End of 2016 Dorset Water Polo report

County Secretary David Bradley reports on a busy end of the year for Dorset Water Polo.

The final of the Shield competition (the County Championships) was a very close affair held at Bournemouth between last years’ holders Weymouth & Portland and Bournemouth. Neither side was able to gain a clear advantage in a very competitive match. Tied at seven all, the trophy was decided on penalties. W&P were more accurate and so retain the Championship.

Two of our Girls - Phoebe Jones and Amelia Jones (not related) -  were part of the SW team that won their age group Championship in the Inter Regional Championship at Walsall. The boys did not do so well, finishing seventh out of ten. Still, representing your Region is an achievement in itself!

The South West Championships were held over two weekends (10/11 and 18 Dec) with the Senior Men's and 14&U Mixed tournaments held at Exeter and the remainder (12&U Mixed, 16&U Males and 16&U Females) held at Millfield.

Starting with our poorest results, working upwards!

The Girls were completely outclassed, easily beaten by Devon and the eventual winners Gloucester. We had little to offer, barely being able to field a team. Three of our best players were committed with England training and a School sport trip and they would have made a difference but not much. No other counties entered teams.

The boys fared a little better even though their two defeats were heavy as far as the score board was concerned. We had to utilise boys from the younger squad to make up a team but it was competitive and they kept the opposition “honest”. They showed their ability when faced with slightly less strong opposition in their final game against Cornwall which they won 14-6. Wiltshire and Somerset did not enter teams.

The 12&U Mixed had a really good championship, without winning any medals. Played fairly well in their first game (vs Gloucester) they lost to goals in the second half.  They easily dispatched Cornwall (7-1) and then came up against Devon, the strongest team. Outplayed in the first half they “clicked as a team” in the second half, storming back to level the scores at 9-9 with minutes to go. It was not quite a fairy tale ending as Devon came back with 2 goals of their own to take the points. They did end on a high though, beating Somerset 14-1. Wiltshire did not enter this age group.

It was very much the same story with the 14&U Mixed side who played really well throughout their tournament, just losing to Devon and Gloucestershire (the strongest counties) but seeing off, Wilts, Somerset and Cornwall to make our “third position” safe.

Dorset Water Polo Senior Men

The “Senior” men, had a really very good day. With none of the Weymouth and Portland players available, it was left to players based in Bournemouth to make up a team (They don’t all play for Bournemouth).

Hopes were not high as it was in effect a “scratch team”. All the six counties in the region were entered, so for each team it was a five game tournament. Surprisingly Dorset beat Cornwall, Somerset. Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire only losing by one goal to Devon. That was enough, because of other results, for Dorset to win the “Jack Jones” Trophy, a most unexpected result.

Whilst that is a commendable effort we should not get carried away, both Devon and Gloucestershire were prevented from using any of their National League players, to ensure a very competitive competition.

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21:03:00 06.01.2017
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