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England ‘Red’ secure silver at EU Nations Water Polo Cup

England ‘Red’ took home the silver medal at the Women’s EU Nations Water Polo Cup in Brno, Czech Republic.

The tournament, which took place from the 10-12 June, saw England’s ‘Red’ side lose 13-5 to an incredibly strong Hungary side in the final after an excellent campaign.

England entered two sides into the competition with the England ‘White’ side also impressing, finishing fourth after a 11-10 defeat in the bronze medal match to Euskal Selkzioa.

England ‘Red’ began their campaign with a convincing 20-6 victory over hosts Czech Republic before adding to that with a 22-3 win over Wales to close out day one.

In their final group match, they kept up their 100 per cent record with a narrow 10-9 win over Euskal Selkzioa to top Group B.

England ‘White’ had to settle for the runners-up spot in Group A after back-to-back victories over Austria (17-3) and Ireland (15-6) before a 16-5 defeat to eventual winners Hungary saw them set up an all-England semi-final.

It was England ‘Red’ that came out on top over their compatriots, winning 7-5 in the semi-final thanks to hat-tricks from both Lily Turner and Annie Clapperton.

Turner won the competition’s MVP award after scoring 20 goals throughout the tournament, including seven from penalty shots – the most in the competition.

She also scored the joint highest number of power play goals in the event alongside Milly Wordley of England ‘White’ with four apiece.

A valuable experience

Head coach Nick Buller was proud of the England sides in the tournament, explaining how pleased he was both in and out of the water.

He said: “I was very pleased with the players performances at the EU Nations, both in and out of the water.

“After hearing the news that the Commonwealth Championships had been postponed, I was very proud of the way the players responded by focusing on the games yet to play and fulfilling our process goals for the competition.

“We were particularly pleased to field two teams in the competition, which has enabled us to develop the depth of experience throughout our squad.”

England took a young squad to Brno, including five teenagers across the two sides, and assistant coach Peggy Etiebet was delighted with the progress being made to transition these players into the senior squad.

She said: “We were delighted to welcome two new junior players on their first outing with the senior squad.

“We’ve been working hard on our ongoing programme to help our junior players bed into the senior squad as easily as possible and help make that transition a smoother process for athletes.

“It was an extremely well-run competition and our thanks go to the organisers for that.”

The men’s edition of the competition takes place in Brno in just under two weeks’ time.

England have been drawn in Group A alongside Austria, Wales, Euskal Selkzioa and the United States of America.

The tournament takes place from 24-26 June.