Junior B WaterPolo team compete in the North Island Championships
On Wednesday, 25 November torrential rain plagued the journey, making it slightly longer than planned. The team was made up of 10 players, coached by old boy, Angus Beck. Half of the players in the team have only played for a few months so the focus for us was to develop as a team, as well as, our skills and resilience as individual players.
Our first game was not until early on the Thursday, where the team explored North Head and Devonport then supported the A Team in their first game of the tournament in West Auckland. We then set off to East Auckland bound for our pool for the tournament at Sacred Heart College. We settled into the first game against Longbay College really well securing a convincing win 18-2. We were well aware, however, that the rest of the tournament would not be so easy. With 16 teams in the division the two games on Friday were critical in our progression to the Quarter Finals.
The first game on the Friday against Mount Albert Grammar was a tough battle that we came out on the wrong side of the score-line, losing 6-4. That evening was a do or die game against Northcote College. We were slow out of the blocks but finished with a strong second half, winning 12-5, to secure a place in the final against one of the favourites of the tournament, John Paul College.
John Paul College were a tough team and despite shutting down their point scorers for half of the game, we could not break their defensive wall and they cracked ours for half of the game, sending us out of the top four with a gut wrenching loss of 8-2. We now had to win our next game to fight for 5th or 6th place.
We faced Whangaparoa College in this match and we were relying on the team’s ability to bounce back from a big defeat. Once again, we proved to be a strong finishing team, taking out the game with a solid victory of 12-5. This put us in the playoffs for 5th and 6th, and also a change of venue – a welcome relief for our already burning lungs.
In the play-offs, we faced Auckland Grammar B. Unfortunately, we started poorly, and a couple of key technical calls saw our two experienced players rolled for the rest of the game. The rest of the team fought with everything they had, but lack of substitutions meant that fatigue was going to punish us. We lost the game finishing in 6th place, which is higher than we were expected to finish.
The tournament was well worthwhile, with many great memories made in- between games, and all intentions of the tournament were met.
Junior B team members: Jason Tsang, Izaak Pomana, Tyler Fleming, Jack Aitken-Cade, Charlie Hook, Ryan Stott, Joshua Carrol, Riley Theobold, Sam Salter and Alex Willis. Coach Angus Beck, Manager Nikki Woisin.