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NATIONAL TITLES SECURED IN MANCHESTER
The Junior Ladies' competition kicked off the finals day of the Championships with home-side Manchester facing North West rivals Liverpool.
Manchester started quickly and kept their lead until the end of the 2nd quarter when Liverpool fought back to equalise 2 all. This was a close tackle game, with a lot of possession play and subsequent major fouls, but slowly the Manchester girls began to pull the scoring ahead, so that the 3rd quarter finished at 6-4, and despite a goalkeeping change for Liverpool, the final score was 9-5.
The Youth Girls competition was the other Liverpool v Manchester game. Again, the two teams squared up to a challenging match although this time it was Liverpool who scored three goals in the 1st quarter - a lead which Manchester could never quite pull back. This was also the match of saved penalties. The final score was 7-4.
National Performance Director Nick Hume watched games with interest, alongside other coaches involved in the Youth and Junior programmes. Hume commented that the new ASA Championships would be reviewed as a competition and that British Water Polo hoped to build on the "robust framework" of this year.
GB Women's Coach Szilveszter Fekete watched in the spectators' gallery as the Ladies finals were played at lunchtime.
Manchester played Sheffield. With half of each squad having been GB teammates in Prague, this was another strongly contested match of players not conceding possession without a tussle. Manchester scored well during the first quarter, and although the Sheffield team looked like pulling back with concerted attempts at goal, the fourth quarter penalty for Manchester, converted by captain Kate Lewis, put the match too far out of reach and the score ended 9-7.