West London Penguin crowned 2022 national champions in boys U15 eventDecember 17, 2022
West London Penguin were crowned the 2022 U15’s Boys National Age Group Champions after a nail-biting 6-4 victory over defending champions City of Manchester.
In a tight first period, Penguin edged into the lead thanks to a goal each from Shai Saltman and Dimitros Karagiannis with Manchester only managing one in reply despite their efforts.
The Penguin duo were at it again in the second period with both adding two more to their tally to claim a hat-trick each to fire their side to victory.
City of Manchester fought valiantly as they pushed bodies forward towards the end to try get back on level terms but the Penguin defence held firm to come away with this year’s national title.
The bronze medal match between City of Chester and Beckenham went all the way to the wire as only penalties could split the two sides.
After a close fought game, it was City of Chester that came out on top in the shootout after scoring all five of their penalties.
Both teams came out of the blocks firing in the early stages with Beckenham taking the early advantage after three goals inside the first half.
City of Chester scored two of their own during the first period before adding another two to their total towards the end to take the game to penalties at 4-4.
It was Chester who held their nerve at the vital moment however, hitting the mark with all of their penalties whilst Beckenham missed just one of their efforts in a valiant display.
West London Penguin’s players also took home two of the individual awards on offer.
Shai Saltman was awarded the top scorer of the tournament after amassing an incredible 27 goals across just five matches.
Penguin’s own Karagiannis was the tournament’s Most Valuable player after a number of impressive displays including that hat-trick in the final making a worthy recipient of the prestigious award.
City of Chester’s Jamie Collins was awarded the top goalkeeper after his display helped his side come home with the bronze medal.
All three of the individuals received their award from outgoing Chair of the Swim England Water Polo leadership group Toby King.
The competition opened up with the group stages with the fifteen teams split into four groups to decide their seeding for the playoff stage.
City of Manchester, Beckenham and West London Penguin all came away with a 100% record from their three group stage matches.
Defending champions Manchester topped Group A with victories against North London (13-1), Watford (7-5) and Calverton and Bingham (13-1).
Beckenham followed suit with wins over Sedgefield (11-6), City of Sheffield (13-2) and Cheltenham (8-0) whilst West London Penguin went three from three after defeating City of Birmingham (18-4), Kingston Royals (14-2), Caledonia (16-10).
Group D was the closest of the lot with all three teams ending up with one win and one defeat from their two matches.
In the end City of Chester came out on top thanks to goal difference over Exeter and their head to head record against Worthing. Their negative goal difference sent an unlucky Exeter to the bottom of the group with Worthing finishing as the runners up.
Thanks to their success in the group phase City of Manchester matched up against Beckenham whilst West London Penguin faced City of Chester to decide the medal matches.
A stunning display from Manchester saw them sweep Beckenham aside in a 9-0 victory as they became the first team to book their place in the gold medal match.
City of Birmingham and Watford came out on top of the second placed sides in the group after their victories sent them to the 5th place match where Watford came out on top in a 7-5 victory.
In a close contest the two sides battled hard but it Watford just manage to have the edge as they came away with a narrow win.
The 7th/8th place match saw Cheltenham take on Worthing with the latter coming away with the win.
Worthing asserted themselves to take a 13-5 win to take a commendable seventh place at the event.
Exeter turned on the style in the 9th/10th place contest. They defeated Sedgefield 14-4 after booking their place in the match following a 11-9 victory over Caledonia earlier in the playoff stage.
Caledonia were awarded 11th place after North London were forced to withdraw from their match against the Scottish side to decide the position.
And the three-way battle between City of Sheffield, Kingston Royals and Calverton and Bingham saw Kingston Royal come out on top. They defeated Calverton and Bingham 7-5 and played out an exciting 6-6 draw with City of Sheffield to finish in 13th.
Calverton and Bingham finished 14th after their 6-4 victory over City of Sheffield saw them finish narrowly ahead of the home pool side.
Check out the results from all of today’s matches here.
Highlights of the event will be available early next week through the We Play Sports app.