Commonwealth Water Polo Champs
Both the England men’s and women’s water polo teams won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Water Polo Championships in Aberdeen, having previously achieved no higher than a bronze.
The England Women’s team played Canada, Scotland, South Africa and Wales before reaching the final. They started the competition with a massive 35-1 win against Wales and then went on to beat both South Africa and Scotland, but lost their final group game 9-8 to Canada.
This final group match turned out to be a dress rehearsal for the final, as the Women’s team had the chance for revenge on Canada. Following a strong start from Canada, as well as a final quarter comeback, the England team managed to stay tough throughout the match and cruicially hold off their opponents at the end, to take the gold with a 10-9 win (3-3, 3-0, 3-2, 1-4). Ciara Gibson-Byrne was top goal scorer (4), with Hazel Musgrove shining in the first and last quarters (3), baked up by Aine Hoy (2) and Angie Winstanley-Smith (1).
The third and fourth play-off match saw the Scottish women’s team beaten 16-1 by South Africa.
Following the Women’s victory, the England Men took on Malta in their final and secured victory with a score of 16-9 (5-1, 5-2, 4-3, 2-3). The England men’s team won all of their matches on the way to the final including a 20-1 victory over Singapore and a 10-3 win over Malta just ahead of the final. Other teams played were; New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
England started the final full of confidence and got off to a winning start, leading the first quarter 5-1. Joe O’Regan opened the scoring before goals from Tom Curwen, Glen Robinson and Jake Vincent established their lead.
England continued their dominance in the second quarter as Sean King added his name to the score sheet before O’Regan completed his hat-trick as England increased their lead to 10-3 at half-time.
Malta scored early in the third quarter but goals from King, Curwen and Jonny Kirk put England further out of touch, leading 14-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Curwen scored five of England’s goals as they finished the match and the tournament as victors with a score of 16-9.
Scotland’s men’s team won the bronze medal after beating South Africa 6-5.