U18s Girls' Inter-Regionals Water Polo Championships 2023

4 and 5 February 2023.

Five teams competed in Division One, hosted by the North West Region at Blackpool’s Palatine Leisure Centre over 4/5 Feb .

The Division Two fixtures took place on 4 Feb, hosted by the East Region at Northampton School for Boys.

Division One

North East Steelers showed ‘grit, determination and great skill’ to come out on top in a thrilling U18s Girls’ Inter-Regional Championships.

South West Sharks, North West Thunder and South East Anderida all finished on four points after winning two and losing two of their four games. It was South West Sharks who took the runners-up spot with a superior goal difference with North East Thunder third and South West Anderida fourth.

Four years after winning the U14s title and then being narrowly beaten to the crown in the U16s competition, North East Steelers returned to the Division One summit with a 100 per cent record at Blackpool’s Palatine Leisure Centre. It proved to a gripping championships as a three-way tie for second, third and fourth places in the five-team table.

There was no doubting the title winners, however, as North East Steelers celebrated a 16-7 triumph over Scotland in their opening match and followed it up with wins over South West Sharks (11-6), South East Anderida (13-5) and North West Thunder (14-12).

Delighted North West Steelers coach Kevin Swainson hailed his hard-working team. He said: “The standard of the teams was excellent. The North East 2006s were always a really good squad. They won in Walsall four years ago and we got pipped to the post two years ago with a goal from the North West with seven seconds left to play when a draw would have secured gold. It is fantastic to finish the U18s Inter-Regions back on top again.

“The girls worked so hard. They played fantastic polo, showing grit and determination and great skill to win all four matches and do themselves, their parents, the coaches and the North East Region proud.”

Team captain Connie Swainson added: “What a way to finish the 06 journey. We started it on a win and finished it on a win. I couldn’t have hoped for a better team.”

Division Two

Hannah Hinton, head coach of the West Midlands Warriors, said: “I’m very proud of all the girls and how they have worked hard as a team. This squad of girls have been training and playing together for a number of years and all their commitment and dedication has paid off. Our GB girls took control with Amelie Perkins securing top goal scorer showing strength in front of goal.

“Bella Ibbs was awarded MVP for the team and there were strong performances from Bella Balzaretti in pit defence and our captain, Charlotte Turpin, controlling play down the right wing. 

“As a coach, the Inter-Regions has always been an enjoyable tournament. It’s not only an opportunity for the girls to gain valuable experience but also to showcase the talent we have in the West Midlands.”

Fixtures & Results      
Saturday 4 February      
Scotland 7 – 16 North East Steelers FT
North West Thunder 11 – 15 South West Sharks FT
Scotland 9 – 14 South East Anderida FT
North East Steelers 11 – 6 South West Sharks FT
North West Thunder 16 – 13 South East Anderida FT
Sunday 5 February      
Scotland 6 – 18 South West Sharks FT
North East Steelers 13 – 5 South East Anderida FT
Scotland 3 – 14 North West Thunder FT
South West Sharks 9 – 11 South East Anderida FT
North East Steelers 14 – 12 North West Thunder FT


Fixtures & Results      
Saturday 4 February      
London Sharks 11 – 15 East Angels FT
London Sharks 9 – 19 West Midlands Warriors FT
East Angels 7 – 20 West Midlands Warriors FT


Division 1            
Team P W D L GD Pts
North East Steelers 4 4 0 0 24 8
South West Sharks 4 2 0 2 9 4
North West Thunder 4 2 0 2 8 4
South East Anderida 4 2 0 2 -4 4
Scotland 4 0 0 4 -37 0


Division 2            
Team P W D L GD Pts
West Midlands Warriors 2 2 0 0 23 4
East Angels 2 1 0 1 -9 2
London Sharks 2 0 0 2 -14 0

MVP Awards
Division One

North East Steelers: Laura-Jean Skelton
North West Thunder: Lucy Blenkinship
Scotland: Zara Christie
South East Anderida: Ismey Hawley
South West Sharks: Izzy Baker
Tournament MVP Award: Laura-Jean Skelton
Top Goalkeeper: Zara Christie
Top Goalscorer: Lucy Blenkinship

Division Two
East Angels: Eve Barnes
London Sharks: Sophie Wilkinson
West Midland Warriors: Isabella Ibbs
Tournament MVP Award: Eve Barnes 
Top Goalkeeper: Christina English 
Top Goalscorer: Amélie Perkins

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17:38:00 07.02.2023
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