North West Tigers win U18 boys inter-regional title to complete hat-trick

North West Tigers were crowned Division One champions at the Swim England Water Polo Boys’ U18 Inter Regional Championships 2020, securing the squad’s third consecutive age group title.

After opening their campaign at Ponds Forge with a 9-6 win over East Midlands, North West then sealed another narrow win against London Sharks.

A comfortable 30-8 rout of the East region set up a grandstand finish in the division, with their final opponents, North East Steelers, also having won their first three games.

North West took a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period, courtesy of goals from Sebastian Thompson and Harry Dunkerley.

A second period hat-trick from Charles Moore extended their lead to 7-4 at half-time, before Dunkerley, Moore and Martin Stefanov added goals to seal the decisive 11-8 win.

That completed an impressive hat-trick for the North West squad, which had previously won the Under 14 and Under 16 inter-regional titles.

Head coach Andy Wilson said: “It has been a pleasure to coach the North West U18 boys, building on the great work they achieved at U14 and U16 level with coaches Zak Sly and Ant McGuinness.

“It was a great honour to coach the team, especially as the boys showed great courage, discipline and skill to win the tournament against some very tough opposition.”

Irish pip South West

South West were runners-up in Division Two after being beaten by Ireland in a tense final.

South West finished second behind the Irish in Group B, thanks to a 6-6 draw with Scotland Saltires in their final group stage game.

That set up a semi-final clash against Group C winners West Midlands and there was nothing to separate the two teams heading into the final period, with the score locked at 4-4.

But late goals to Angus Nile, James Coleman and Luke Tubby wrapped up a 7-6 win to send South West into the final.

Their run was ended by Ireland, who won the showpiece 7-5 to add to the Under 18 girls’ division one title they won in January.

Division One

Fixtures & Results
East7 – 22London SharksFT
East Midlands6 – 9North West TigersFT
East9 – 25North East SteelersFT
London Sharks10 – 13North West TigersFT
East Midlands6 – 13North East SteelersFT
London Sharks15 – 10East MidlandsFT
East8 – 30North West TigersFT
London Sharks8 – 12North East SteelersFT
East4 – 16East MidlandsFT
North West Tigers11 – 8North East SteelersFT
League Table
North West Tigers4400318
North East Steelers4301246
London Sharks4202134
East Midlands4103-32

Division Two

Fixtures & Results
Ireland8 – 7South EastFT
West Midlands11 – 2North West RavensFT
Ireland7 – 6South WestFT
South East2 – 3Scotland SaltiresFT
West Midlands19 – 1WalesFT
South East3 – 6South WestFT
Ireland7 – 4Scotland SaltiresFT
North West Ravens6 – 6WalesFT
South West6 – 6Scotland SaltiresFT
Group B
South West311123
Scotland Saltires3111-23
South East3003-50
Group C
West Midlands2200274
North West Ravens2011-91
5-7 Playoff
Scotland3 – 4South EastFT
Wales2 – 15South EastFT
Scotland20 – 2WalesFT
Semi Finals
Ireland7 – 1NW RavensFT
West Midlands6 – 7South WestFT
Bronze Match
NW Ravens6 – 10West MidlandsFT
Ireland 7 – 5South WestFT