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© Szolnoki Dózsa-Közgép

Szolnok firmly takes control in group A

The entire Hungarian water polo community looked anxiously at the weekend of Round 7 as joint group A leaders Eger and Szolnok were going head to head for the number 1 spot. Both teams had collected the maximum points of the first 6 games and were looking as strong as ever. The home crowd of Szolnok was very much up for this game and the pool was sold out entirely. The rest of the fans across the country were looking along on the television or live stream on the internet.

Szolnok and Eger each started in their strongest line up leaving nothing to chance.
Both defences were at the top of their game right from the beginning and the players struggled to find space in the offensive half. Szolnok was first to find a gap after 4 minutes of goal-less play. Dénes Varga found himself unmarked and immediately punished Eger for their defensive error.
The goal did not change much though as neither team found the net again for the remainder of the period.

In the next period the teams started to take a little more risk while searching for a goal. The home side saw Aaron Younger double their lead and then even take Szolnok 3 goals ahead as the Australian international cashed in on a power play less than a minute away from half-time.
On the following attack Eger was finally able to escape from the pressure and find center forward Balázs Hárai who made it 3-1 before the break.

Even after the break both teams continued to play a conservative style. After 3 minutes without a goal in the 3rd period Eger reduced the gap to 1 as Norbert Hosnyánszky exploited a rare mistake in the Szolnok defence. The traveling Eger fans just started to believe in a comeback before Gábor Kiss silenced the visitors again. His goal put the hosts on a 4-2 lead and restored the 2-goal difference.
Szolnok further strengthened their defence and Eger was visibly struggling to create anything on offence.  At the same time Szolnok looked comfortable and in control all over the field. Norbert Madaras confirmed that dominance with a striking effort that slammed in the bottom corner to make it 5-2 with the final period remaining.

Straight from the sprint Szolnok made it 6-2 from a power play and killed the game. Eger simply did not possess the quality to pose any threat to Szolnok’s defence as they completely isolated Eger’s number 1 danger man Hárai and the visitor’s long range shooters Cuk, Hosnyánszky, and Szivós continuously found Szolnok goalkeeper Viktor Nagy on their way.
As the teams got more tired more goals followed but the end result was never in doubt.
Finally the score settled at 9-4 to Szolnok as the reigning Champions claimed the top spot in group A and made a firm statement towards all other challengers that they are not handing out any gifts this season.

In the shadow of the clash between Szolnok and Eger, Group B had another big match on the schedule for Round 7. OSC, Honvéd, and FTC all picked up 5 wins and suffered 1 loss so far and this weekend OSC and FTC would square off to see who stays up top and who falls behind.

Visitors FTC boldly took the lead in a goal filled first period. Goals by Aidan Roach, Balázs Nyéki, and Gergely Katonás gave them a 2-3 lead and put the home side under big pressure early in the game.
This is exactly where OSC has been improving compared to last season. While facing a difficult situation they manage to keep their cool and work their way back into the game. Consecutive goals from Bence Bátori and Ádám Nagy restored order for the home team as they took over control in the 2nd period and were leading 6-4 at half time. FTC certainly did not give up yet though and fought back to a 7-6 score with only the 4th period remaining. Each team picked up a goal to make it 8-7 with still more than 5 minutes on the clock. The home crowd held their breath as the time passed by and neither team was able to find the goal again. With this victory OSC maintain their joint top position together with Honvéd who got an easy win over KSI.

With these results it seems the cards are starting to get shuffled and Szolnok is clearly having the strongest hand. How Szolnok and Eger compare to OSC, Honvéd, and FTC though will be difficult to determine before the competition split later on, unless these teams meet in the Hungarian Cup.

Round 7 results

Group A


Home

Visitors

Final Score

 

Szolnok

Eger

9-4

 

Tatabánya

BVSC

6-10

 

Miskolc

Szeged

7-12

 

Szentes

Kaposvár

Nov.9

 

Team

Win

Draw

Loss

Points

Goal difference

Szolnok

7

0

1

21

+66

Eger

6

0

1

18

+49

Szeged

4

0

3

12

+6

BVSC

3

1

3

10

-4

Miskolc

2

1

4

7

-18

Szentes

1

1

4

4

-31

Kaposvár

1

1

4

4

-31

Tatabánya

1

0

6

3

-36


Group B

Home

Visitors

Final Score

 

Honvéd

KSI

12-2

 

PVSK

Debrecen

4-10

 

UVSE

Vasas

11-14

 

OSC

FTC

8-7

 

Team

Win

Draw

Loss

Points

Goal difference

OSC

6

0

1

18

+39

Honvéd

6

0

1

18

+20

FTC

5

0

2

15

+25

Vasas

4

0

3

12

-9

Debrecen

4

0

3

12

+12

UVSE

2

0

5

6

-13

PVSK

1

0

6

3

-17

KSI

0

0

7

0

-57


Top goal scorers

Name Player

Club

Games Played

Goals/Shots

Shot percentage

Bence Bátori

OSC

7

20/37

54%

Dénes Varga

Szolnok

7

20/38

53%

Ivan Basara

PVSK

7

18/45

40%

Máté Bóbis

Vasas

7

17/38

45%

Mátyás Pásztor

BVSC

7

15/41

37%

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