Quick-fire goals help North West Thunder triumph at Inter-Regional Championships

Two goals in the space of 21 seconds helped North West Thunder triumph in a thrilling final of the U16s Girls’ Inter-Regional Championships.

Centre-forward Lucy Davis bagged the brace in the third quarter to set Thunder on their way to a 7-5 victory over Ireland at the Liverpool Aquatics Centre.

It was Thunder’s sixth straight win of the competition, having secured a 100 per cent record in the group stage before defeating West Midlands 15-10 in the semi-final.

Ireland had also won all five of their games heading into the gold medal match, having topped Group A and then beating South West Sharks 12-4 in their last four tie.

Victorious North West Thunder coach Joanne Mountfield said: “Congratulations to our players on a terrific performance in the final and our supporters for creating a fantastic atmosphere.

“Our team consisted of players from seven North West Clubs and it is important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their club coaches in this success.

“These tournaments are critical in the development of girls water polo within the Regions, as local league fixtures are still mixed at U16s and it was extremely positive to see seven of the 10 teams being led by female coaches.

“Our thanks go to the event manager, Richard Barnes, and his dedicated team of volunteers and officials who helped to ensure that the event ran smoothly and provided the best possible experience for the players.”

In the bronze medal match, West Midlands took third spot with an 18-10 win over the South West Sharks.

Great success

Another exciting game saw East Angels secure a Division One place for the U18s competition following a penalty shootout victory in the 5th-6th play-off match.

Angels goalkeeper Christina English saved two North East Steelers’ penalties to seal a 10-9 success.

Nick Hume, the head coach of the National Academy for the U16s age group, said: “The 2007 Inter-regional tournament was a great success. 

“Ten teams, 130 players and 20 plus coaches giving it everything for the sport we all enjoy so much.  It was a great opportunity to see all the players in formal competition. 

“It’s an excellent indicator of where we are in the players’ development and gives us plenty to work on through the National Academy in Millfield over the summer and for the future.

“Congratulations to the North West, Ireland and West Midlands for their results and to all the players who took part. 

“Plus a thank you to all the volunteers, without whom it couldn’t have happened.”

During the competition, the North West Region ran a Club and Regional Table Officials’ Course.

There were 10 candidates from seven clubs and five of them completed their practical assessments and the North West Region thanked the national and International table officials for enabling this to take place.

MVP Awards

  • Overall MVP: Lucy Blenkinship (North West Thunder)
  • Top goalkeeper: Tilly Armer (North West Thunder)
  • Top goalscorer: Amélie Perkins (West Midlands)
  • North West Thunder: Lucy Blenkinship
  • Ireland: Áine Hennessey
  • West Midlands: Amélie Perkins
  • South West: Georgi Hague 
  • East Angels: Sofia Galati 
  • North East Steelers: Millie Richards 
  • London Sharks: Sophie Schonbach 
  • East Midlands: Alice Berrill 
  • South East Anderida: Lily Ross 
  • Scotland Saltires: Lucy McNair 

Fixtures and results

West Midlands9 – 9North East SteelersFT
London Sharks12 – 2Scotland SaltiresFT
East Angels6 – 6South East AnderidaFT
East Midlands3 – 10South WestFT
Ireland7 – 3West MidlandsFT
North West Thunder8 – 2London SharksFT
South East Anderida7 – 9North East SteelersFT
South West14 – 0Scotland SaltiresFT
East Angels0 – 5IrelandFT
East Midlands3 – 14North West ThunderFT
West Midlands13 – 7South East AnderidaFT
London Sharks2 – 11South WestFT
Ireland9 – 0North East SteelersFT
North West Thunder17 – 0Scotland SaltiresFT
East Angels3 – 7West MidlandsFT
East Midlands2 – 2London SharksFT
Ireland9 – 1South East AnderidaFT
North West Thunder9 – 3South WestFT
North East Steelers6 – 3East AngelsFT
Scotland Saltires1 – 15East MidlandsFT
Group A Team
West Midlands421165
North East Steelers4211-45
East Angels4013-121
South East Anderida4013-161
Group B Team
North West Thunder4400408
South West4301246
East Midlands4112-43
London Sharks4112-53
Scotland Saltires4004-550
Play-Off Stage 5th-8th Play-off
North East Steelers12 – 8London SharksFT
East Midlands 6 – 12East Angels FT
Semi Finals
Ireland 12 – 5South West Sharks FT
North West Thunder15 – 10West Midlands FT
9th-10th Play-off
South East Anderida26 – 7Scotland Saltires FT
5th-6th Play-off
North East Steelers9 – 10East Angels FT
7th-8th Play-off
London Sharks12 – 10East Midlands FT
Bronze Medal Match
South West Sharks 10 – 18West Midlands FT
Gold Medal Match
Ireland 5 – 7North West ThunderFT