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South West Sharks’ triumph ‘testament of what hard work can achieve’

South West Sharks head coach John Spicer hailed his victorious U18s Boys’ Inter-Regional Championships winning team and said their success was ‘testament of what hard work can achieve’.

Three comprehensive wins saw them secure a 100 per cent record to top Division One with a goal difference of plus 35.

They opened up their campaign with a 15-8 victory over North West Sharks before their match against London Sharks was abandoned at 3-2 in the second quarter and the result recorded.

However, they were dominant in their final two matches as they defeated East 20-5 and North East Steelers 22-10 at the Palatine Leisure Centre, Blackpool.

Spicer said: “Delighted with how this squad of boys have developed to this point and risen to the top of a band of quality regions all competing in this year’s event. 

“Particular thanks to Jim Walsh and Stu McKie for all the coaching work they’ve done with the SW 2005s in the last few years. 

“Extremely proud of our tournament MVP Arran Downer and top goalkeeper Zac Downer, a testament of what hard work can achieve.”

South West Sharks captain Reuben Powell added: “So proud of this great tournament win. 

“I’m thankful for a dedicated team of coaches, parents and players who all support each other and great to know five boys in this squad will go on to represent SW again with our 2006s. 

“I’ve loved my time with South West Water Polo and am grateful for the opportunity given to play water polo at this level.”

East Midlands put on perfect display

The Eats Midlands team which Division Two of the U18s Boys Inter-Regional Championships

East Midlands sealed top spot in Division Two with a perfect record.

They defeated the West Midlands 10-6 and South East 6-4 on the opening day of the competition at the Watford Leisure Centre.

And they followed that up with impressive 14-5 and 23-5 victories over Scotland Saltires and Wales respectively to complete a clean sweep.

It left them two points clear of the West Midlands who won their other three games to take second place in the table.

Victorious East Midlands captain Lewis Glennon said: “It was great to get back playing in the Inter-Regionals again after Covid. 

“We had some tough games and it was fantastic for the team to get the division win. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Head coach Joe Leveridge added: “A fantastic weekend of polo, with some really close, tense matches. 

“I’m really proud of the East Midlands boys for holding their composure and shape throughout the tournament and finishing as well deserved Division Two winners”

Joanne Mountfield, event lead for the championships, thanked those who gave up their spare time to help support the competition.

She said: “We would like to thank all the volunteers involved in running the competitions, in particular, Dean Walker from the East Region for hosting the Division Two Boys’ event at Watford and our North West table officials who supported eight newly-qualified table officials to complete their practical assessments.”

If you are interested in getting qualified, please email Chris Stephens.

 U18s Boys’ Division One awards

  • Top goalkeeper: Zac Downer, South West Sharks
  • Top goalscorer: Henry Jackson, North East Steelers
  • Overall MVP: Arran Downer, South West Sharks

U18 Girls’ Division Two awards

  • Top goalkeeper: Tobias Isaque, West Midlands
  • Top goalscorer: Tobias Chilcott, Wales
  • Overall MVP: Lewis Glennon, East Midlands

MVP Awards

  • South West Sharks: Arran Downer
  • North East Steelers: Henry Jackson
  • London Sharks: Tomas Watson
  • North West Thunder: Joshua Dixon
  • East: Josh Barratt
  • East Midlands: Lewis Glennon
  • Scotland Saltires: Murray Dickson
  • Wales: Tobias Chilcott
  • West Midlands: Daniela Reka
  • South East: Matthew Williams

Fixtures & Results
Saturday 26 March
North East Steelers18 – 10EastFT
South West Sharks15 – 8North West TigersFT
North East Steelers13 – 8London SharksFT
East8 – 12North West TigersFT
South West Sharks3 – 2London SharksFT
Sunday 27 March
East12 – 17London SharksFT
North East Steelers12 – 11North West TigersFT
East5 – 20South West SharksFT
London Sharks8 – 6North West TigersFT
North East Steelers10 – 22South West SharksFT
Fixtures & Results
Saturday 26 March
Wales8 – 16Scotland SaltiresFT
West Midlands6 – 10East MidlandsFT
South East8 – 6Scotland SaltiresFT
West Midlands13 – 9WalesFT
South East4 – 6East MidlandsFT
West Midlands10 – 2Scotland SaltiresFT
South East18 – 1WalesFT
Sunday 27 March
East Midlands14 – 5Scotland SaltiresFT
South East5 – 15West MidlandsFT
East Midlands23 – 5WalesFT
Division 1
South West Sharks4400358
North East Steelers430126
London Sharks420214
North West Tigers4103-62
Division 2
East Midlands4400338
West Midlands4301186
South East420274
Scotland Saltires4103-112