South West retain girls' U18 Inter Regional title on penalties

South West defended their title on penalties after a thrilling climax to the 2017 ASA Water Polo Girls’ U18 Inter Regional Championships in Blackpool.

Successful penalties from Millie Wordley, Katy Cutler, Robyn Greenslade and Heather Tomlinson saw the South West region prevail after their final against a North West Lightning ended 2-2.

South West had taken the lead in normal time through Wordley, before goals from Steph Whittaker and Isabel Larder handed the advantage to Lightning.

But Wordley was on hand again to score on a man-up and take the tie to penalties.

South West goalkeeper Abbi Smith also emerged with credit, working with her defence to keep the otherwise free-scoring North West attack at bay in normal time, before only letting Annie Clapperton’s effort past her in the shoot-out.

South West head coach Jason Wordley said: “The girls have been progressing their game and skills year on year. They’ve made a steady but dedicated improvement through the rankings.

“They were overjoyed to finish their final year together at the top of the tree.”

South West region representative James Baker added: “The victory further demonstrates the South West region’s development of the discipline. It cements the region as one of the top four performing regions or home nations.

“It’s a far cry from where we were 10 years ago when we rarely reached the semi final stages.

“Of the last four Inter-Regions, we’ve won the 2003 and 2000 female competitions. This demonstrates the qualify of female players in the region that have benefitted from the guidance and coaching of Spanish ex-international Meritxell Carrizo who has recently been confirmed as the ASA South West region women’s head coach.”

South East edge thriller to win bronze

Having failed to register a win in last year’s tournament, the South East region impressed to claim bronze.

South East girls' U18 team.

After finishing second in Group B, they bounced back from a semi-final defeat by South West to defeat North West Thunder 5-4 in a tense bronze medal match.

Thunder showed plenty of fight to restore parity after trailing both 3-1 and 4-3 in the second period.

But a power play goal from tournament MVP Cecily Turner with just 10 seconds left on the clock sealed victory for the South East side.

Statistics and MVPs

Most Valuable Players (MVPs):

  • Ireland – Sophie Moran
  • Scotland – Lauren Dundee
  • South West – Millie Wordley
  • East – Poppy Mayall
  • North West Thunder – Thea Simpson
  • North East – Megan Scadding
  • Wales – Faye Warren
  • South East – Cecily Turner
  • London – Lydia Toth
  • North West Lightning – Molly Boniface-Ashton

Sponsor and Water Polo Market Awards:

  • Overall MVP – Cecily Turner (South East)
  • Top Goalscorer – Annie Clapperton (North West Lightning)
  • Top Goalkeeper – Abbi Smith (South West)

Results and Group Tables


5th-8th Place Playoff
East8 – 2WalesFT
Ireland8 – 1ScotlandFT
Semi Finals
South West12 – 1South EastFT
North West Lightning10 – 0North West ThunderFT
9th-10th Place Playoff
North East4 – 6LondonFT
7th-8th Place Playoff
Scotland2 – 9WalesFT
5th-6th Place Playoff
Ireland5 – 4EastFT
Bronze Medal Match
South East5 – 4North West ThunderFT
South West2 – 2North West LightningFT
6 – 3(after pens)


Group Stage Results

Group A
North East1 – 7North West ThunderFT
East6 – 2ScotlandFT
South West9 – 2ScotlandFT
East3 – 6North West ThunderFT
North East1 – 15South WestFT
Scotland4 – 5North West ThunderFT
North East4 – 11EastFT
South West13 – 3North West ThunderFT
East4 – 16South WestFT
North East1 – 8ScotlandFT
Group B
South East7 – 4IrelandFT
North West Lightning12 – 1LondonFT
Wales5 – 9IrelandFT
South East5 – 5LondonFT
North West Lightning18 – 2WalesFT
Ireland6 – 5LondonFT
North West Lightning12 – 1South EastFT
Wales6 – 3LondonFT
South East7 – 5WalesFT
North West Lightning8 – 2IrelandFT

Group A

South West4400438
North West Thunder430106
North East4004-340

Group B

North West Lightning4400448
South East4211-65