West London Penguin to face Manchester and Cheltenham in finals

West London Penguin double up on finals places after day one of the GoCardless Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships 2024 (U17/U19).

They are set to face off against Cheltenham in the U17 Open final and City of Manchester in the female final.

City of Manchester will also contest for a medal in the Open event as they take on Caledonia for bronze.

In the female bronze medal match, Worthing will challenge Cheltenham.

Penguin edge exciting opener

Last year’s winners of the U17 competition, West London Penguin, played their part in an exciting and end-to-end opening semi-final of the weekend.

Despite a strong start by City of Manchester, which saw them build a 5-4 lead, the defending champions fought back to take the win.

Penguin were persistent and continued wear down Manchester’s defence. They went on to score five unanswered goals in the second quarter courtesy of doubles from Dimitrios Maximos Karagiannis and Shai Saltman, plus one from Daniel D’Souza.

That seemed to be the turning point in the match as Penguin went into half time with the score 9-5 in their favour and didn’t let that lead slip.

There was a late flurry from City of Manchester, who scored five goals in the final quarter as Yaroslav Shemanov completed his hat-trick, but it wasn’t enough to turn the result around.

Penguin scored four of their own in the fourth quarter to seal a 17-12 victory and earn a place in Sunday’s U17 Open final.

Cheltenham earn place in final

The second U17 Open semi-final saw Cheltenham book their place in Sunday’s final following a 15-11 win over Caledonia.

It was a dominant first half from the home side of Cheltenham, who train at the Gloucester’s GL1 pool.

An impressive six goals from William Bamborough in the opening quarter set them well on their way to victory – with Harvey Mitchell adding two and Alfie Clarke also on the scoresheet.

There was just the one goal scored by Caledonia, courtesy of Joe Mathieson, followed by five goals in the second quarter which were split 3-2 in Caledonia’s favour.

But the damage had been done in the first and the score was 11-4 to Cheltenham at the halfway mark.

It was a big third quarter for Caledonia who scored five goals and limited Cheltenham to just one – closing the gap to three goals ahead of the final quarter.

Although Caledonia opened the scoring first through Jason Dickson, the gap was soon opened up again as Bamborough converted for his eighth goal of the match.

Goals from Cheltenham’s Mitchell and Ryan Renders, as well as Caledonia’s Raphael Schiff-Abels brought the final result to 15-11.

Penguin victorious over Worthing

West London Penguin were back in action, this time with their U17 Female side on display against Worthing.

The club made it a double of U17 semi-final victories as Penguin went on to score 11 goals and concede just five, cheered on by their teammates in the stand.

As the whistle blew, Penguin swiftly took possession in the first quarter under the watchful eye of match referee Joanne Mountfield.

Pengiun’s number seven, Jaspreet Gill, scored the opening goal for her side and swiftly followed up with a second. Goals from Miia Anjala and Alice Daunt doubled their side’s lead in the first quarter.

There was just the one goal converted in the second quarter, with Emily Barea finding the back of the net.

However, the final moments of the first half saw a fantastic save from Penguin’s goalkeeper, Kaila Saltman, to keep Worthing scoreless going into the second half at 5-0.

In the third quarter, it was a different story for Worthing. They got off the mark with a long range effort from Florence Cooper and, like buses, two came at once as Elsie Graves converted shortly after for their second to bring the score to 3-5 for a short time.

Penguin responded quickly with Jaspreet Gill’s hat-trick goal – a stunning shot that found its mark from almost halfway to close the quarter out at 3-6.

The final quarter started with Penguin back in possession and they remained in charge for the majority with five additional shots on target.

Despite Worthing’s Elsie Graves also completing a hat-trick as she bagged two goals in the final quarter, Penguin proved too strong, scoring five to finish the match up at 11-5.

City of Manchester overcome Cheltenham

A strong City of Manchester side fought off Cheltenham to earn a convincing 20-12 victory in the second U17 Female semi-final.

The first quarter saw City of Manchester’s Lucy Blenkinship and Amelia Crompton share the goal scoring honours with two each. Ella Webster and Alice Ross grabbed the goals for Cheltenham.

A second quarter hat-trick from Crompton gave her side some breathing space, with the scores at 10-6 as the match reached halfway.

City of Manchester began to take control in the second half and dominated the third quarter, scoring a total of six unanswered goals.

One of those came from a close-range penalty converted by Sonal Ladha despite the best efforts of keeper, Sophie Leveridge.

In the final quarter, Cheltenham managed an impressive six goals to City of Manchester’s four and it was Jessica Day who brought home a whopping five of the six for Cheltenham.

But it wasn’t quite enough to turn the result around and Manchester finished victorious at 20-12.

You can keep up with all the scores by visiting the live scoreboard and see all the reports from the Swim England Water Polo National Age Group Championships here.

Images – Will Johnston Photography


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