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Sheffield and Manchester set up face-off in U17 NAG Water Polo final

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City of Sheffield and City of Manchester made their way into the Boys U17 National Water Polo Championships final at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

South Yorkshire side Sheffield have their sights set on victory this year, after losing out on the title in 2016.

Their final match against Sedgefield 12 months ago saw their hopes of the crown shattered in a 15-7 defeat. But they have come into the 2017 championships with a point to prove, having made their way into the final unbeaten.

In the first semi-final match of the day, the Sheffield team pulled no punches against their Ealing rivals.

An early goal for Arshia Keyghobadi gave his side the lead in the first quarter, and Lewis Waite followed up with another two minutes in. Despite two goals from Ealing thanks to Samuel Nabli and Alin Voican, Sheffield were 4-2 up at the end of the opening quarter after a last gasp second goal for Waite.

While the scores remained fairly close throughout the next two quarters, double tallies for Connor Charles and Ben Stephenson contributed to Sheffield’s eight goal white-wash in the closing stage of the match. Sheffield emerged victorious, with a final score of 16-5.

City of Manchester U17 Boys faced Newton Abbot in semi-final two. Newton Abbot built an early lead thanks to two goals from Joseph Hobble in the first quarter. The Manchester side were trailing until the final stages of the match when it looked as though Newton Abbot would be making their way into tomorrow’s finals.

However, three goals from Jack Phillips turned the game on its head, and City of Manchester emerged victorious, the final score 6-4.

Sedgefield to face Exeter in U19s final after tense semis

The first U19 semi-final saw Exeter and Croydon battling for a place in tomorrow’s final, and it looked like Exeter had it in the bag from the first whistle.

The South West team scored six goals in the first quarter, with Arthur Davis taking a hat-trick.

Despite three goals for the London side from Ben Curtis, they just couldn’t close down the gap. Exeter matched them goal for goal until the final quarter, in which Croydon scored two goals and kept a clean sheet to boost their pride.

But it was Exeter who claimed the spot in tomorrow’s final, winning the match 13-8.

The second boys U19 semi-final was hotly contested with both teams desperate to claim their spot in the final.

The match was decided in a white-knuckle penalty shootout after Manchester scored an equalising goal in the last 10 seconds of the final quarter.

City of Manchester had the benefit of playing in front of a home crowd, however Sedgefield seemed undeterred. The County Durham side won the U17 final in 2016 and look set on taking the U19 title this year.

Manchester missed their first penalty, giving Sedgefield the advantage. Another missed penalty from Manchester sent them packing, leaving Sedgefield to play Exeter in the final with a 12-11 win.

Results

Boys’ U17 Semi Finals
City of Sheffield16 – 5EalingFT
Newton Abbot5 – 6City of ManchesterFT
Boys’ U19 Semi Finals
Exeter13 – 8Croydon AmphibiansFT
Sedgefield9 – 9City of ManchesterFT
12 – 11(after pens)
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