25th April 2017
Rotherham Water Polo club stole the show in the Girls U17 and Boys U19 plate tournaments at the ASA National Age Group Water Polo Championships over the weekend. Both squads remained unbeaten in their respective plate tournaments, making their way to a double victory.
The Rotherham U17 girls showed they were a force to be reckoned with after they won four out of four matches. The South Yorkshire side didn’t seem to be troubled by the competition, despite a close first match against Cheltenham. A great performance against one of their main rivals in the competition, Otter Futura, was the clincher game. They won 9-3 to make sure the trophy went home in their hands.
Rotherham girls’ team captain Amelia Peters said: “It is really great to win, we all played together well and the team has progressed together over the competition. We work really well as a team and had really strong defence. We knew today was going to be a challenge, but we also knew we had a chance.”
It was a tough competition for Rotherham in the U19 Boys plate competition. They faced some good teams, and although they won every match, there were a few dicey games which could have gone either way. Their first victory came against Cheltenham in the first match of the tournament. An early lead in the match thanks to two goals from Dan Hunt put them in good stead, but the game was fairly scrappy from then on. Rotherham took victory 4-2. Their final match against Carmarthen was all important. The Welsh side had also won two games and sat level against Rotherham. Despite a hard battle, Rotherham emerged 2017 plate winners, winning the match 4-3.
Rotherham player Josh Jennison commented: “It felt good to win the plate tournament, we weren’t expecting it. Obviously we hoped that we would, but it was still a surprise. We won all three games, I think we counter attacked well and had a strong defence. We have a good team spirit, and we all play for each other.”
Many congratulations to both teams for a fantastic result. To view the full results from all their games, please click here.
25th April 2017
Sedgefield won the U19 Boys National Water Polo title after a dramatic penalty shootout against defending champions Exeter.
Both teams were in great form during the final match of the championships, and the scores were level for most of the match.
A goal from Arthur Davis gave Exeter the lead during the closing stages of the game, and at one minute to go they looked a safe bet for the win.
However, just 57 seconds before the end of the match, a cracking shot from Michael Cousins put Sedgefield back in the game. At full time the scores were level, 8-8.
During the penalty shootout, misses by Tom Hutchens and Jack Cutting saw the Exeter side knocked out as Sedgefield drove every goal home.
Sedgefield team captain John Pratt commented on the team’s performance: “It feels amazing. We won the under 17s last year, so we’re ecstatic. To win a final on penalty shootouts is nerve-wracking.
“My heart was in my mouth and I just couldn’t watch, but it is great to win on penalties – it makes it more exciting.
“We were expecting to make it to the final, but we knew it was going to be hard. We worked well as a team and we were 7-4 down going into the final quarter, and to come back and win shows great character from the whole team.”
24th April 2017
City of Sheffield won the Boys’ National Age Group U17 title for only the second time in their history with victory over City of Manchester in the 2017 final.
The South Yorkshire side were unbeaten as they entered the last match of the tournament, and were determined to right their loss against Sedgefield in the final 12 months ago. They faced City of Manchester, who had also made it to the final without a defeat.
The first goal came at the hands of team captain, Ben Stephenson, after just 30 seconds played. Stephenson, who was awarded MVP for the U17 tournament, instilled confidence in his team with the early lead.
Despite finishing the first quarter with just a point between them, Sheffield started to pull away in the second quarter.
The Manchester side put up a good fight, but Sheffield keeper George Jackson seemed to read almost every shot fired in his direction.
Sheffield eventually took victory, winning the gold medal with a score of 15-8 to lift the title for the first time since 2005.
Stephenson commented on his team’s performance: “It’s a really great experience. After losing out to Sedgefield last year, it’s just overwhelming really. I think we had the edge because of how we are as a team. We’ve really bonded throughout the tournament, looked at our mistakes and then improving on these constantly.
“It’s a great feeling [to be awarded MVP] knowing that I helped the team to victory, but also that the team around me helped me to develop as a player. I think this has shown in the pool with the team doing so well”.
13th February 2017
Report by John Stephenson, North East Water Polo Manager
Over the weekend, a team of U18 North East boys travelled to Watford to complete in the ASA U18 Inter–Regional Water Polo Championships. The team played exceptionally well beating the North West in the semi final match and then London in the final to be crowned champions.
Due to the distance support was given by the North East to travel down on Friday night in preparation for the tournament starting Saturday morning. The team were hoping to retain the trophy we won last year and the only way of doing this was to take each game at a time, and looking to build and get stronger as the tournament progressed.
The first game up was against the South East, the North East dominated throughout and came out on top 17-1 winners. The second game we came up against a strong and physical Irish team, however we matched them strength to strength and eventually came out 3-0 winners. The third group game we found our selves up against London Sharks seeded forth in the competition we were now in full flow and triumphed 8-2. Going into the final group game against Wales we knew a win would leave us topping our group the lads showed their talent and water polo skills by coming out 15 – 2 victors.
Going into Sunday we were up against the North West in the Semi final (seeded 3) where we dominated throughout and over came them to win 6 – 3. This set us up in the final against London Sharks who beat South West in the other semi final.
We headed into the final knowing that all the practice and training these lads have put in all year came down to one match. From the start it was clear the London Sharks had one tactic in mind which was to be very aggressive in their play however the North East remained disciplined through out and were crowned champions again running out 16 – 9 winners.
For many of these players it is the last inter regional competition they can play in due to their age and what a way to go out by retaining the trophy they won last year. I have to say that Richard Cousins (Head Coach) got every game tactically spot on, and I also have to say what a fantastic group of lads they are who are totally committed to Water Polo and are a credit to all their coaches and clubs.
Competition Top Scorer – Dan Hunt, North East MVP (joint award) Kris Egginton and Dan Hunt
The team for the championships were:
Richard Murray - Sedgefield WPC
Connor Carpenter - City of Sheffield WPC
Kris Egginton - Sedgefield WPC
Michael Cousins - Sedgefield WPC
Ben Stephenson - Sedgefield WPC
Jacob Skelton - Rotherham Metro WPC
Matt Bottomley - Halifax WPC
Dev Sacmacioglu - City of Sheffield WPC
Sam Swainson - Rotherham Metro WPC
Connor Keeble - Sedgefield WPC
Oscar Kelly - City of Sheffield WPC
Dan Hunt - Rotherham Metro WPC
Will Mardlin - City of Sheffield WPC.
Head Coach – Richard Cousins
Ass Coach – Kevin Swainson
Team Manager – John Stephenson
Many congratulations to all players and team staff on the result.
23rd January 2017
In an exciting announcement today by the governing body for European Aquatic Sport (LEN), Manchester has been awarded host city status for the European U17 men’s water polo Championship qualification tournament, which will take place over three days from May 11-14th.
Following months of preparation by Manchester City Council, British Swimming and the ASA’s England Water Polo led by Chairman Ian Elliot, it has been decided that the qualifying event will be hosted at the East Manchester Leisure Centre, a purpose-built international water polo facility complete with outstanding spectator facilities and transport links, located in East Manchester.
Great Britain has been drawn in Group C and will face Romania, Ukraine, Israel and Lithuania. Although the GB team that will compete in Manchester in May has yet to be selected, the squad drawn from all the home nations has been training hard with the ultimate goals of representing their country, and becoming the first junior GB men to qualify for the European Water Polo Championships in over 10 years.
Ian Elliot England Water Polo’s Chairman is delighted to secure GB hosting in Manchester. He said “This group of athletes is highly talented and dedicated to achieving their sporting goal of representing Great Britain at the European Championships in September. The support of Manchester City Council, and the big benefit of having home advantage in the qualifying tournament now makes this a realistic prospect, and I for one am very excited!”
Before the Manchester event takes place, the athletes will be representing England, Scotland and Wales, competing in April in the EU Nations Water Polo Cup event in the Czech Republic and will be supported in the training build-up in Manchester by the City of Manchester Water Polo Club, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Meanwhile, the GB U17 women are one of the 17 teams entered in the 2017 women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships. All are directly qualified to the Championship proper to be played in Novi Sad (SRB) on 19 – 27 August 2017.
Further information about the Manchester event, including game schedule and ticketing information, will be posted on the England Water Polo website, as soon as it is available.