London crowned U16 Boys Inter-Regional water polo champions

London went undefeated to win the Division One title at the U16 Boys Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships, edging out West Midlands.

Both teams began their campaigns with back-to-back wins, as West Midlands beat North East Steelers and South West, while London narrowly beat North West Tigers before easing past South West 20-12.

After London moved clear at the top of the standings with a 20-7 win over Steelers, they had the chance to wrap up the title in their final game, against West Midlands.

A 14-14 draw kept the championship mathematically alive, taking London to seven points with a goal difference of +22.

That meant West Midlands – the 2017 champions in the 2004 age group – needed to rout Tigers in their final game to have any chance of winning the title, but a 12-7 defeat ended their challenge.

It was a slice of revenge for London, who were beaten by West Midlands in the 2017 semi-finals.

New rules raise standard

The tournament was played under the FINA water polo rules for 2019-2021, with four periods of eight minutes each, with a three-minute rest interval at half-time and a maximum of two time-outs per team.

London head coach, Aram Edipour, said: “The boys had a fantastic weekend and I was very proud of the way they executed the tactics we’d learnt in training and the way they played as a team.

“The feedback I got from spectators on the new rules was that the games were faster, with more counter attacks, more penalties, more goals and so overall it was more exciting to watch.

“We had some very tough games and the standard was high. The boys have been doing intensive conditioning work and I was pleased to see their dedication paid off in the faster games.

“All the players have the talent to do well internationally and with investment in this age group I believe the boys have a good chance of proving themselves.

“It has been a great tournament, well organised and with experienced referees and table officials as well as the new rules seminar by Damien Taylor, which was extremely helpful.”

Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships Division One

Fixtures & Results
West Midlands11 – 10North East SteelersFT
London8 – 7North West TigersFT
West Midlands13 – 9South WestFT
North East Steelers15 – 14North West TigersFT
London20 – 12South WestFT
North East Steelers7 – 20LondonFT
North West Tigers20 – 9South WestFT
West Midlands14 – 14LondonFT
North East Steelers18 – 15South WestFT
West Midlands7 – 12North West TigersFT
League Table
West Midlands421105
North East Steelers4202-104
North West Tigers4202144
South West4004-260