Perfect Ireland seal promotion at Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships10/07/2019
Ireland produced a flawless tournament to win the U16 Girls Division Two title at the Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships.
The Irish began their campaign at Walsall Gala Baths with a statement, beating a strong East Midlands team 10-3.
They never looked back from there, beating North West Lightning 17-3, Scotland Saltires 18-0 and West Midlands 15-3.
That had all but guaranteed Ireland would win the title, but they finished emphatically with a 13-3 win over East Angels to celebrate their promotion to Division One for the U18 Girls Inter-Regional Championships in 2021.
As with the U16 Boys’ championships a week earlier, the competition was played under the new FINA water polo rules for 2019-2021.
Head coach Goran Sablic said: “Prior to the tournament, the Irish girls had attended a seminar in Dublin on the new FINA rules.
“They were nervous going into the competition, as they were worried about giving away penalties or major fouls.
“The technical meeting before the tournament began was a useful refresher for the coaching team and referees.
“We wanted to try a few new drills using the new rules in the competition. We played the goalie as a seventh outfield player and the goalkeeper was able to take a penalty.
“It was good to get all the players on the scoresheet.
“The new rules sped up the play, enabling us to score 10-18 goals in every match, over just two periods of play.”
East Midlands revival
After that crushing opening loss to Ireland, East Midlands went through the rest of the competition unbeaten.
They conceded just five goals en route to winning their five remaining games, scoring 51 goals in total throughout the weekend to finish second.
North West Lightning took home third place, winning three and drawing one of their six matches.
Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships Division Two
Fixtures & Results
|West Midlands||7 – 7||North West Lightning||FT|
|East Angels||7 – 7||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|Ireland||10 – 3||East Midlands||FT|
|North West Lightning||15 – 4||South East Solent||FT|
|East Midlands||9 – 1||East Angels||FT|
|Scotland Saltires||5 – 8||West Midlands||FT|
|Ireland||17 – 3||North West Lightning||FT|
|East Angels||14 – 5||South East Solent||FT|
|East Midlands||10 – 1||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|East Angels||8 – 13||North West Lightning||FT|
|Ireland||18 – 0||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|West Midlands||10 – 4||South East Solent||FT|
|Ireland||15 – 3||West Midlands||FT|
|East Midlands||11 – 0||South East Solent||FT|
|Scotland Saltires||6 – 7||North West Lightning||FT|
|West Midlands||2 – 6||East Angels||FT|
|South East Solent||3 – 15||Ireland||FT|
|North West Lightning||3 – 10||East Midlands||FT|
|East Angels||3 – 13||Ireland||FT|
|South East Solent||7 – 8||Scotland Saltires||FT|
|West Midlands||2 – 8||East Midlands||FT|
|North West Lightning||6||3||1||2||-4||7|
|South East Solent||6||0||0||6||-50||0|