Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club travelled to Gloucester for the first round of the 2014 Youth Boys National Water Polo Championships. They played five games of two halves of 7 playing minutes.
Their first game was against Chelmsford which was an unknown team to Lancaster. Lancaster opened the scoring through Ben Turnbull with a fierce handed shot. John Pratt scored Lancaster second goal and young Kris Eggerton nipped in for Lancaster’s third. Lancaster although looking in control were working extremely hard as the East London side competed for every ball.
As the second half started Lancaster ran amok as Ben scored his second goal of the game and Aaron Mason scored a fifth for Lancaster. Being 5 goals up was surprise for the young Lancaster side who had a number of first choice players not available for the weekend. John scored his second as Lancaster took a 6 goal lead. Chelmsford fought back and scored their only goal late in the game.
Final score Lancaster 6 v Chelmsford 1
Cheltenham, one of the favourites to progress to the next stage of the competition, was Lancaster’s second game of the day.
Lancaster started badly conceding a penalty in the first minute but Aaron scored a good counter attack goal to level the scores.
John scored a fine centre forward goal as Lancaster took the lead, but Cheltenham hit back immediately after the restart only for John to put Lancaster back in front.
Aaron increased Lancaster’s lead and Cheltenham showed why they were one of the favourites to progress as they reduced Lancaster’s lead.
Just before half time Dan Armstrong gave Lancaster a 2 goal lead in his first national goal. An audacious shot by Lancaster’s goalkeeper and Captain Owain Llewelyn resulted in Lancaster having a 3 goal lead at the end of half time.
The second half started with Cheltenham scoring the first goal. This galvanised Lancaster into action with 3 second half goals scored by John, Aaron and Ben. Cheltenham did score a late goal, but Lancaster had achieved a significant victory
Final score Lancaster 9 v Cheltenham 5
Lancaster third goal was against last year champions and favourites to win the tournament, City of Manchester.
Indecision in mid bath allowed Manchester steal in and score the first goal. Lancaster fought hard and was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty.
Both sides competed manfully, but Manchester gaining a man up situation increased their lead. Both sides concede man down situations but failed to capitalise on them. From yet another man up position Manchester increased their lead. Ben managed to score as Lancaster took advantage of the extra man
The second half was an evenly contested game neither sides able to dominate. Manchester did however finish the game strongest, scoring 2 goals in the last couple of minutes
Final score Lancaster 1 v Manchester 5
Lancaster third game of the tournament was against Leeds Sharks. Lancaster knew if they win the final 2 games they would qualify for the next stage.
Lancaster smarting from the Manchester defeat started strongly scoring from the first attack. Aaron opened the scoring and goals came at regular intervals from Ben, John, Ben again and Harry King scoring his first of the competition.
Less than half way through the first half Lancaster had built up a 6 goal lead as Stefano Cossutti scored his first goal of the tournament. John with 2 more goals, Stefano with his second and Ben gave Lancaster a 10 goal lead at half time
Lancaster continued the onslaught in the second half as Lancaster amassed a further 9 goals including a goal from young Matty Alderson scoring his first goal for Lancaster at the ripe old age of 11. Ben, John, Joe Booth, Harry scored a goal each with Aaron and Daniel scoring two more goals each completed the scoring
Final score Lancaster 19 v Leeds 0
Lancaster now needed to win their last game to qualify for the next stage against another unknown team Paignton and with the southwest have been producing strong junior polo teams recently Lancaster took nothing for granted as Lancaster Coaches Zak Sly and Trevor Peach started with their strongest 7 players.
Kris opened the scoring quickly followed by Aaron, true to recent form Paignton hit back. Further 2 goals from John set Lancaster up, only to be pegged back by the plucky Paignton team. Aaron, Ben with 2 goals each and Kris gave Lancaster a half time lead of 6 goals
Lancaster started the final half of the game knowing steady play would see them into the qualifying stage of the competition.
Lancaster started strongly and soon scored as Stefano raced clear from the tired defence. Further goals from Aaron, Dan, Kris, and Harry 2 gave Lancaster a convincing 17 – 2 victory.
City of Manchester and Lancaster finished top two and Lancaster now travel to face the successful four other teams from the two other preliminary rounds which include Invicta, Watford, Sheffield and Croydon.
Lancaster’s successful team was: Owain Llewelyn (captain)(1), Stefano Cossutti (3), Dan Armstrong (4), Harry King (4), John Pratt (11), Aaron Mason (11), Ben Turnbull (12), Toby Seers, Joe Booth (1), Kris Eggerton (4), Matty Alderson (1)
Leeds Sharks 19-0