Three-way battle for prelims top spot as competition gets off to an exciting start

There was a three-way battle for top spot in a close preliminary round as the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships U17s boys competition got underway.

The opening weekend of the 2020 competition saw Group A games take place at Matlock’s Arc Leisure Centre, with fixtures from Groups B and C at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre.

City of Sheffield and City of Birmingham were both unbeaten as they finished first and second respectively in Group A, while City of Manchester won all of their matches to take top spot in Group C.

It was Group B that proved to be the closest with three teams – Cheltenham, Bridgefield and West London Penguin – all finishing with identical records on four points following two wins and one defeat from their three games.

FINA rulings states that the team with the best goal difference from the games played between the three would decide who topped the table.

And it was Cheltenham who finished on plus four to lead the way and book their place in the qualification round as West London’s goal difference was zero and Bridgefield’s minus two.

Once the top spot had been finalised, second place is then decided on who was victorious between the remaining two teams.

As Bridgefield ran out 4-3 winners against West London Penguin, it was they who also sealed their place in the qualification round.

In Group A, City of Sheffield and City of Birmingham played out a 4-4 draw which was the only game either side failed to win.

City of Sheffield took pole position in the group due to their better goal difference.

Caledonia WP and Northampton WP were the other sides to qualify from Group A.

In Group C, City of Manchester thrashed Cwm Draig WP 12-2, edged past second-placed and fellow qualifiersWatford WP 6-5 and defeated Sedgefield WP 12-5 to be the only side from the weekend’s action to boast a 100 per cent record.

The qualification round of the U17s boys’ competition is scheduled to take place at Northampton School for Boys on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April.

Nova Centurion2 – 4City of SheffieldFT
Portobello0 – 11Northampton WPFT
City of Birmingham4 – 2Caledonia WPFT
Nova Centurion11 – 1PortobelloFT
City of Sheffield4 – 4City of BirminghamFT
Northampton WP5 – 8Caledonia WPFT
Portobello0 – 17City of BirminghamFT
Nova Centurion4 – 6Northampton WPFT
City of Sheffield9 – 6Caledonia WPFT
Nova Centurion3 – 4City of BirminghamFT
Portobello5 – 14Caledonia WPFT
City of Sheffield8 – 7Northampton WPFT
Nova Centurion4 – 8Caledonia WPFT
Northampton WP4 – 6City of BirminghamFT
City of Sheffield22 – 3PortobelloFT
Group A
City of Sheffield5410259
City of Birmingham5410229
Caledonia WP5302116
Northampton WP520374
Nova Centurion510412
Sedgefield WP6 – 7Watford WPFT
Cwm Draig WP2 – 12City of ManchesterFT
West London Penguin3 – 4BridgefieldFT
Cheltenham7 – 5Worthing WPFT
Sedgefield WP5 – 7Cwm Draig WPFT
Watford WP5 – 6City of ManchesterFT
West London Penguin6 – 5CheltenhamFT
Bridgefield6 – 3Worthing WPFT
Sedgefield WP5 – 12City of ManchesterFT
Watford WP7 – 2Cwm Draig WPFT
West London Penguin12 – 3Worthing WPFT
Bridgefield3 – 6CheltenhamFT
Group B
City of Manchester3300186
Watford WP320154
Cwm Draig WP3102-132
Sedgefield WP3003-100
Group C
West London Penguin320194
Worthing WP3003-140

NOTE: Group C table order based on advice from FINA delegate.