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Otter cruise to back-to-back U19 girls national titles

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Lily Turner scored nine goals to help Otter successfully defend their U19 girls title at the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships, with a 14-8 win over Rotherham Metro.

Otter had reached their fifth consecutive final at this level with a comfortable win over Welsh Wanderers earlier in the day.

Their title defence began strongly as they moved out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period, two of which came from Turner.

The Otter captain continued her clinical form in the second period, lobbing Alex Robinson in the Rotherham goal before lashing a powerful shot into the back of the net to help Otter to a 5-0 advantage at half-time.

Rotherham finally got off the mark in the third period as Sancha Tonks found the net, but two more goals for Turner and Emily Campbell-Lamerton’s first of the game put Otter 8-1 clear ahead of the final period.

Norman Leighton’s Rotherham showed their fighting spirit in the final period as Pia Tonks scored four, along with goals to Amelia Peters and Emma Jackson.

But Turner added three more goals in her final game for Otter, before she heads to the United States to take up a scholarship offer at the University of California.

Otter also flaunted their depth as Great Britain junior Katy Cutler, Sarah Rogers and Eve Poole all got on the scoresheet.

Head coach Nick Buller has now guided Otter to eight national titles in six years.

He and assistant coach Peggy Etiebet wore vintage Otter blazers poolside to commemorate the club’s 150th anniversary.

After the game, Buller said: “The girls have worked really hard, I’m proud of them and they deserved it.

“We know that fitness is a strength of ours. We panicked a bit when we saw we were playing across the width of the pool, but I trust my girls, I was sure they were good to do the business.

“It was important to get a good lead to settle the nerves because I think we were all a little bit nervous. Although we knew we could do it, we wanted to make sure.”

Turner finished as the championships’ leading goal scorer and Most Valuable Player.

Rotherham Metro 8
(Peters 2, Jackson 1, S. Tonks 1, P. Tonks 4)
Otter 14
(Turner 9, Campbell-Lamerton 2, Cutler 1, Rogers 1, Poole 1)

Liverpool hold on to win bronze

City of Liverpool held off a late Welsh Wanderers surge to win the bronze medal match 15-12.

Liverpool led 14-7 heading into the final period, but Wanderers scored five late goals to make it a contest.

Great Britain U19 player Molly Boniface-Ashton scored her fifth of the game to ensure Liverpool clinched bronze for the second consecutive year.

Nia Sanders produced an impressive performance for Welsh Wanderers, scoring nine times, including all six of her side’s goals in the first period.

City of Liverpool 15
(Pyper 1, Boniface-Ashton 5, Jones 2, Scott-Davies 2, Bowater 3, Bett 1, Rooney 1)
Welsh Wanderers 12
(Sanders 9, Quine-Taylor 1, Rickards 1, Jones 1)