Hutt Heat defended their adopted home for the weekend when they defeated visitors Sea Wolf and North Harbour Cootes Construction at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre on Saturday and Sunday.
In the midst of the second and final leg of the NZWPNL Tier Two competition, the Heat had plenty of home support from the region with the Palmy Pirates, WRAC/Maranui, and Hutt B teams all in competition over the weekend.
After a scoreless first quarter, it was a big second quarter from Hutt Heat that saw them defend their lead against North Harbour. Cameron Hayes bagged a double, supported by Sean Bryant, Adam Pye and Connor Bougen with one each in the second. Whilst the hosts scored five, North Harbour managed two through Owen Chambers and Jonny Clark.
With the home advantage, Hutt Heat pushed their lead out to five by the end of the third period, stringing together some of their best water polo this season. They survived the late charge from North Harbour, who scored three in the final period (MacKenzie, Chambers, Sunde), for a final score of 7-5.
On Sunday, the Heat took on Sea Wolf who were off the back of two heavy losses to North Harbour. By the end of the first quarter, their valiant win over the Waitakere Blue Devils last week seemed likely to be the highlight of their season: they trailed 4-1, which later became 6-1 early in the second period.
However, Sea Wolf again showed glimpses of promise and put together three goals (Tuiasau 2, Smith), as they did early on in their match against the Blue Devils. That made it 6-4, but Matt Bryant put the buffer back to three with a bomb from range.
The final quarter marked two occasions: when Sea Wolf trailed by the most they had in the match (six at 6:14), and the closest the game had been since the second quarter (12-10 at 1:59).
In the final two minutes, the stage was set for another miracle win for Sea Wolf, but Hutt Heat were wise on both ends of the pool to not blow their lead any further and the score stuck.