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It’s been a busy month for our clubs, read all about it here! -

Welcome to our June News in which we aim to highlight activity in clubs in England.  We are always on the look out for news so if there is something going on in your club please don’t be shy or modest – let us know!    Water polo is a fantastic sport and we have a great community.  This is an opportunity to showcase what is going on at club level.

May has been another busy month.  In particular we have seen the Swim England National Age Group Championships at Liverpool Aquatics Centre for male and female under 17s and under 19s.  All of the finalists faced daunting qualification and did exceptionally well to get to the finals.  In the Men’s under 17 championship, Worthing qualified top of Group A with an impressive performance with just a draw against Cheltenham preventing them from a perfect preliminary phase.  Cheltenham also had a very strong performance in the preliminary matches finishing runners up to Worthing.   City of Manchester had a superb qualifying campaign winning all 5 of their group matches to take the top slot in Group B, while Watford qualified as the second team in Group B winning 4 out of their 5 qualification matches.

The quality of play in the finals was impressive.  In the end, Worthing defeated City of Manchester in a close final match (8-6) to become the Under 17 Champions.  Tumay Evcimen scored 4 goals and was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and teammate Felix Monaghan was the top goalkeeper.

Robert Bentham from City of Manchester was named as the joint top scorer alongside Cheltenham’s Toby Chilcott

Worthing – NAG Under 17 Champions

City Of Manchester – NAG under 17s silver medallists

In the Bronze medal match Cheltenham beat Watford into 4th place.

Cheltenham – Bronze

In the NAG Under 17’s women’s competition, City of Manchester topped Group A after an impressive qualification with 4 wins from 4 matches and a goal difference of 25.  The current champions, City of Sheffield took the second place in Group A.  Cheltenham topped Group B after winning all their qualification matches with City of Liverpool taking the second slot.   The stage was set for an exciting final.

After some exceptional water polo, City of Manchester came from behind to win the gold match to be crowned NAG Champions.  Lucy Blenkinship of City of Manchester earned the Most Valuable Player award and teammate Tilly Armer was named top goalkeeper.

City of Manchester – NAG Under 17 Champions

Cheltenham won silver with player Amelie Perkins claiming the award for top goal scorer in the competition.

Cheltenham – silver medallists in the NAG Under 17 competition

The bronze medal match was won by City of Sheffield who beat City of Liverpool 16-11.

City of Sheffield – NAG Bronze medallists

The NAG under 19s competitions took place at the same venue over the same weekend at the Under 17s competition which meant the venue was busy and the atmosphere was fantastic.

In the Men’s competition Cheltenham were dominant in qualification in Group B and took top slot with 2 convincing wins from 2.   Bridgefield topped Group C winning 3 out of 4 of their qualifying matches and conceding just 11 goals.  Caledonia qualified by coming second in Group C after also winning 3 out of 4 matches but missed out to Bridgefield on goal difference.   West London Penguin took their place in the competition with a team that was almost unchanged from the side that won the U17 title in 2019.

Cheltenham won the gold match beating Bridgefield into silver position with an impressive 12-6 victory.  Cheltenham’s goalkeeper, Zach Downer, won goalkeeper of the tournament after some exceptional saves and teammate Will Thompson was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Cheltenham NAG Under 19s Champions

Bridgefield NAG Under 19s Silver medallists

West London Penguin won the bronze medal game with a 10-8 victory over Caledonia.

West London Penguin NAG Under 19s Bronze medallists.

In the NAG Under 19 Women’s competition, the finalists were City of Sheffield who qualified comfortably after winning 3 matches and drawing 1.   They missed out on the top spot in Group A on goal difference to City of Manchester.  Otter topped Group B after winning all their qualification matches scoring 59 goals across 5 games.  The runners up in Group B were Cheltenham who secured their place on goal difference after finishing level on points with Watford.

The semi finals were hard fought with City of Sheffield and defending Champions, Otter, finishing their match 11-11 and going into penalties.  The Sheffield club held its nerve to win 4-1 on penalties and get through to the final.   City of Manchester also qualified for the final after an impressive 14-8 win over Cheltenham.

The final match was a close affair.  In the end City of Manchester stepped up and won the game 10-8.  Harriet Dickens was exceptional and well deserved the Most Valuable Player award.  She was also the tournament’s top goal scorer.

City of Manchester NAG Under 19 Champions

City of Sheffield should be proud of their performance and well deserved their silver medals, while the Bronze match was another close game with Otter winning 13-12 against Cheltenham.

Otter NAG Under 19 bronze medallists

Very well done to all of the players who made the NAG finals and thank you for showing us some exceptional water polo.  The future is looking bright.  City of Manchester came away with 2 gold medals and 1 silver.

Special recognition should also go to Izzy Howe who coached both City of Manchester women’s teams to gold and also helped coach the U17 men.     Cheltenham won a gold, silver and bronze medal and City of Sheffield won silver and bronze.

21st May saw the Kent Water Polo festival for Under 16s, Under 14s and Under 12s.  Congratulations to all who competed at this fun event especially the winners; Under 16 – Beckenham, Under 14 –  Beckenham and Under 12 – Sevenoaks.

Sevenoaks U12 team

The 21st May also saw the annual Under 14 and Under 12 Cheltenham tournament at the iconic Sandford Lido where the home side played host to Kingston Royals, Exeter, Watford, Bristol and Andover.   In the Under 12s competition Watford and Exeter both finished undefeated with Exeter taking top spot on goal difference.

Watford at Sandford Lido

Congratulations to West London Penguin who are the Under 15 winners of the London Water Polo Winter League after winning all of their matches.  What a result!

West London Penguin U15 Champions

On 14/15 May we were treated to some excellent water polo at the Champions League in Coventry.  The women’s event went down to the wire with Liverpool Lizards defeating City of Manchester 11-10 in the final.  Otter claimed 3rd place after defeating Coventry 18-11.

Champions League finalists City of Manchester and Liverpool

In the Men’s event City of Manchester had an emphatic 13-6 win against Cheltenham to take the top spot.  Solihull finished 3rd after defeating Lancaster 12-10.  A great event in a fantastic new venue.

Champions League finalists City of Manchester and Cheltenham

Castleford held their awards evening this month.  Congratulations to Shaun Greatorex who won Players’ Player of the Year and Fan’s Player of the Year

Shaun Greatorex. winner!

It must be summer – South London Water Polo have started training outside on Tuesdays from 7.14pm – 9.00 pm at Brockwell Lido from 24 May and Thursdays at Tooting Bec Lido from 7.45 pm to 9.00 pm from 9 June.  Do go and join them if you can!

Now you know it’s summer, South London Water Polo at large!

And finally, are you a serving police officer or staff? Did you know that the police come together every year to play water polo? Interested in playing? Contact Zak at 4426.lancs@gmail.com and he will put you in contact with your force lead.   Do let us know how you get on!

That’s it for this month.  If you have any news you would like us to showcase please contact us at ah@waterpoloengland.org

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