Coast Phoenix. From there the Marlins won their next four games against fellow conference teams before a last up loss to Applecross before the break over Christmas and New Year.
Applecross sits in second position having won four games in the Fremantle Conference, lost two and drawn two. Their four wins have come against the North Coast Phoenix (twice), Dolphins and Marlins while they drew with the Marlins and Dolphins. They also lost once to Melville and North Coast.
The North Coast Phoenix are in third position having won three games, lost three and drawn one in the Fremantle Conference.
The Phoenix lost in the opening round to Applecross before a big 16-2 win over Dolphins. That was followed with a draw with the Marlins before a loss to Applecross and win over Dolphins again. Their rollercoaster ride continued before the break with an 11-6 loss to the Marlins and 9-7 win over Applecross.
Dolphins remain winless following seven games in the Fremantle Conference but they have been vastly more competitive than that suggests.
Dolphins might have suffered a couple of heavy defeats along the including by 20 goals to the Marlins, 14 to Applecross and 14 to North Coast, but they have been strongly competitive in others.
They did manage a draw with Applecross in Round 6 in the closest they have to come to a breakthrough victory.
And in the UWA Conference, it’s Triton sitting on top of the standings having won four of their five matches against rivals in the same conference.
Triton won the first three games before a Round 6 bye with wins against the UWA City Beach Blues (twice) and Rangers. They then suffered a loss to Rangers before bouncing back prior to the break beating the Blues ahead of a Round 10 bye.
Rangers are in second position on the standings having won three matches and lost twice. Their season started losing to the UWA City Beach Blues before they also lost to Triton.
They then thumped UWA City Beach 20-3 and had a big 11-2 win against Triton. Prior to the break they also defeated the Blues. They are currently on a three-game winning run inside the Fremantle Conference.
The UWA City Beach Blues sit last in the UWA Conference standings having won one of their six matches. That victory came against the Rangers in Round 2.
Meanwhile, in the two rounds of Cross Conference matches, the Melville Marlins have won one game and lost one. Applecross and North Coast have both won their only matches while Dolphins lost theirs.
Triton has lost twice in Cross Conference battles with Rangers winning twice and the UWA City Beach Blues once.
Erin Redbond of the Melville Marlins is the Women’s Premier League leading goal scorer from the opening 10 rounds. She has scored 32 goals to be ahead of teammate Chloe Nella who has scored 24.
Gemma Hadley of the North Coast Phoenix has 21 goals to be ahead of Sarah Leavy from Applecross with 18.
Sofia Chaves (Applecross) has scored 17 goals, Lara Zimmerman (Applecross) 15, Madi Rigo (Rangers) 14, Claire Pierce (Phoenix) 13, Luci Marsh (Marlins) 13, Alyssa Diacono (Rangers) 13, Kate Abbey-Wardale (Applecross) 13, Kelly Parks (Applecross) 12, Tayla Walsh (Rangers) 11, Claire Rechichi (Phoenix) 10 and Michelle Martinelli (Rangers) 10.