Newton Abbot's U19 boys strike gold at water polo nationals

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Newton Abbot celebrated ecstatically as they won the U19 boys title at the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships, beating City of Manchester 10-7.

Ollie Stanley put Newton Abbot ahead with an early goal and that, along with a hat-trick from Joe Hubble, helped them take a 4-2 lead at the end of the first period.

Their advantage extended to three goals in the second period as Tom Hunt got off the mark, but back-to-back penalties had Manchester trailing by just one goal midway through the period.

That was until Hunt put one hand on the trophy with another three goals to ensure Newton Abbot were 8-4 clear at half-time.

Manchester scored two goals without reply in the third period to give them hope of a comeback, but Hubble scored his fourth of the game in the final period and Hunt took his tally to five goals to seal the win.

Newton Abbot goalie Tom Manley produced a brilliant save in the dying seconds to show exactly why he was named both Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper.

As his players celebrated with the trophy, Newton Abbot head coach Rhys Tamlyn said: “It’s been fantastic, we’ve been total underdogs the whole weekend, I think everyone would’ve written us off and thought we only played for third or fourth place.

“But people forget that the bulk of the team played in the South West regionals and won it last year and we’ve got a couple of superstars in the team.

“I thought getting into the final would be our final, and then we started bossing the game in the second quarter, we got ahead.

“It was a hanging on scenario towards the end but the boys really did dig deep and I think they’re a bit shocked as well.”

Team Manager Elizabeth Mann said: “I’m extremely proud. The bulk of the boys are from Newton Abbot and they’re all South West boys who have played together for the last four or five so this is like the coming together of all their hard work.

“A lot of the boys have been friends for four or five years and this is the end of their junior career really and it’s just great that they’ve ended on a high.”

City of Manchester may take solace from their improvement, having won bronze in 2018.

City of Manchester 7
(Horrop 2, Byrne 1, H. Bentham 1, McKinnon 2, Morgan 1)
Newton Abbot 10
(Stanley 1, Hubble 4, Hunt 5)

Sheffield finish strongly for bronze

City of Sheffield started and finished well to win the U19 boys bronze medal.

Two goals to Ben Stephenson and one to Oscar Kelly put Sheffield 3-1 ahead at the end of the first period and their three goals in the final period wrapped up an 8-4 win.

Stephenson finished with five goals of his own, with Lewis Waite and Oliver Vodden also on the scoresheet.

Watford 4
(Atkinson 2, Gulen 2)
City of Sheffield 8
(Stephenson 5, Kelly 1, Waite 1, Vodden 1)