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City of Manchester retain British Water Polo title

24th February 2013

City of Manchester took the title in the British Gas Water Polo Championships after a decisive win over Liverpool.

Liverpool took an early lead after Rachel Drabble won the swim off but Manchester were quick to respond with a goal of their own from Lucy Aspinall. Advantage from a Drabble backhander was neutralised by an Ella Chadderton penalty and at the end of the quarter it was two-all.

We're a strong team and we work hard together.

Manchester took the lead for the first time in the second quarter. There was very little between the teams until Kathryn Fowler equalised for Liverpool before they took the lead after Hesketh was on target as the half time buzzer sounded.

Chadderton got the teams back level with two goals in succession for Manchester. Siobhan Hoy added a sixth as Liverpool were kept out of goal scoring opportunities by a determined Manchester defence.  At the end of the third quarter Manchester were 6-4 up and had the momentum as they looked to defend their title.

Liverpool couldn’t find an answer in the fourth as Manchester further extended their lead to 9 -4 without response. A goal in the final seconds of the game was little consolation for Liverpool as Manchester scored back with just one second on the clock.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to win,” said Victoria Hawkins, Captain of the Manchester side. “We played a controlled game and I knew we could win.

“We’re a strong squad and we work hard together. It’s good to show we’re still the dominant team and retain the title.”

In the third and fourth place playoff match Otter comfortably took the victory against Coventry.

Two goals up after the first quarter, Otter went into the second with a 4-2 lead but pulled away to extend their lead to 9-3 at half time. The Otter centre forward combination of Fran Leighton and Peggy Ettebet was too dominant for the Coventry defence and at the end of the third the London side pulled eight goals clear to lead 12-4.

Coventry launched a final quarter comeback scoring three unanswered goals but Otter were not to be denied and finally took the win 17-7.

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