Clean sweep for City of Manchester water polo teams
27 October 2013
Double gold for Manchester at the British Gas ASA National Age Group Water Polo Champs
City of Manchester Boys also had a strong start to the competition, winning both their opening matches against Cheltenham (13-1) and City of Sheffield (9-1).
The Manchester Boys continued their good form against Leeds in the Quarter Finals, tying up the game 18 – 1 and they showed no sign of fatigue as the competition went on, beating Cwm Draig A comfortably 9-3 in the Semis.
Despite tough competition Cwm Draig A held their own against Watford (6-4) and Rotherham (9 – 8) to put themselves in the running for the bronze medal. Cwm Draig A versus Rotherham was a closely contested affair, the scores were tied 8-8 in the final seconds of the game when the Cwm Draig A keeper scored the winning goal from an impressive lob along the full length of the pool.
A resilient Invicta team made light work of the heats and defended brilliantly to defeat Leeds Sharks Boys 12-0 and then Cwm Draig B Boys 18-2 to face Sedgefield in the Semi Finals. It was a close match with goals in quick succession and both teams taking turns to add to the leaderboard. The final score was 7 – 6 to Invicta, putting them in the final against Manchester. The tension of the match prompted a torrent of colourful language from the Sedgefield coach, earning him a red card.
Sedgefield faced Cwm Draig A for the bronze medal, it was a comfortable win for Sedgefield, taking the bronze 10 - 7 against the welsh team.
It was a tough battle between Invicti and Manchester in the final. The teams were equally matched throughout, staying level for most of the match. The score was 4 -4 at the half time break, with Manchester looking hesitant and challenged for perhaps the first time in the competition. Tensions were high as Invicta pulled ahead to 6 - 5 with a minute on the clock. It looked as though they had sealed the goal when a last gasp chance from Manchester levelled the scores with 1.6 seconds to go.
There was a nervous atmosphere as the team squared up for penalties, but a miss from Invicta put Manchester ahead and they seized the advantage, taking the gold with a final score of 11 - 9
In the girls competition City of Manchester progressed well through the heats, winning in impressive style against Cheltenham (17-0) Crawley (14 – 5) and Iceni (12 – 3). A solid performance from Manchester in the Semi-Finals secured their place in the final, seeing off Liverpool 7-1.
Crawley Girls had a mixed start to the event, beating Iceni with a score of 11-5 and Cheltenham 14-2, before coming up against a tough Manchester side. In the Semi Final Crawley put up a good fight but a close match saw Paignton sneak past them 8 – 7. A last minute goal from Paignton’s kept Crawley out of the final.
Liverpool and Crawley went head to head for the bronze medal. The two teams were well matched in the first half but as the game went on Liverpool showed themselves to be the stronger team, gradually growing the distance in the scores to 10 – 4 to seal the gold medal.
The girls from Manchester proved unstoppable in the final, by the halfway point they were up 7 - 0 and were out of reach to Paignton. The final score was 12 - 1. Paignton took silver and Manchester claimed gold.