Water polo future looks bright
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.