It was a remarkable weekend at the Liverpool Aquatic centre in so many ways and we were absolutely delighted to win a really tough final against Manchester.
This is the official match report:
National Age Group Under 17 Boy’s Final
Liverpool Aquatic Centre
Sunday 8th May 2022, 12.40
Worthing 8, Manchester 6
Quarter scores: 2-1, 3-3, 1-1, 2-1
Worthing Swimming Club have played competitive water polo from the time of the club’s formation in 1890 to the present day, and prior to 2018 the nearest the club came to a national title win was losing in the 1905 men’s championship final to Manchester Osborne.
It took the little matter of 113 years to eventually secure the first national title when our under 15 boys won in Manchester in 2018 beating the home team on the way to winning the competition.
Last December we met again in the final of the under 15 competition this time played at Pond Forge in Sheffield, and on this occasion Manchester came out on top.
As a result, it’s probably fair to say that another final against Manchester, played in the North West, was always going to be a tough affair but a terrific display from the Worthing squad ultimately ended with a hard fought but thoroughly deserved win.
We made a strong start and immediately it was clear that our well organised defence, backed up by excellent goal keeping form Felix, was going to be very hard for Manchester to break down. Two goals from Joey gave us a 2-0 lead but Manchester did get a goal back just before the end of the quarter.
The game was proving to be very close but the second period was dominated by Tumay who scored three times including one from a well worked man up play.
We led 5-4 at the mid point but with defences dominating Tumay scored again in the third period which maintained our one goal advantage going into the final quarter.
The next goal was always going to be crucial and Indy scored to extend the lead to 7-5 and then again and with just over 5 minutes left and we had a three goal advantage.
From this point we managed the game well and although Manchester got one goal back, the match finished in a flurry of time outs but with no further goals.
Obviously the squad were delighted to win the premier junior water polo competition that is played in the UK, and this is a fantastic achievement for a small club from West Sussex
It was a real team performance and our disciplined tactics, particularly in defence, probably proved to be the difference between the teams. Remarkably, the quality of our defending resulted in the squad not committing any exclusion fouls during the game which is very unusual.
After the match the team were presented with the gold medals and the trophy. Felix was named best goal keeper for the tournament and Tumay won the most valuable player award for the final.
It was a long way to travel to Liverpool but we were absolutely delighted to play in our third national final in 4 years and and even more delighted that we secured the win after a really tough encounter.
Scorers: Tumay 4, Joey 2, Indy 2
Squad in full: Felix Monaghan (G/K), Luke Heaton, Joe Boot, Max Cooper, Archie Moon, Henry Broadhurst, Ethan Lecuyer, Olly Phillips, Tumay Evcimen, Indy Nash, Maty Skoda, Joey Taylor.