Otter secure historic victory in Girls’ U19 final

London Otter secured an historic victory over City of Liverpool to claim the Girls’ U19 title at the ASA National Age Group Water Polo Championships 2016 in Manchester.
Liverpool went into the game unbeaten, but with the score tied at 7-7 at half-time, Otter took the game by the scruff of the next in the second half of the game, ultimately running out 13-8 (5-3, 2-4, 2-0, 4-1) winners. “We wanted to go out and hit them hard because we know if we play together, we’ll play well,” – Otter captain Mhairi Nurthen.
With their victory, London Otter became just the third side to ever lift the national U19 crown, with North West giants City of Manchester and City of Liverpool the only other winners since the inaugural Championship in 2004. But Otter captain Mhairi Nurthen, who top-scored in the final with five goals, insisted her side were confident they could write their names onto the trophy, having won the U15 and U17 titles as a squad in recent seasons.
“We’d never won an U19s but the same team and the same group of players have won the Academy and Youth, and now Juniors as well,” said Nurthen. “I’m ecstatic because we played so well today and it was such a close game. We just came in at half-time and at the end of the third quarter and collectively pulled ourselves together and thought as if it’s 0-0. Otter raced out of the blocks with three goals in the first three minutes, courtesy of Nurthen, Isobel Dean and Cecily Turner. Liverpool, who won bronze 12 months ago, were never going to be a pushover and fought back with two goals from Lucy Shaw and one from Molly Boniface-Ashton, but further goals from Helena Phillips and Anna Szyszko kept Otter 5-3 in front at the first break.
While Shaw completed her hat-trick early in the second quarter, second goals for Nurthen and Turner put Otter 7-4 up and seemingly in control of the tie. But Liverpool’s Grace Rowland had other ideas, and pulled her side level with a three-minute hat-trick, squeezing a bounce shot home, converting from Verity McCoy’s pass over the top of the Otter defence, then hammering home a penalty. A tense third quarter followed with man-ups going begging for both sides, but it was Otter who pushed 9-7 ahead with goals from Nurthen and Kathy Rogers. Liverpool fought hard to recover in the final quarter with Hayley Price pulling off a reaction save to a deflected shot, then Shaw bagging her fourth of the game with an outrageous lob as she back-tracked towards the half-way line. But 9-8 was the closest the North East side would get to their opponents in the fourth quarter as two goals apiece from Nurthen and Dean put the result beyond doubt.
All results from the weekend of competition can be found here. Last year’s champions City of Manchester won a thrilling game against Mid Sussex Marlins to land bronze. The Marlins led for much of the game but Manchester recovered in the second half before powering clear for a 15-11 win.

Futura U/19s in the National Age Group Plate finals

The Otter Futura girls were back in action this weekend in the National Age Group U19 Girls Plate finals in Manchester. Futura were drawn in Group B, alongside Northampton & City of Leeds. Otter started strongly with a tightly contested 9-8 win over Northampton, before going down 5-2 to City of Leeds. The loss meant Futura finished 2nd in the group and played Caledonia in the Bronze medal match. Congratulations to Caledonia who won the bronze game 6-3. And a massive congratulations to all of the Otter Futura girls everyone played so well all weekend and throughout the competition.  

Full results from the competition can be found on the ASA Waterpolo hub here.

4 Otter teams in action this weekend

Good luck to the all the players competing in the National Age Group U/17 & U/19 Championships this weekend in Manchester. Otter are well represented at the final weekend of the Championships with 4 teams in action. 

The Otter U/17s kick off their U/17 title defence on Saturday in the semi final vs Exeter @12:25pm. The Gold & Bonze medal games will be played on Sunday.

The Otter U/19s will be looking to go one better than last year where they finished as runners up in the U/19s competition. The U/19s are in action on Saturday at 4:45pm vs City of Manchester. The winner will go through to Sundays Gold Medal game, while the loser will play off on Sunday for Bronze.

Both of the Otter development teams are also in action this weekend in the plate finals. The Otter Futura U/19s take on Northampton @11:50am & City of Leeds at 3:30pm Saturday. While the Otter Futura U/17s are in action on Sunday vs Tyldesley at 12:10pm & Welsh Wanderers at 2:40pm. 

Good luck Otter Pups!



Otter U/19s through to National Age Group Championship finals

The Girls’ U19 qualifiers 2016 in the National Age Group Water Polo Championships took place over the weekend in Watford. 

Five teams including last years Champions City of Manchester, City of Liverpool, Otter, Mid Sussex Marlins & Exeter battled over the weekend with four teams qualifying for the finals in just under two weeks. 

City of Liverpool qualified in first place clearly announcing their intentions going through their 4 matches unbeaten. City of Manchester came in second with 3 wins while London Otter went two for two, beating both Exeter and Mid Sussex Marlins. Mid Sussex Marlins grabbed the last spot with a win over Exeter. Full results from the weekend can be found here.

The finals will take place on the 23-24 of April at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Booth Street East, Manchester, M13 9SS. Otter will take on City on City of Manchester in the 2nd vs 3rd match on Saturday & will be hoping to progress into Sundays Final.

Saturday 23rd March 15:40 City of Liverpool v Mid Sussex Marlins  Semi Final
Saturday 23rd March 16:45 City of Manchester v Otter Semi Final
Sunday 24th March 14:10 Loser SF 1 v Loser SF 2 Bronze Playoff
Sunday 24th March 15:20 Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2  Final

Mhairi in attack for Otter

Mhairi in attack for Otter



Otter post strong results at U/19s NAG Prelims

Otter & Otter Futura teams were both in action yesterday at the ASA National Age Group Water Polo Girls’ U19 Prelims. 

The Young Otter Futura development team were drawn in Group A, and started the day with losses in their first two U/19s games to Exeter (7-2) & Sussex Marlins (9-3). With two games under their belts the Young Futura team held reining Champions City of Manchester to only four goals (4-1), before giving Caledonia a run for their money before going down (5-3). Undaunted Otter Futura put everything they'd learnt into practice in the last game to finish on a high with a tightly fought victory against Cheltenham (5-4). The team will hope to get a few more wins under their belt at the Plate finals on the 23rd of April, where they will take on Northampton & City of Leeds. 

Meanwhile last years silver medalists Otter U/19s team were having fun on the other side of the draw in Group B. The team cruised to victory vs Hucknall (8-0), Northampton (25-1) & City of Leeds (7-1). The only blip on their radar was dropping their 3rd game of the day vs City of Liverpool (5-3). But it 3 from 4 was enough to see them come second in the group, and qualify alongside Liverpool & Group A winners Manchester, Mid Sussex & Exeter for the Girls’ U19 Qualification Round of the ASA National Age Group Championships in Watford on 9 – 10 April. 

Full results from there prelims here.

Helena defending for Otter. 

Helena defending for Otter. 

Champions Otter return to defend their U/17s NAGS title in 2016

All of last year’s National Age Group champions have confirmed that they will defend their national water polo crowns after entries closed for the U17 & U19 NAG Champs 2016. Among them are defending champions Otter who return to NAGS action in search of their third consecutive girls U/17s title. The Otter U/19s are looking to finish one place better again this year after finishing with silver in 2015, and bronze in 2014.  Following the success of our younger Otter '02s in the U/15s last year, Otter have also entered Otter Futura teams in both the U/17 & U/19 age group this year so that all our future stars can get as much experience at a National Level as possible. 

U19 Girls (1998 and under) Competition dates
Group A & B Preliminary round: 5 March – Liverpool Aquatics Centre
Qualification round: 9 – 10 April – Watford Leisure Centre
Finals weekend & Plate competition: 23 – 24 April Manchester Aquatics Centre

2016 U19 Girls Teams
City of Leeds
City of Manchester
City of Liverpool
Mid Sussex
Otter Futura

U17 Girls (2000 and under) Competition dates
Group A Preliminary round: 12 March – The Edge, Leeds University
Group B Preliminary round: 13 March – GL1 Leisure Centre, Gloucester
Qualification round: 19 – 20 March – Liverpool Aquatics Centre
Finals weekend & plate competition: 23 – 24 April – Manchester Aquatics Centre

2016 U17 Girls Teams
City of Manchester
City of Liverpool
Otter Futura
Welsh Wanderers




Otter U19s finish 2nd at the National Age Group Championships

The Otter U19s went one better than last year finishing second in the 2015 National Age Group Championships. Otter beat Crawley 10-8 in the semi final, before loosing a tense battle with Manchester in the final 10-8. Captain Hannah Patchett, who is in the GB U19s squad for the 2015 World Championships in Mexico, was Otter's stop scorer for the weekend.  Congratulations girls on a brilliant result. 

Otter U17 & U19 qualify for the National Age Group Championship Finals

The Otter U/19s have qualified in second place for this year's National Age Group Water Polo Championship Finals after strong preformances in the Girls' U/19 Qualification Group.

Otter drew with Liverpool 7 all. Lost to Manchester 4-11, posted the largest victory of the weekend with a 24-1 win over City of Leeds, and defeated Crawley 11-7.

It will be the same four finalists in the Girls' U/19 Championships as 12 months ago. Last years runners up Manchester progressed in first with Crawley third, and defending champions City of Liverpool fourth.

The Otter U/17s also qualified for the U/17 National Age Group finals. The seeding for the U/17s will come down to goal difference with Otter, City of Liverpool & Exeter all defeating each other to tie on two overall points. 

The finals are being held in Manchester on the 25th & 26th April. Good luck girls.