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'Magnificent' North West Tigers make it a hat-trick of Inter-Regional Championships

Unbeatable North West Tigers achieved a hat-trick of Inter-Regional Championship titles with a ‘magnificent’ performance in Blackpool.

After winning both the U14s and U16s boys’ tournaments in 2019 and 2021 with 100 per cent records, the Tigers repeated the feat last weekend at the Palatine Leisure Centre.

They scored 59 goals to top the group with four impressive victories.

Tigers opened up their campaign with a 24-5 victory over South West Sharks and followed that up with a 10-2 success against their closest rivals in Division One, South East.

Day two saw them defeat Scotland 12-5 and West Midlands Warriors 13-6 to fire their way to the title.

Mike Yates, North West Tigers head coach, hailed his team for their performances over the years.

He said: “This North West age group have won their Inter-Regional tournaments in 2019, 2021 and now 2023, remaining undefeated on all three occasions. 

“Defensively they were magnificent all weekend but particularly in the game against the South East, which proved to be the tournament decider, where they only conceded two goals.

“I wish all players who are selected to the national team every success in their forthcoming European Championship qualification in March.”

Jubilant skipper Tom Davis, who was the division’s top scorer, added: “It was great to finish off our Inter-Regional journey with our third win, as 10 members of the team have been constant across all three age groups.  

“This is testament to continued hard work by all of the players who have been supported by brilliant coaches, team manager and parents.  

“It’s really sad that this is our last tournament as a group. We’ve had some laughs along the way and made some friendships for life.

“Thanks to all of the referees and table officials who make events like this happen.  

“Well done Kian on winning tournament MVP and good luck to North West Thunder in the girls Inter-Regionals next weekend.”

Meanwhile, Shane Taylor was thanked by tournament officials for completing the practical assessments of two newly-qualified table officials during the event.

Focused London top Division Two

In Division Two, unbeaten London Sharks took the top spot as they edged out Wales who were also undefeated over the course of the weekend.

Three wins over East (8-6), East Midlands (13-9) and North East Steelers (11-5) ensured they finished above Wales following an 8-8 draw between the two.

Wales finished a point adrift of London Sharks as they also drew 9-9 with East.

Delighted London Sharks head coach Shaun Hill said: “The London team were focused and determined – they delivered a well-deserved gold medal performance.

“I’m so pleased for the athletes. We certainly needed all 13 players for this win.

“All Regions put out fantastic teams and it’s great to see the growing talent in water polo across the whole country.”

Event manager Dean Walker was thanked for enabling this event to go ahead under testing circumstances at the venue.

MVP Awards

Division One

  • North West Tigers: Tom Davis
  • Scotland: Ali Shippey
  • South East: Joey Taylor
  • South West: Thomas Dally
  • West Midlands: Tobias Ishaque
  • Top Goalscorer: Tom Davis
  • Top Goalkeeper: Tobias Ishaque
  • Tournament MVP Award: Kian Kniveton

The Division One MVP awards were presented by Swim England president Jim Wilks

Division Two

  • East:  Ed Carpenter
  • East Midlands: Iolo Roberts
  • London Sharks: Peter Ash
  • North East Steelers: Dominic Epton
  • Wales: Tobias Chilcott
  • Top Goalscorer: Tobias Chilcott
  • Top Goalkeeper: Anthony Bartlett
  • Tournament MVP Award: Tobias Chilcott

The Division Two MVP awards were  presented by Swim England East Region president, Helen Stephens.

Fixtures & Results
Saturday 28 January
Scotland13 – 9West Midland WarriorsFT
North West Tigers24 – 5South West SharksFT
Scotland8 – 10South EastFT
West Midland Warriors15 – 6South West SharksFT
North West Tigers10 – 2South EastFT
Sunday 29 January
Scotland17 – 10South West SharksFT
West Midland Warriors4 – 16South EastFT
Scotland5 – 12North West TigersFT
South West Sharks5 – 17South EastFT
West Midland Warriors6 – 13North West TigersFT
Fixtures & Results
Saturday 28 January
London Sharks8 – 6EastFT
Wales13 – 6North East SteelersFT
East Midlands10 – 9EastFT
Wales8 – 8London SharksFT
East Midlands6 – 7North East SteelersFT
Wales9 – 9EastFT
East Midlands9 – 13London SharksFT
Sunday 29 January
North East Steelers4 – 6EastFT
East Midlands1 – 16WalesFT
North East Steelers5 – 11London SharksFT
Division 1
North West Tigers4400418
South East4301186
West Midland Warriors4103-142
South West Sharks4004-470
Division 2
London Sharks4310127
North East Steelers4103-142
East Midlands4103-192