City of Manchester retain U19 girls water polo national titleApril 30, 2023
City of Manchester retained their U19 girls title at the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships 2023.
They defeated Cheltenham 16-10 as they got revenge for their U17 girls’ defeat earlier on in the day.
It was another expert Manchester performance as they got into an early lead and managed the game throughout the second half to ensure their victory.
Their win was in part down to the excellent Harriet Dickens, who scored 11 goals in the two matches, including five in the final.
All of her strikes in the final came in the first two quarters alone as Manchester sailed into a 9-4 lead at the half-way point.
The Manchester team then professionally saw out the contest to repeat their feat from 2022 and become champions once again.
Harriet’s performances earnt her both the MVP and top scorer awards for the U19 girls competition.
‘They deserve every single moment of that victory’
The teams head coach, Izzy Howe, was proud of her side, saying that they executed their game plan ‘perfectly’.
She said: “The girls played amazingly. They really executed the game plan to perfection.
“I felt we were in control throughout and every single player really went out there and did what we asked them to do which ultimately showed by the score line.
“I think us and Cheltenham have a habit of playing in finals against each other and for a lot of our girls that was their last Championships so we really wanted to finish on a high.
“So to come away with the win is very satisfying.
“The reason we won is because these girls are in the pool with each other week in and week out, working hard on tactics so they know one another inside out.
“And I think that showed in our performance, they’ve worked so hard and they deserve every single moment of that victory. They really do.”
Also on the scoresheet for Manchester was Lucy Blenkinship – who scored five of her own – Evie Brown, Charlotte Pritchard, Abigail Colson, Amelia Brooksbank, Izzy Robb and Amelia Crompton.
Cheltenham battled hard and played some excellent polo despite their defeat.
Amelie Perkins netted a hat trick to add to her weekend goal tally where she was also named the U17 girls top scorer.
Abigail Shields and Michela Totolici scored two with Mara Totolici, Freya Webster and Adriana Rodriguez also getting amongst the goals.
Fast-starting Liverpool earns them bronze
A fast start helped City of Liverpool defeat Otter for the U19 girls bronze medal.
Liverpool scored four to their opponents one in the opening period to set them up for an impressive victory.
Two goals from Hannah Pyper and one each from Lily Ireland and Amélie Cornell sent them on their way to the win.
Otter attempted to get back into the contest, especially in the third quarter where they scored half of their eight goals.
It was Liverpool however who head home with bronze medal round their necks after coming away 12-8 victors.
Pyper added to her two early goals to grab her hat trick in the third quarter with Cornell scoring an incredible six times throughout the contest.
Ireland added another towards the end of the match with Bella Ibbs also netting for the Merseyside club.
The goal scorers for Otter were Pippa Danielson (3), Mimi Anderson (2), Juliet Lyons, Lilly Evans and Audrey Tala.
You can keep up with all the action from the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships (U17/U19) here.
Photos: Will Johnston Photography.