The unfortunate hot-shot was none other than GB 2012 Olympic star Rob Parker, whose heroics on behalf of Cheltenham Spartans couldn’t prevent his team losing 17-16 to City of Birmingham in men’s Division 3 at Manchester Aquatics Centre.
For Birmingham, it was a vital result, raising them into the top five in the table, which is the qualification target for teams moving to Championship 2 in the second half of the season. Birmingham held an early lead but found themselves trailing 12-9 to Parker-power Spartans midway through the third period.
Birmingham battled their way back to 13-13, then into a 17-15 lead – which was just enough to make the difference in the end. Birmingham’s chief marksmen were Nathan Wilkes (6), Drazen Videc (5) and Ben Cartwright (4).
Castleford also improved their hopes of a top five slot as Matt Lawtey netted four in a 7-5 defeat of Manchester Hawks. The division’s leading scorer, Penguin’s Giampaolo de Rosa, collected six more in an 18-12 victory over Croydon; then Otter made it six wins from six by defeating Southampton 13-9.
Photo (Trevor Hyde): Drazen Videc.