City of Manchester women win British Gas Water Polo Championships for sixth successive year

By Steven Oldham

City of Manchester’s women continue to dominate the national game after winning the British Gas Water Polo Championships for the sixth year running today. 

They beat Liverpool 10-5 in the final at their Manchester Aquatics Centre base to keep a firm grip on the title they have held since 2008. 

Ella Chadderton netted a hat-trick with Lucy Aspinall, Rosie Huck, Casey Smith (2) and Siobhan Hoy also on the scoresheet.

Captain Victoria Hawkins said: “It’s a wonderful feeling to win. We played a controlled game and I knew we could win.

We’re a strong squad and we work hard together. It’s good to show we’re still the dominant team and retain the title.”

Manchester convincingly beat Coventry 9-3 in yesterday’s semi-final to set up an all-North West final with Liverpool.

Liverpool reached the final by eliminating last year’s beaten finalists London Otter 13-12.

Otter – who include Team GB captain Fran Leighton in their ranks – comfortably beat Coventry 17-7 in the third place play off.

Manchester’s men picked up third place in their tournament by beating Cheltenham 12-11.

Oldham-born Olympian Joe O’Regan scored the game’s final goal, with the 22-year-old’s contribution tipping the game in his team’s favour.

Manchester were beaten 11-9 by Bristol Central in yesterday’s semi final, who went on to beat Lancaster 10-7 to win the title.

The Manchester-based national women’s squad – who will receive £4.5m funding in their bid to reach the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – also found out their group stage rivals for this summer’s World Championships today.

They will meet Olympic champions the USA, reigning world champions Greece and Canada in a round-robin group.

Acknowledging the difficult draw, London 2012 Olympian Fiona McCann said: “We are in the fourth pool group because we haven’t been to the worlds before so it was always likely we were going to have a tough draw.

We have a good history against Greece and played really well against USA in the Olympic test event.

We like a challenge and I think we can put in some good performances at the Worlds.”

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Photo courtesy of, with thanks

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