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Sides seal spot in next round of National Age Group Championships

Four sides boasted 100 per cent records as they booked their place in the qualification stage of the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships.

The preliminary competitions for both U17 boys and girls was held over the weekend of 24-25 February and proved to be “a fantastic advert for the sport”.

A total of six U17 boys sides and eight U17 girls teams are now in the next stage of the competition, which will take place over the weekends of 16-17 March and 23-24 March.

Nova and Sheffield lead the way

In the boys’ competition at The Jason Kenny Centre, Bolton, Nova Centurion topped Group A with four wins from four and a goal difference of plus 29.

They defeated Caledonia 8-4, City of Bristol 6-1, City of Sheffield 5-3 before thrashing Cwm Draig 18-0 in their final match.

City of Sheffield and City of Bristol also reached the qualification stages after finishing second and third in the table respectively.

The Group B games were staged at the Grantham Meres Leisure Centre and West London Penguins were undefeated to take top spot.

After opening with a 12-1 triumph over Northampton, they then beat Beckenham 10-4, City of Cheltenham 9-2 and Bridgefield 9-8 to finish ahead of the other qualifiers. Beckenham and Bridgefield.

The six qualifiers will compete in the next stage of the competition at the Northampton School for Boys on 16-17 March, with the successful teams booking their place in the finals at the Liverpool Aquatic Centre on April 12-13.

U17s Boys Group A

Cwm Draig3 – 11City of SheffieldFT
Caledonia4 – 8Nova CenturionFT
City of Bristol16 – 2Cwm DraigFT
City of Sheffield5 – 3CaledoniaFT
Nova Centurion6 – 1City of BristolFT
Cwm Draig3 – 7CaledoniaFT
Nova Centurion5 – 3City of SheffieldFT
City of Bristol9 – 5CaledoniaFT
Nova Centurion18 – 0Cwm DraigFT
City of Bristol5 – 7City of SheffieldFT
Nova Centurion4400298
City of Sheffield4301106
City of Bristol4202114
Cwm Draig4004-440

U17s Boys Group B

Northampton1 – 12West London PenguinFT
Beckenham6 – 2City of CheltenhamFT
Bridgefield10 – 4NorthamptonFT
West London Penguin10 – 4BeckenhamFT
City of Cheltenham6 – 6BridgefieldFT
Northampton7 – 9BeckenhamFT
City of Cheltenham2 – 9West London PenguinFT
Bridgefield5 – 5BeckenhamFT
City of Cheltenham9 – 4NorthamptonFT
Bridgefield8 – 9West London PenguinFT
West London Penguin4400258
City of Cheltenham4112-63

Liverpool and Sheffield top the tree

In the girls’ competition, City of Liverpool topped the Group A table after winning all five of their preliminary matches at the Walsall Gala Baths.

After beating Nova Centurion 6-4 in their first game, City of Liverpool then went on the defeat Otter Futura 11-1, Otter 6-5, Watford 8-3 and Kirkintilloch 7-4.

Otter, Kirkintilloch and Watford finished second, third and fourth to seal their place in the next round.

The Group B preliminaries were held at the Northampton School for Boys and City of Sheffield finished top after a narrow 7-6 win over runners-up Newton Abbot in their final match ensured they won all their games.

They beat Iceni 17-1, Cheltenham 9-0 and Worthing 13-4 before their winner-takes-all clash against Newton Abbot.

Newton Abbot’s only defeat meant they had to settle for second place and they reached the qualifying round along with Cheltenham and Worthing.

Those matches will take place at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre over the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March.

U17s Girls Group A

City of Liverpool6 – 4Nova CenturionFT
Otter Futura2 – 10OtterFT
Watford1 – 3KirkintillochFT
City of Liverpool11 – 1Otter FuturaFT
Nova Centurion2 – 3WatfordFT
Otter6 – 4KirkintillochFT
Otter Futura3 – 7WatfordFT
City of Liverpool6 – 5OtterFT
Nova Centurion4 – 5KirkintillochFT
City of Liverpool8 – 3WatfordFT
Otter Futura3 – 7KirkintillochFT
Nova Centurion2 – 6OtterFT
City of Liverpool7 – 4KirkintillochFT
Otter9 – 3WatfordFT
Nova Centurion7 – 4Otter FuturaFT
City of Liverpool55002110
Nova Centurion5104-52
Otter Futura5005-290

U17s Girls Group B

Worthing2 – 8CheltenhamFT
City of Sheffield17 – 1IceniFT
Newton Abbot9 – 4WorthingFT
Cheltenham0 – 9City of SheffieldFT
Iceni1 – 24Newton AbbotFT
Worthing4 – 13City of SheffieldFT
Iceni1 – 14CheltenhamFT
Newton Abbot6 – 7City of SheffieldFT
Iceni1 – 12WorthingFT
Newton Abbot9 – 4CheltenhamFT
City of Sheffield4400358
Newton Abbot4301326

Thrilling few weeks

Andy Fuller, Swim England Water Polo Development Manager, said: “Congratulations to all our qualifiers.

“The preliminary rounds produced some great matches that were played in the right spirit and the weekend was a fantastic advert for the sport.

“We’re now looking forward to more exciting games taking place in the U19s competitions. It promises to be a thrilling few weeks as sides battle to win a place at the national finals in Liverpool.”

Meanwhile, the U19 boys’ preliminary rounds are taking place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March.

Bridgefield, West London Penguin, City of Sheffield, Carmarthen, Newton Abbot and Caledonia will all be in action in Group A at Walsall Gala Baths on 2 March.

The Group B games will be held at Arc Leisure Centre, Matlock, on 3 March with City of Manchester, City of Leeds, Northampton, City of Birmingham, Beckenham and Watford all in action.

You will be able to keep up to date with all the action on the live scoreboard page.