There were some upsets and surprises during the U17 Water Polo semis at the Manchester Aquatics Centre today.
The defending champions were knocked out in the girls’ competition, and in the boys’, last year’s reigning champions looked as if they would be putting up quite the fight to retain their title.
Girls’ U17 Water Polo semis
City of Manchester powered their way into the National Age Group U17 Girls’ Water Polo finals, after a strong performance in their semi-final game against Rotherham in front of a home crowd.
Rotherham Water Polo were underdogs coming into this competition, but throughout the prelims and the qualifiers they played to win. In the prelims they knocked out three-time champions City of Liverpool, but they were no match for the Manchester side on the day. The Manchester side defeated them 11-7 to make one step closer to the title.
Exeter had a tense game, which came down to sudden death in a neck and neck bout with defending champions, London Otter. The Exeter side managed to overcome Otter, finishing with a final score of 17-16, and secured their place in tomorrow’s finals.
Boys’ U17 Water Polo semis
The Boys’ U17 Water Polo semi-finals was comprised of two pretty evenly matched pairs, although it wasn’t quite as obvious on the day.
Sedgefield have been playing some incredible polo in the last couple of years, taking the U17 title last year and then qualifying for the semi-finals without dropping a game. They beat last year’s plate trophy winners, Caledonia, 12-10 to tie down a finals place.
City of Sheffield won a great victory over City of Manchester in their semi-final, storming ahead to claim the win with a score of 15 – 9. This is the second consecutive year that Manchester have been unable to recover the title they lost in the 2014 championships.