Silver medal time for local water polo team

Back row, from left, Alastair Keay (Head Coach), Katie Parkinson (Tauranga), Georgia Morrison, Siobhan Keay, Charlotte Brown, Molly Norton, Emma Flanagan, Glen Morrison (Assistant Coach). Front row: Meg Flanagan, Abbey Moody, Leilani Horan (Tauranga). Photo: Supplied.

Marlborough’s under-16 girls water polo team claimed a silver medal at the national U16 girls division two tournament in Auckland recently.

The team, which comprised seven Marlborough players and two loan players from Tauranga, played superbly throughout the four-day tournament.

First up was Waikato with the Marlborough side’s fitness showing through, allowing them to win 21-2.

Next day they faced a tougher assignment, beating North Harbour (White) 5-4, slowing down the oppositions’ attack with tight defence.

Later that evening they played Canterbury B, tight defence and quick breaks taking them to a 14-2 win which propelled them to the top of their pool.

In the ensuing quarter finals they met North Harbour (Black) and came away with a 9-1 win. Next stop was a semi-final against Tauranga, which was won 9-6, setting up a final against the similarly unbeaten Rotorua team.

In a tight tussle, the sides were locked 3-3 at half time and Marlborough led by one at the end of the third quarter. Rotorua stepped up in the final stanza, scoring twice to come away with a 7-6 win, meaning Marlborough had to settle for silver, a top effort given it was their first U16 national tournament.

Abbey Moody, from the Marlborough Water Polo Club, took out the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

Coach Alastair Keay described it as a “great tournament”.

“The girls had a great time and would like to thank the coaches, manager and supporters who travelled to Auckland as well as all those who were supporting from back home, much appreciated.

“Thanks also to everyone who bought sheep manure for our fundraiser, Meaters of Marlborough for a great array of meat, Subway for providing lunch vouchers and Stadium 2000 for providing a great training facility.”

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