The draws for the Preliminary rounds of the 2015 ASA National Age Group Championships have been made with a number of intriguing clashes emerging.
In the boys U19 competition, last year’s winners Solihull and runners-up City of Manchester will take on Watford, City of Leeds and City of Manchester’s B team with the top four progressing.
Lancaster and Cheltenham, who have both won the title eight times, will face Birmingham, Exeter, Carmarthen and last year’s U17 champions Croydon in the other group.
One of City of Manchester, Otter and Caledonia will have to settle for a place in the Plate final in the girls U19s age group after the three were drawn in Group B of the Preliminaries with only two teams progressing to the Qualifiers.
Defending champions Liverpool will take on Cheltenham, Leeds and Crawley in the other group with three going into the Qualifiers and the fourth team into the Plate.
Otter face tricky prelim in Girls’ U17 Champs
Otter became just the fourth team to lift the U17 girls title last year and will be hoping they can progress as one of the top two out of a tricky group in their Preliminaries as they take on six-time champions City of Manchester as well as Cheltenham, Leeds and Grantham.
Three-time champions City of Liverpool look the team to beat in the second group with Bristol Central, Exeter and Caledonia all aiming to make a top-two spot and progress.
Finally, the 12 entrants in the boys U17 tournament were split into two groups of six with the top three progressing into the Qualification round.
Group A looks the ‘group of death’ with last year’s runners-up Invicta taking on 2013 champions City of Manchester, three-time winners Cheltenham, two-time winners Sedgefield, Welsh outfit Cwm Draig’s A team and Scottish side Caledonia, who lifted the U17 trophy under the guise of Dunfermline in 2008 and 2010.
Last year’s bronze medallists Watford are in Group B with Grantham, Cwm Draig B, Chelmsford, Solihull and Exeter, with the latter the only former winners of the competition in 1999 and 2000.
Head to our Draws page for full fixtures and rules for the Preliminary stages of the 2015 ASA National Age Group Water Polo Championships.