Day 1 – 06.12.18
Liverpool Aquatics Centre hosted a fantastic exhibition of water polo this evening as two Northwest schools representative teams faced the strong touring Australians.
The visiting boys squad were pushed all the way in a thrilling encounter as the Northwest battled to a 12-7 defeat, while the home girls were beaten 30-3.
Congratulations to the Manchester select side who proved too strong for the touring Romanians this evening as it finished 9-5 to the hosts at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
In what proved to be a tight match, Manchester pulled away in the final stages, scoring five to Romania’s two to secure the victory.
Day 2 – 07.12.18
A big night of international schools water polo in the North West saw England take on the might of Australia at the Jason Kenny Sports Centre in Bolton, while Romania junior men played a Lancaster Select side at the East Manchester Leisure Centre in Beswick.
First up were the England girls in Bolton who faced a very strong Australian team – reflected in the final scoreline 3 – 17 (1-6, 0-3, 0-5, 2-3). At the same time in East Manchester, the Romanians found a way past Lancaster to record a 5 – 15 victory (1-2, 0-4, 3-5, 1-4).
So with 2 matches played, attention turned to the English boys’ game in Bolton against the strong favourites Australia. And what a match it was!
Australia opened the first quarter with 3 unanswered goals and it looked like the game might be up. But led by Head Coach Phil Powell the lads responded well and scored twice to narrow the margin at the end of Q1 to a one goal deficit. The steady English fight back continued with the game tied 4 a piece at the turnaround. There was nothing to separate the sides in the third quarter with both scoring 3x and so to the final quarter.
Early on in Q4 the English keeper saved a penalty and this proved to be a turning point. England scored 4 in quick succession and despite Australia pulling back 2 at the death, the final score of 11-7 and victory for England was greeted with delight by the large crowd.
Massive congratulations to the players and to the winning coach Phil Powell.
Day 3 – 08.12.18
Manchester and Bolton were treated to a third night of impressive water polo action this evening as England’s schools boys and girls were both involved in thrilling encounters.
To start proceedings in Bolton, the touring Australia girls beat Liverpool 15-10 before England’s girls put up a strong fight against Manchester.
Despite narrowly losing 8-5, the young English side played some excellent polo and pushed their opponents all the way.
Next up, Manchester got the better of the Australian boys to edge a high-quality exhibition of water polo 6-4 at East Manchester Leisure Centre.
And finally, England’s boys gained valuable experience when they took on Romania, who out-muscled the hosts on their way to a 14-5 victory.
Day 4 – 09.12.18
England’s schools girls enjoyed an entertaining 9-9 (2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 2-4) draw with Liverpool early this morning at the Jason Kenny Centre in Bolton. Liverpool looked to have won the match late on with a strong final quarter but England fought back to share the spoils.
Australia v Manchester followed with the tourists running out comfortable 16-8 (4-3, 4-1, 1-3, 7-1) winners.
The action then switched to the East Manchester Leisure Centre where England’s schools boys delivered a strong finish but narrowly lost 10-7 (3-1, 4-1, 1-1, 2-4) to a talented Manchester select side.
The thrilling encounter was a great workout for Phil Powell’s 2002s and valuable experience for the future.
Earlier in Manchester, Romania triumphed over the touring Australian boys in another exciting match-up 9-7.
Huge thanks to all the officials and volunteers for delivering such a fantastic tournament and especially to our international referees today – Stefan Licari from Malta and Australia’s Fiona McHaigh.
Day 5 – 10.12.18
Australia turned on the style in Matlock for their two matches against representative sides from the North East.
Great experience for the home sides as the tourists won both encounters, with the girls game finishing 31-5 (10-1, 8-1, 6-1, 7-2) and the Aussie boys having to fight back hard to earn a thrilling 12-11 (1-4, 6-2, 3-2, 2-3) victory.
A monumental performance from the North East boys and the crowd were on their feet throughout, especially when the hosts went 11-10 up after converting a penalty deep into the fourth quarter.
Huge thanks to all the players, volunteers and officials for the fantastic entertainment in Matlock
The squads involved were:
North East Boys
George Jackson, Sam Swainson, Ben Stephenson, Oscar Kelly, Arshia Keyghobadi, Connor Charles, Miles Robinson, Oliver Vodden, Connor Carpenter, Kris Egginton, Jacob Skelton, Dan Hunt & Dev Sacmacioglu
North East Girls
Amber Linney, Meghan Scadding, Laura Crossley, Alex Robinson, Lucy Hobman, Emily Power, Esther Mead, Grace Kaye, Maddie Harrison, Poppy Stephenson, Asia Law, Emma Jackson, Anna Motley & Emily Crossley
Day 6 – 11.12.18
Australia had mixed fortunes in the North West this evening as their Boys lost 10-8 (4-3, 1-0, 3-3, 2-2) to a Manchester select side, while the Girls won their equally entertaining match 11-9 (3-1, 2-2, 4-3, 2-3).
The thrilling clashes at the Manchester Aquatics Centre concluded Australia’s time up North as the water polo action moved south tomorrow to Gloucester to face two Cheltenham select sides.
Day 7 – 12.12.18
Australia recorded two wins against Cheltenham select sides in Gloucester with the touring Girls triumphing 16-5 (4-0, 6-3, 1-0, 5-2) and the Boys 19-10 (5-3, 5-3, 4-3, 5-1).
Day 8 – 13.12.18
Australia enjoyed back-to-back victories in the capital as the touring Girls beat an Otter select junior side 18-3 (2-0, 7-1, 4-1, 5-1) and the Boys triumphed over a London Schools select side 20-8 (6-2, 4-5, 4-1, 6-0).
In the Boys match, Sean King’s young London side battled back to 10-7 after a disappointing first quarter, but a powerful second half display from the visitors secured the win.
The Aussie Girls continued where the Boys left off and raced into a commanding 9-1 lead against Nick Buller’s junior Otters, who were missing their GB seniors who are on international duty in Portugal, before finishing the match comfortable 18-3 winners.
Day 9 – 14.12.18
Australia warmed up for Saturday’s final clashes against England Schools 2001s with back-to-back victories over two London select sides.
The touring Boys started today’s action at Whitgift School with a 24-4 (6-0, 3-0, 9-1, 6-3) win before the Girls triumphed 18-5 (5-2, 3-2, 6-1, 4-0).
Day 10 – 15.12.18
Australia Schools finished their 2018 UK water polo tour with two victories over England Schools 2001s in London.
In front of a capacity crowd at Whitgift School, the touring Girls won all four quarters as they maintained their 100% record to win 15-8 (2-1, 3-2, 5-3, 5-2).
The Australia Boys followed with an 8-3 (0-1, 3-0, 2-1, 3-1) triumph, but England defended superbly early on, with goalkeeper Thomas Manley also pulling off a string of sensational saves.
A massive thanks to the Australia squads and officials for being such great guests and we hope to meet again soon.
Also, many thanks to all the volunteers and ESSA officials for delivering such an incredible week of water polo across the country.
University water polo competitions in the UK are provided by 2 organisations...
Fourteen year-old Anna Motley from Norton, who plays locally for Sheffield Stingrays and regionally for the North East, has secured £1,000 sponsorship from Specsavers to support her journey towards Great Britain representation. Anna, who trains with the 2004 England squad, commented, ‘I’d like to say a huge thanks to Specsavers in Norton and the team for their generous sponsorship. I train every day at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, and compete almost every weekend.’