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Liverpool crowned British Water Polo champions

23 February 2014

Liverpool Lizards beat London Otter 15 - 12 to become British Gas Women’s Water Polo Champions 2014.

Held at Manchester Aquatic Centre, this was the first time either team had featured in a British Champs final and both had to battle tough semi-final matches to make it through.

"It's brilliant for the club to finally win the British Champs" - Liverpool captain Fiona McCann In a close match that saw both sides attack and defend well, Liverpool’s strong start proved decisive in their eventual victory over Super 5s Champions Otter (5-1, 3-4, 3-3, 4-4).

Liverpool and GBR International Rachel Drabble opened the scoring and took advantage of a man-up to score her second of the quarter. Otter’s Sarah Benett replied but two goals from Liverpool’s Lauren Tasker and one from Captain Fiona McCann meant they finished the quarter four goals ahead.

Good build up play and movement in the pit gave Otter the edge in the second quarter with a 4-3 win. But a goal and penalty conversion from GBR International Katie Hesketh gave the Lizards a lead of three at the end of the first half.

Otter came out fighting in the second half with four goals from Captain Lexi Higlett and some important saves from Goalkeeper Tracey Allen. The two teams were tied during the last two periods but Liverpool’s first quarter lead proved too great for the London club to come back from and the match finished 15 – 12.

Talking after their first British Gas Water Polo Championship win, McCann said: “Otter are a really tough opposition and they always work you really hard right to the end of the game.

“We’ve really come together as a team this season, especially in the last couple of months, and that’s what clinched it for us today.

“I’ve got at least five silver medals at home from this tournament so it’s brilliant for the club to finally win it, and amazing for the younger players coming through.”

In the third place match Coventry Ladies played City of Manchester. Both teams were well matched but Coventry eventually took the lead scoring twice in the first quarter (2-0). Manchester replied by taking advantage of a man-up to bring the score back to 3-2 going into half time.

Manchester started the second half strongly converting a penalty early in the third quarter. A hat-trick from Siobhan Hoy and three goals within the final minute meant they finished the period 10-5 up. Coventry fought back in the final quarter with two goals each from Elizabeth Palmer and Danielle Elliot and one from Sophie Linney. But Hoy secured Manchester’s 13-10 victory (2-0, 1-2, 2-8, 5-3) with a goal 15 seconds from time.

For all the match information including goalscorers click here

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