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 SWPix.com, with thanks