Red Cross Water Polo Tournament (96/97/98)
3 October 2009 - Basingstoke Aquadrome
A combined Academy / Novice squad from Christchurch Seagulls were impressive beating Andover 10-0 and Worcester 13-1 in their group games.
This earned them a place in the final against pre-tournament favourites Croydon Amphibians U14s who had beaten last year's winners Basingstoke 13 – 4 and then Salisbury 15 – 0 in the preliminary rounds.
Despite Croydon having a strong record in water polo - they won the London League under 15s Championships in 2008 and 2009 - Seagulls went ahead early in the final but were 4-3 down at the halfway point. They quickly drew level through a pit move rehearsed in the training pool and then went ahead after a fast counter attack.
With supporters of both teams on their feet and drowning out the coaches’ instructions, Seagulls found themselves under relentless pressure. Although Seagulls hit the woodwork, four goal Josh Hampson managed to put Croydon a goal ahead with three minutes left to play. Then a wonder goal by Croydon's Matthew Brooks , a further by Kevin Girard and some stout defending against repeated Seagulls' attacks sealed a compelling and skilful match 8-5 for the Londoners.
Seagulls’ coach Rob Webber told the Bournemouth Echo: “My players are disappointed and that’s a mark of where we are. But coming second in this company is no disgrace. I couldn’t ask more of them – they have given absolutely everything.”
Seagulls Academy squad: Kyle East, Megan Fletcher, Beth Kingsley, Mikey Kingsley, Cianan Mann, Jackson Mullins, Kathy Rogers, Charlie Roberts, James Stephenson, Natasha Webber.