Champions Otter trailed for much of their key Women's Division One clash with ex-champions City of Manchester at Watford today (21 September) but clawed their way back in the last quarter to claim a 6-6 draw.
It was great to see Gordon Dacre back in action coaching Liverpool Lizards after recovering from serious illness.
The refereeing line-up for the weekend include Danish FINA official Martin Kristensen.
After drawing 11-11 on day one, Mid Sussex Marlins and Tyldesley enjoyed comfortable wins at Newport International Sports Village. The Marlins beat Hucknall 11-6, while Tyldesley overcame Welsh Wanderers 12 - 5, including six goals by Grace Morley.
Liverpool Lizards opened the Women's Division One season with an emphatic 19-2 victory over Leeds Sharks at Watford Leisure Centre today (20 September). City of Manchester beat Sheffield Sharks 12-8, while Lex Higlett scored six goals for Otter in each of their two matches - a 12-7 victory over Otter Lutra and 17-2 against Caledonia.
Caledonia suffered a second heavy defeat - 14-6 against Coventry, for whom Fran Clayton netted five.
In Division Two at Newport International Sports Village, Mid Sussex Marlins and Tyldesley shared an exciting 11-11 draw. Tyldesley led for much of the match and held a 10-7 advantage at the start of the last period. But Marlins then fought back, levelling at 11-11 with less than two minutes remaining.
BWPL is operating this season under the same rules as in the 2013/14 campaign. Therefore, with the exception of the Super 5s, the following applies:
Two times-outs per team per game, available at any time; no five-minute interval at half-time; no requirement for teams to include two goalkeepers and rely on 11 "out" players; seven minute quarters for women's matches.
The Super 5s remain as they were last season - availability of one time-out per quarter per team; five-minute interval; 11 field players and two specialist goalkeepers as in FINA Rule 5.1; eight minute quarters in women's matches.
There is now no requirement in BWPL for a team that has a player receiving an automatic sanction to begin its next match a player short.
Veteran ex-international Dave Edwards, edging towards completion of a remarkable fourth decade of National League action, scored seven times as promoted Cheltenham Spartans picked up their second Division Four victory of the opening BWPL weekend at Ponds Forge (14 September).
Their victims were City of Cambridge, who were well in contention at 8-8 after two periods but were then outplayed and eventually lost 20-15. Hamish Crighton also bagged seven for Cambridge. On day one, Cheltenham beat Grantham 9-3.
In men's Division Five, Ealing had little difficulty claiming a second win - 20-11 against Sheffield Dolphins. Invicta Marlins defeated 2nd City Birmingham 9-6.
Iceni are still battling with plenty of spirit in women's Division Three, but still suffered two heavy defeats - 21-0 against League newcomers English Roses and 28-6 against Devonport Royal.
Worthing made it two wins from their first men's Division Three games at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, today (14 September), edging out University of Bristol 11-10.
From start to finish, there was never more than a goal between the sides and the score stood at 10-10 with three minutes remaining. Then, a minute later, Bristol had a player excluded and a goal by Hazeldine proved the winner. On day one, Worthing beat Exeter 12-10.
Carlisle have boosted their British League squad this season by recruiting two ex-Lancaster and GB stars - goalkeeper David Bush and Colin Burgess, who was one of the all-time leading goal-scorers in the former men's National League.
Former Caledonia and Scotland player Davie Stewart is another new signing. Even so, Solihull, after two consecutive promotions, proved too strong in their Division Three clash at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, winning 18-10. Powell (6), Elliot (4) and Farkas (4).
In the same division, James Hadlow notched six goals in Hucknall's 14-10 victory over South Derbyshire.
Basildon led three times against York City in Division Four but eventually went down 11-10 when Toomey claimed a York winner with 46 seconds remaining. Castleford hammered 2nd City Birmingham 23-4 in Division Five, including nine goals by Franks. Invicta Marlins finished the stronger side against Dover, winning 15-8.
Bristol won their own pre-season tournament at Hengrove Park - but only by the narrowest of margins. The home club and their BWPL rivals Invicta and Lancaster all finished with three wins from four games, but Bristol scored the most goals. Results: