London Otter ’01s claimed the girls’ title after a thrilling day of action at the ASA National Age Group Water Polo Championships (U15) at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
London Otter ’01s, making their debut in this event, opened their 2015 campaign with some impressive performances in the group stages. An immediate display of strength saw the team from London take a commanding 21-1 victory over last year’s champions, City of Manchester.
Next ,London Otter ’01s faced the remaining teams in Group A: Cheltenham (23-2), Rotherham Metro (7-2), and Tyldesley (13-2), posting emphatic wins in all three to finish top of the Group A standings.
Meanwhile in Group B, an equally dominant City of Liverpool charged their way through the group stages, beating Newton Abbot (8-4), Welsh Wanderers (8-5) and Otters ’02s (9-1).
The semi-final action saw London Otter ’01s take on Welsh Wanderers, while City of Liverpool and Rotherham Metro battled it out in an attempt to secure their place in the final.
A string of goals in quick succession from London Otter ’01s saw them head into the break with a four-goal lead over the Welsh side. With confidence remaining high, the Londoners extended their lead over the second half to take a 12-5 win.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, bronze medallists in 2014, looked in control throughout their match securing their spot in the final with a 10-2 win over Rotherham.
Emily Pyper, who represented England U17 earlier this year, gave City of Liverpool an advantage, scoring two quick-fire goals in the first three minutes of the final.
London Otter ’01s responded quickly, equalising in less than a minute before scoring a further two goals to set the scores at 4-2 heading into the break.
Despite strong attacks from City of Liverpool in the second half of the match, London Otter ’01s were able to hold their nerve sealing their U15 Girls Water Polo Championships 2015 title with a final goal in the last 10 seconds from Drew Goold to seal a 7-3 (4-2, 3-1) victory.
“I am delighted. I couldn’t be happier for the team,” said Lily Turner, London Otter 01s team captain and Most Valuable Player of the tournament. “This is the first time we have competed here so it feels great to leave as national champions.
”Our older age group won the Under 17 championships earlier this year and I think that really spurred us on as team.”
There was tough battle for bronze between Rotherham and the Welsh Wanderers. With the score equal heading into the half-time, it was the Welsh Wanderers who found the back of the net in the second half to take bronze with a 7-6 victory.
U15 Girls Water Polo Championships 2015 MVPs:
- City of Manchester – Thea Simpson
- Roterham – Alex Robinson
- Tyldesley – Kelsy Evans
- Cheltenham – Amy Berry
- Otter 01s – Katy Cutler
- City of Liverpool – Emily Pyper
- Newton Abbott – Florence Moore
- Welsh Wanderers – Nia Sanders
- Otter ’02s – Anashe Chisadza
- Highest Goal Scorer – Nia Sanders (Welsh Wanderers)
- Goal Keeper – Barbola Toth (Otter ’01s)
- Overall Most Valuable Player – Lily Turner (Otter ’01s)