Six-time champions City of Manchester finished at the top of the Girls’ U17 Qualifiers 2016 table last weekend as they maintained their unbeaten record heading into next month’s finals.
Playing at the Liverpool Aquatics Centre, the Mancunian side (pictured below) defeated Exeter – last year’s fourth-placed side – in a thrilling 10-8 final match.
Exeter opened the match with a goal inside the first minute but the two sides were quickly playing goal for goal over the first half of the match.
It wasn’t until the last few minutes of the third quarter that Manchester started to pull ahead, eventually going two points clear by the final whistle.
City of Manchester’s Annie Clapperton demonstrated her scoring skills throughout the Girls’ U17 Qualifiers 2016, hitting the back of the net eight times over three matches for the North West side.
Rotherham – who pulled off a surprise result to knock out three-time champions Liverpool in the prelim – also move through to the final after finishing just behind defending champions, London Otter on the points table.
Sedgefield continued their title defence with an undefeated run at the Boys’ U17 Qualifiers 2016 at the Liverpool Aquatics Centre last weekend.
The Durham side – who won the U15s title in 2014 and then stepped up to take the U17 crown last season – looked unstoppable, winning all three matches in Group A to book their place in next month’s finals.
After starting the day with an 8-2 defeat by Sedgefield, 2015 runners-up City of Manchester added wins against Watford (7-0) and Chelmsford (6-5) to finish runners-up in Group A and seal the second qualification spot from the group.
City of Sheffield are the second team to take a perfect record into the final stage of the Boys’ U17 competition, winning Group B with victories over Caledonia, Cwm Draig and Bridgefield.
Winners of the Boys’ U17 Plate Trophy last year, Caledonia also continued their progress to the finals by securing the second qualification spot in Group B.
Full results from the preliminary and qualification rounds can be found on the ASA National Age Group Water Polo Hub here.
Both the Boys’ and the Girls’ U17 Finals 2016 will take place at the Manchester Aquatics Centre from 23-24 April.