Bohally Intermediate made the most of their debut in the South Island Intermediate Schools water polo championships, bringing home a bronze medal from the deep south.
It was the first time that the Marlborough school had entered the competition, which was staged in Dunedin from July 25-27 and had 15 teams participating.
In their first match they met last year’s champions, Cobham, and in a very tight match, finished with a 3-3 draw.
The following day they played four tough, physical matches against Southland Girls’ High School, St Hilda’s, James Hargest and Columba, notching wins in all four – 17-1, 14-0, 11-1 and 12-3 respectively.
Sunday morning saw a crunch match against last year’s runners up, Christ the King, a big, well-drilled team. In a nail-biting match that Bohally led until the last quarter, they were edged out 4-6. Despite only having lost one match and having the second-best goal difference, this result meant that they were relegated to a bronze medal match against Columba.
That match mirrored the pool stage result, with Bohally coming away 12-3 winners.
Bohally management said spectators and opposition coaches were effusive in their praise of the way in which the team played and the spirit and fairness they showed throughout the tournament.
What made the tournament result more impressive was the fact that they had only put the team together a few weeks previously after many of the players had performed well at a tournament in Lower Hutt a month ago.
At the prizegiving, two of the team were included in the tournament team (best seven players). They were goalkeeper Alex Boyce and team captain, Ryan Marsh.
The Bohally team praised the help of sponsors Agrivit Ltd, Lorraine Barrett First National and Marlborough Osteopaths.