South Fremantle Bloods claim Men’s A-Grade title

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MELVILLE’S South Fremantle Bloods are the 2019 Men’s A-Grade premiers after winning Saturday’s Grand Final at Bicton Pool 13-8 over UWA Water Polo Club at Bicton Pool.

The teams for the Men’s A-Grade Grand Final were decided the previous Saturday in the Conference Finals which saw the South Fremantle Bloods defeat the Melville Sharks 14-10 while UWA booked their place in the decider by defeating Triton 15-13 in a cracking contest at HBF Stadium.

That all set the stage for the Grand Final for 2019 on Saturday at Bicton Pool and it proved a competitive outing to close the Men’s A-Grade season between teams with plenty of Australian Water Polo League representatives from Fremantle Mariners and the UWA Torpedoes.

It was UWA who started the better scoring first thanks to Lachie Emanuel, but it didn’t take long for the Bloods to answer courtesy of Cody Smith.

UWA was warming to the task, though, and led 2-1 at quarter-time following a goal to Riley Maurich.

South Fremantle tied scores up early in the second period when Smith scored but UWA went up 3-2 thanks to Fraser Davis before Will Mackay found the inside of the net for the Bloods to level things again.

The Bloods then took over the momentum from there leading into half-time with four goals to one and that saw them in a strong position leading 7-4 at the change of ends.

South Fremantle started the second half with the first three goals with the first two to Smith and then another from Jordan Kremers-Taylor.

The Bloods remained on top leading 10-5 at three quarter-time before it was three goals piece in the fourth quarter with South Fremantle going on to win 13-8 to claim the pennant for the Men’s A-Grade competition in 2019.

Cody Smith ended up scoring seven goals for the South Fremantle Bloods while Jordan Kremers-Taylor added three. Michael Brown, Will Mackay and Hyunho Baek all scored one apiece.

Meanwhile for UWA Water Polo Club, Lachie Emanuel scored three goals as did Riley Maurich while Taz Williams and Fraser Davis added one apiece.

After the Grand Final, Cody Smith was awarded the Tom Hoad Medal for his seven-goal performance.

And earlier in the day at Bicton Pool, it was the battle of the third placed teams which saw the Port Colts defeating UWA Rangers 20-14.

It was quite the entertaining high-scoring shootout which ended up with Tom Prior scoring nine goals for Port Colts with Luca Altieri adding five.

Andrew Barber scored five goals for UWA Rangers with Scott Lilleyman and Menno Tablot adding three apiece.

The Fairest and Best Player for the 2019 Men’s A-Grade season was also announced after the Grand Final on Saturday and it went to Nick Hughes of UWA Flotsam.