Boy’s 18&U National Club Ch’ships: City Beach win

City Beach won an edge of your seat game to beat the Hunter Hurricanes

Gold: City Beach

Silver: Hunter Hurricanes

Bronze: Drummoyne Devils

Plate: Melbourne Collegians

Bowl: Sunshine Coast

City Beach have been crowned 2015 national champions after defeating the Hunter Hurricanes 9-8 in a tight gold medal game on the final day of the Boy’s 18 and Under National Club Championships from South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Adelaide.

City’s win in the gold medal decider ensured they ended the tournament undefeated and were able to go one step further than their outstanding runner-up finish in 2014.

Earlier in the day the Drummoyne Devils had won the bronze medal, beating the Melville Sharks 15-14 in a thrilling penalty shootout, while Melbourne Collegians won the plate final, with the Sunshine Coast winning the Bowl final.

LINK: Full results from the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club championships

LINK: Replay of the bronze and gold medal games (Water Polo Australia YouTube account)

Gold Medal Game

It was a finale to the tournament that certainly didn’t disappoint, with City Beach and Hunter battling hard for all four quarters to keep the crowd guessing of who would win the gold medal. 

For both teams, qualifying to make the final was an achievement in itself after the Hurricanes had upset the Drummoyne Devils, who had until that point been undefeated, while City Beach beat cross town Wetsern Australian rivals and 2014 champions the Melville Sharks to cement their spot in the championship playoff.

The first quarter started out with the play falling in favour of the Hurricanes as Mitchell Marsden, Lucas Mackaway and Jake Robinson all converted to hand Hunter a handy 3-1 lead at quarter time.

However it was a strong second quarter, which brought City Beach back into the fray and eventually set them up for victory as they put away five goals, two of which were scored by Tim Putt who was named MVP of the tournament.

With City Beach leading 6-4 at the beginning of the third term, the Hurricanes needed to get themselves back into the game, however both teams played tight defence to score just one goal apiece, meaning that the two goal margin held by City Beach would remain in tact ahead of the final quarter.

With a national championship on the line it was City Beach’s Jed Thompson who scored first in the fourth stanza, before the Hurricanes hit back with a double from Connor Morgan. Despite the chase effort, Hunter was unable to peg back the margin, as Western Australians claimed a long awaited national championship.

City Beach coach Andre Kovalenko stressed that his side played like a champion team throughout the week, and that each player could be proud of their efforts from the tournament.

“Everyone from my team stepped up today, and it was a hard game to win,” Kovalenko said.

“This win was absolutely a gold medal effort and every single player contributed. We focused on just playing the game and not worrying about the scoreboard. Our job was to play good water polo, and the result is the reward of that.

“Our team came into the competition strong, and they have been together for a long time, and they delivered on their aim to win the national championship, which is the third title for them this year.”

Bronze Medal Game

The Drummoyne Devils have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to beat the Melville Sharks to the bronze medal 15-14, in a game that was decided in a penalty shootout.

Defending premiers Melville had started the game strong to be leading 3-1 at the first break as Alexander Brogan, Liam McMahon and Thomas Prior all scored, Prior’s goal his first of four for the encounter.

Drummoyne weren’t able to reduce their two goal deficit in the second stanza, as both trams scored three goals, impressively it was Adam Hall for the Devils leading the charge with his first two of six goals for the game, the score 6-4 at half time. A high scoring third term saw both teams put away five goals, as the Sharks margin remained in tact.

With the two sides so evenly matched in the water, it seemed that the stronger first quarter would pay dividends for Melville in the fourth, however it was Drummoyne who upped the ante to hold the Sharks scoreless, while Adam Hall nailed two goals to send the game to a penalty shootout.

With a podium place on the line, it was Devils goalkeeper Benjamin Scobie who was the ‘x’ factor for his side, making enough saves during the shootout to hand his side the bronze medal.

Plate and Bowl Finals

Earlier in the day Melbourne Collegians took a controlled 13-7 win over the Brisbane Barracudas in the plate final, establishing the win during an impressive 6-1 opening quarter.

While the opener was the key for Melbourne, a further six across the middle two terms solidified the victory, putting the win out of reach for Brisbane, despite the Queenslanders scoring four of their seven goals in the fourth period. 

Top scoring for Collegians was Max Sheats who put away four goals, while Mitch Foss was hot on his heels with three successful shots. Lachie Tadgell and Jackson Summers both scored twice for Melbourne, as Nicholas Hallam and Daniel Murphy also scored for the winning team.

In the opening game of day six, it was the Sunshine Coast who held out a fast finishing Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers/Richmond Tigers combined team to claim the Bowl final 16-10.

The Sunshine Coast raced to an 11-3 lead in the first half of the game as Noah Anstey, Dylan Coolican and Harrison Hill-Nolloth all scored two goals, while Riley Korac, Hugh Anstey, Lachlan Stevens and Lachlan Lyndon also scored.

However it was a resurgent SNB/Richmond team who turned up in the second half to chase down the gap, Cameron Gilmore impressing with four goals in the second half.

Despite their best efforts, the eight goal deficit in the first half of the game was too great for SNB/Richmond to pull back, as the Sunshine Coast went home with the bowl trophy from the 18 & Under National Club Championships, which will no doubt sit alongside the silver medal from the boy’s 14 & Under National Club Championships, which was won last week.

Awards

MVP: Tim Putt (City Beach)

Goalkeeper: Joe Goldfinich

Referee: Alisha Geary

Top Goalscorers: Keenan Marsden (Hunter Hurricanes) and Connor Wolohan (UNSW Wests Magpies) – 27 goals

Day Five

The Hunter Hurricanes have caused the upset of the tournament at the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club Championships, handing the Drummoyne Devils their first defeat to power through to the gold medal game at South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Adelaide.

In the day five’s other championship semi final it was City Beach who beat fellow Western Australian’s the Melville Sharks 10-7 to also book their place in the gold medal contest.

However the talking point of day five was the Hunter Hurricanes who came out swinging against the Devils, to lead at each break during the game, protecting their lead as Drummoyne attempted to fight their way back into a position to challenge for victory.

Despite their best efforts, it was a titanic six goals to the Hurricanes, while conceding none, during the second quarter, which sealed the win and sent Hunter to the gold medal game. The Hurricanes Jake Robinson will be a player to keep an eye on in the final, after scoring three of his four goals during the game breaking second quarter.

Meanwhile, the second championship semi final was a successful comeback from a first quarter deficit for City Beach to overcome cross-town rivals the Melville Sharks.

While the Sharks had led 4-2 at the first break, it was City Beach who took the ascendancy from thereon in to lead 6-5 at half time, 7-6 at the final change before securing the 10-7 victory.

Tom Powell continued his strong form for City Beach during the second semi final as he scored five goals, while a further five players added their name to the scorers list to exemplify the shooting options at the fingertips of the Western Australian’s ahead of the gold medal final.

Although Drummoyne and Melville weren’t able to book their place in the championship final, the contest for the bronze medal will be hotly anticipated with both teams showing strong form throughout the tournament.

Earlier in the day Melbourne Collegians beat composite team Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers/Richmond Tigers 14-12 to ensure they will be in the first final of day six, qualifying for the playoff for the Plate Championship.

Collegians took the lead early in the game, extending to as much as a four goal advantage at the half time break (9-5). It wasn’t without trial that Collegians took victory, as SNB/Richmond launched an attack in the fourth term, ultimately falling short of the mark come the final siren.

In the second semi final for a spot in the plate final the Brisbane Barracudas led from start to finish to beat fellow Queenslanders the Sunshine Coast 13-8.

With a 5-1 lead at half time, the Barracudas faced a stern challenge from the Sunshine Coast in the third term, as the latter piled on five goals, three of which came off the arm of Joseph O’Brien.

Irrespective of their charge in the third term, the Sunshine Coast weren’t able to maintain their charge as Brisbane turned the tables to score five of their own in the fourth quarter, the goals coming from five different players.

The playoff for 13th place was an enthralling battle between Alstonville and the UTS Balmain Tigers, with the former winning 14-12 after the scores had been locked at 11-11 early in the fourth period. The final score was reflective of the to and fro battle throughout the game, which was a fitting finish to the tournament for both teams.

In the battle for fifth place, Sydney University Blue came out victorious, beating the combined Melville Saints/Dolphins team 16-15 in a penalty shootout. The result was a testament to the competitiveness of the two teams that had been on the cusp of a semi-finals berth just 24 hours earlier.

Although Sydney University had led by three goals at half time, it was Melville who struck back in the third with a four goal haul to be leading at the final change. An equally tight fourth stanza saw the scores at full time 11-11, with Sydney University finding the edge in the penalty shootout for victory.

In other games on day five, the ACT Fins finished their tournament on a high with an 18-8 win over Sydney University Gold to finish the event 15th, as the UNSW Wests Magpies beat the Adelaide Jets 17-9 to round out their tournament campaign and finish seventh for the competition.

The sixth and final day will commence with the Bowl final at 8.30am local time, with the plate final to follow at 9.45am local, while the bronze medal game and championship final will follow, with both games being live streamed, the details of which are in the link below.

LINK: Boy’s 18 and Under National Club Championships, bronze and gold medal game LIVE STREAM

You can view the results from day five here

Day Four

The Drummoyne Devils have continued their impressive form at the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club Championships to beat the UNSW Wests Magpies 12-11 and remain unbeaten at the national titles being played at South Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Adelaide.

The competition in Championship Group A was intense on day four, as the Devils nearest rival the Melville Sharks also won, beating fellow Western Australian team the Melville Saints/Dolphins combined team 11-7.

However it was the showdown of Sydney’s Inner West that had the crowd enthralled as the Devils snatched the win in the final minute of play after the scores had been locked at 11-11 part way through the fourth quarter.

Christopher Artemi was again on song for Drummoyne as he sent six goals past Wests defence, while Conor Wolohan top scored for the Magpies with four individual goals, two of which came in the final quarter to help his side challenge for victory.

Wests took the lead in the first term, the score 4-2 at the first break, with the two sides drawing level at 7-7 at the half time break. However it was a strong third term that helped the Devils jump to the lead 10-8 at the final change, before a hotly contested fourth term saw Drummoyne grasp the win.

Meanwhile it was a Western Australian showdown as the Melville Sharks and Melville Saints/Dolphins battled it out to secure a semi final place, the Sharks walking away victors ahead of the playoffs on day five. 

A turnaround in form is what the Hunter Hurricanes needed on day four, and the ‘Canes delivered with an 11-5 win over Sydney University Blue.

In the plate group the game of the day was a 22-7 encounter between the Brisbane Barracudas and the ACT Fins, with the Barracudas coming up trumps at the full time siren.

In other games in the plate group, the Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers/Richmond Tigers asserted themselves as a team to beat with a dominant 18-6 win over the UTS Balmain Tigers. Cameron Gilmore top scored for the game with six goals, helping his team to cap off a successful day.

It was a similar feat for the Sunshine Coast who accounted for Alstonville 20-5, while Melbourne Collegians turned up the heat against Sydney University Gold to win 23-2.

Full report to follow when information is available.

Day Three 

The Drummoyne Devils have dealt 2014 national champions the Melville Sharks an 11-5 defeat, to established themselves as the team to beat on day three of the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club Championships at the South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

Earlier in the day the Plate Group had turned on a show for the crowd, with Sydney Northern Beaches/Richmond and the ACT Fins putting away narrow victories, while the Sunshine Coast and Sydney University Gold played controlled games to also walk away with victory.

However it was the battle in the championship group that saw the Devils put themselves in pole position ahead of day four.

It had been a tight opening quarter between Drummoyne and Melville, with the Devils holding the ascendancy at the first break 4-3. With many expecting the Sharks to come back into contention, it was Drummoyne who added a further two goals, with their defence rendering Melville scoreless in the second stanza.

It was a similar story in the third term, with the Devils defence allowing only a further two goals from the Sharks through, one of which was a penalty goal to Thomas Prior.

Meanwhile the championship group handed fellow West Australian’s the Melville Saints/Dolphins composite team a better hand, as they took a come from behind victory against the UNSW West Magpies to win by a slender 13-11 margin.

Conor Wolohan had led from the front for the Magpies in the first half to score five goals, as Wests led the first quarter 4-3, increasing their advantage to two goals to be leading 8-6 at the main break.

Despite this the resurgent Saints/Dolphins team made it their mission to pull themselves into the lead as they limited Wests to just one goal in the third quarter, as their man Jacob Jones powered home three goals to assist Melville to victory.

Novocastrians the Hunter Hurricanes will be hoping that day four brings with it a turnaround in form, after they succumbed to Western Australians City Beach 10-4 in the first of the championship Group B games.

A tight first quarter had only City Beach scoring, and was seemingly setting the scene for a close game, however the second quarter belonged to City Beach as they kept Hunter scoreless while scoring four, two of which came from Tom Powell, who would finish the game with five goals to his name.

Trailing 4-1 at half time, the Hurricanes were in need of goals, however tight defence from City Beach made that task difficult, with the West Australians extending their lead to six goals throughout the second half to secure the win.

In the final championship game of the day it was an arm wrestle between the Adelaide Jets and Sydney University Blue, with Sydney Uni scraping through to win 11-10 with four seconds remaining in the game.

James Butcher stole the show and the win for Sydney Uni, as he scored five goals during the encounter. With four goals to his name, Adelaide’s Andrew van der Pennen was equally impressive, his final shot equalising the scores 10-10 in the final minute of play.

For both Sydney University Blue and the Hunter Hurricanes, day four will be a matter of chasing down City Beach and securing a place in the semi finals.

The early morning games in the plate group had proved to be crowd pleasers as the Sydney Northern Beaches/Richmond Tigers team edged out the Brisbane Barracudas 13-10, with the combined team leading all but the first quarter of the game.

Cameron Gilmore impressed for the SNB side as he scored four goals, whole Will Paynter, Kobe Cooper and Leo Duada Board all picked up two goals on the path to victory.

In the second game of the day it was the UTS Balmain Tigers who had to fend off a fast finishing ACT Fins to win the game 14-16.

Balmain had led by two or more goals at every break, however the Fins were never far behind as they outscored Balmain 3-2 in the final term in the pursuit of victory.

Nonetheless, the ACT were unable to chase down the lead, as Balmain duo Harry Sanderson and Jayden Bonnici both impressed with a swag of goals to help their side to victory.

In other games on day three, the Sunshine Coast beat Melbourne Collegians 12-6, while Alstonville picked up a victory against Sydney University Gold 12-4.

You can view the results from day three here

Day Two

Day two if the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club Championships has seen the competitors within shot of making the championship group put their best foot forward, with high scores dominating the play at South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

It was a heated exchange early in the day between the Drummoyne Devils and Western Australia’s Melville Saints/Dolphins, with Sydney based Drummoyne coming from two goals down at the beginning of the fourth quarter to win the game 10-8.

While the Devils had struck first through Rowan Farrell, it was the Saints/Dolphins who took control of the game to be leading 3-1 at the first break, 3-2 at half time before firing home four goals in the third stanza to lead 7-5 at the final change.

Despite the lead, the Western Australian’s couldn’t shut down the shooting prowess of Drummoyne’s Chris Artemi who scored three in the final term, while Farrell also scored his third with Gianni Taranto making it five goals for the quarter, and sealing the win for the Devils.

In Group D it was City Beach and Sydney University Blue who had entered day two of the tournament even on points. With both teams eager to establish themselves as top dog of the group, it was City Beach who came up trumps to win 9-5.

A strong first half from City Beach saw the Western Australians convert three goals in each of the first two quarters to be leading 6-3 at half time, with Tom Rigoll and Tom Powell both scoring twice, while Jed Thompson and Tim Putt both scored a goal apiece.

The contest in the water tightened up during the third term as neither team could manage more than one goal. City Beach found the space to score twice during the fourth period, while Sydney University managed to convert just once, the win handing the group point’s advantage to the West Australians.

Meanwhile a high scoring encounter between the Brisbane Barracudas and UTS Balmain Tigers culminated in Brisbane taking the ascendancy 20-12 over Balmain, the second half proving to be the game breaker for the Barracudas.

A close first half had seen the Brisbane and Balmain inseparable with 3-3 and 7-7 score lines at the conclusion of the first two terms. However the Barracudas found an extra kick in the second half, their charge led by Darcy Moreland who hammered home four goals in the latter half of the game.

The day had opened with the Melville Sharks beating the Sydney Northern Beaches/Richmond team 25-9, while the UNSW Wests Magpies accounted for the ACT Fins 25-2.

Other games saw Melbourne Collegians defeat Alstonville 13-4, Sunshine Coast account for Sydney University Gold 21-2, UNSW Wests claim their second win 16-8 over the SNB/Richmond, and the Hunter Hurricanes won out 15-10 against the Adelaide Jets, as the Melville Sharks handed the ACT Fins their second loss of the day in a 26-9 affair.

*Further information to follow

You can view the results from day two here

Day One

Western Australia’s Melville Sharks have come out firing on day one of the Boy’s 18 & Under National Club Championships, with the defending premiers taking a convincing 12-6 victory over the UNSW Wests Magpies at South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

While Wests fought hard to stay in contention throughout the contest, it was a clinical second quarter effort from the Sharks that saw them skip away from the Magpies, who had entered the competition ranked third among the NSW teams.

Melville had jumped to a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, with four different scorers, while Josh Watkins scored both of the Magpies goals. It remained a two goal game at half time, the score 6-4 at the end of the second term.

However a damaging second half from Melville saw them convert six shooting attempts, while restricting Wests to just two, putting their first victory beyond doubt.

In one of the closest games of the day, the Adelaide Jets managed a win over the Sunshine Coast, with Andrew van der Pennen nailing the winning goal with a meagre 21 seconds remaining on the clock. 

The two sides had been neck and neck throughout the encounter to see Adelaide leading 3-2 at the first break, the momentum swinging in favour of the Sunshine Coast 7-6 at half time. The contest tightened up to see a 9-9 third term, with the Jets finding space to claim victory come full time. 

Earlier in the day fellow Western Australian side City Beach had also taken a win, theirs over the sole Victorian team Melbourne Collegians in a closer 7-3 affair, that saw City Beach’s Lach Pethick score three goals.

While City Beach was never challenged for the lead, Melbourne were able to take away a positive fourth quarter that saw the two teams finish with two goals apiece, Jackson Summers and Mitch Foss the scorers for Collegians.

Meanwhile the Drummoyne Devils have begun their campaign on the right foot to beat the Brisbane Barracudas 10-3, as Gianni Taranto, Charlie Kospetas, Rowan Farrell and Chris Artemi all picked up two goals for the game. 

While Brisbane had battled from trailing 5-1 at the end of the second quarter to draw within three of the lead (6-3) during the third term, they weren’t able to continue their attack, with Drummoyne’s defence standing up to the challenge and stemming the Barracudas attack for the remainder of the game.

The Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers produced a stunning five goal haul in the third quarter of their game against the ACT Fins to run out 16-6 winners, Connor Wood top scoring for the game with five goals, in the process announcing themselves as contenders for the national title.

In other games the Adelaide Jets beat Sydney University Gold 16-3, Sydney University Blue beat Alstonville 17-5, the Melville Saints/Dolphins were too good for the UTS Balmain Tigers with a 19-3 victory, while the opening game of the tournament between the Hunter Hurricanes and the Sunshine Coast will be replayed at 8pm local Adelaide time following a protest.

You can view the results from day one here