BOY’S UNDER 15 NATIONAL AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIPS

PONDS FORGE, SHEFFIELD, SATURDAY 18 TH DECEMBER 2021

Worthing Swimming Club was founded in 1890 and back in the early 1900’s the men’s water polo
team did finish as runners up in the Amateur Swimming Association national cup.
It took until 2018 for the club to finally win a national championship event when our under 15 boys
triumphed at the Manchester Aquatic centre.
When we decided to enter the same competition this year, we really had no idea how competitive
the team might be, which was mainly as a result of the many disruptions we had to deal with
because of the pandemic, but we did feel that we would have a decent chance of recording some
good results.
If it hadn’t been for the hard work of Matt White and Becky Henderson, who helped with the
complicated arrangements to register all of the squad, we probably wouldn’t have been able to
enter, but after a number of challenges we had a squad of 13 in place and our entry had been
accepted.

Squad in full :

  1. Aiden Mcarragher
  2. Caleb Slingo
  3. Sammy Smith
  4. Henry Priest
  5. Dominik Bullen
  6. Toby Taylor
  7. Thomas Fourcade
  8. Jamie Miles
  9. Cassius Humphrey
  10. Tumay Evcimen
  11. Oliver Philips
  12. Edward Moakes
  13. Joey Taylor

Sheffield a week before Christmas was never going to be the easiest place for us to travel to but
everyone arrived in plenty of time for the pre-event meeting when we explained our plans and
tactics for the day. We were drawn in group C which included Beckenham, Penguin 1 and Grantham but unfortunately Beckenham, due to COVID, had to withdraw 24 hours before the competition.
These are the individual match reports:

11.35, Worthing 21, Grantham 2 (H/T 12-1)

Grantham have a long tradition of junior water polo and we really had no idea what sort of standard of opposition they would be but we soon took control of the match and recorded a simple win. Our success was based on a very active full press which was designed to win possession in all areas of the pool and then the speed and quality of our counter attack would hopefully create the chances.

This worked time and again and Grantham had no answer to the quality of our play and we recorded a relatively easy win.
Scorers : Tumay 10, Thomas 3, Cassius 3, Caleb 3, Joey 2, Oliver 1.
Exclusions : None

13.55, Worthing 22, West London Penguin1, 0
(H/T 11-0)

This was almost a carbon copy of the Grantham match when we proved far too good for a Penguin
team that hardly had a chance to score. We consistently won possession and we actually were guilty of missing a number of chances when we might have added to the score but, all of the squad made good contributions to what was another relatively simple win.
Scorers : Tumay 7, Joey 7, Cassius 3, Thomas 2, Edward 2, Jamie 1.
Exclusions : Toby 1, Thomas 1, Edward 1.

The two wins meant that we topped group C and as a result we would play City of Birmingham, who were the winners of group D, in the semi-final.

16.15, Worthing 17, Birmingham 2 (H/T 7-2)

This was a remarkable performance against a team that had topped group D of the competition and were tipped by many to have a real chance of winning. We completely dominated the match and Birmingham committed a number of exclusion fouls trying to stop our counter attack but the squad were relentless in creating and taking opportunities. In fairness, Birmingham did have a number of chances but Aiden in goal produced some saves when it mattered including one from a penalty.
Overall, this was an excellent win and as a result we were in the final.
Scorers : Tumay 5, Oliver 3, Joey 3, Edward 2, Thomas 2, Dominik 1, Sammy 1.
Exclusions : Thomas 1, Tumay 1.

18.10, Worthing 3, Manchester 6 (H/T 2-3)

We were delighted to be in the final but we all realised that we would have to produce an even
better performance to take the title. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be close affair with both teams’ defences dominating and restricting chances to score to a minimum. The first half was a very tight affair when both teams struggled to create chances and we were perhaps a little unlucky to be 2-3 behind at the break. The game was really decided in the first couple of minutes of the second half when we missed a couple of decent chances and Manchester scored on the changes of possession which extended their lead.
The boys worked hard to try and get back in to the game but in the end, we could have no
complaints about the result and we had to settle for the runners up position and silver medals.
Scorers : Tumay 2, Joey 1.
Exclusions : Thomas 1, Tumay 1, Edward 1, Joey 1.

Overall, we have to be happy that we made the final and finished second in the national
championships. All of the boys were a great credit to the club and we made sure that we treated the competition and all of the opposition with the respect that they deserved. Individually Tumay won the top goal scorer of the tournament award but all of the squad contributed to what was a number of terrific all-round performances. It was a huge task for everyone concerned, particularly in the very difficult current circumstances, to go to Sheffield a week before Christmas but it turned out to be an excellent tournament for us and we should be very proud of what we achieved. All of the parents were very supportive of what we were trying to do and Helen Smith was a great help acting as team manager.

The squad taken after the medal presentation.
Back row (L-R) Edward, Toby, Dominik, Henry, Sammy, Caleb, Aiden.
Front row (L-R) Joey, Oliver, Tumay, Cassius, Jamie, Thomas.

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