Wa­ter polo fu­ture looks bright

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - PETER JONES

The fu­ture of wa­ter polo in Marl­bor­ough is in good hands if the re­sults gained by three teams at a Lower Hutt tour­na­ment are any­thing to go by.

The Marl­bor­ough sides com­peted in the Nip­pers Cup Devel­op­ment tour­na­ment held from Fri­day, Septem­ber 29, to Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 1. It was the first time Marl­bor­ough had sent teams to this tour­na­ment, staged at the Huia and Nae­nae pools.

The trav­el­ling Marl­bor­ough teams com­prised un­der-14 boys and girls, plus un­der-12B.

The un­der-14 girls opened their cam­paign in style, beat­ing Har­bour City 6-4, a vic­tory con­sid­ered one of the up­sets of the tour­na­ment by the North Is­land teams. They fol­lowed up with a 17-3 win over Hutt U14 be­fore suf­fer­ing their first loss, 6-5 to Maranui. An­other win over Har­bour City, this time 6-5, put them into the gold medal play-off against Maranui. After play­ing their hearts out, Marl­bor­ough brought home the sil­ver medal, a pleas­ing ef­fort for a de­but per­for­mance in the North Is­land.

The un­der-12s opened with a con­fi­dence-boost­ing 5-3 win over Hutt Blaze. They went on to down Maranui 8-0 be­fore los­ing 10-1 to Hutt In­ferno, Hutt’s A team. In the cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal play­off against Can­ter­bury Marl­bor­ough lost 5-3 which put them in line for a bronze medal match against Har­bour City U12, who came out on top by just a sin­gle goal.

Fourth po­si­tion was con­sid­ered a top ef­fort for the team, many of whom are still play­ing Flip­per Ball league in Blen­heim.

The newly-formed un­der-14 boys team came up against very strong op­po­si­tion first-up, los­ing 15-5 to Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School. Al­though they lost 12-5 to Maranui, Hutt 10-0 and Har­bour City Hawks 11-8, the Marl­bor­ough boys gained in con­fi­dence as they went along. On Sun­day morn­ing they picked up their first win, beat­ing Har­bour City Hawks 10-7 which put them into a semi­fi­nal play­off game against Hutt, which the even­tual win­ners com­fort­ably took out. In the play-off for bronze against Maranui marl­bor­ough nar­rowed the gap to 5-1 but had to be con­tent with fourth place.

Next up for Marl­bor­ough Wa­ter Polo is the South Is­land Sec­ondary School Champs in Christchurch in late Novem­ber.

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