Squad pictured are as follows; -
Back Row;- Alastair Roberts (Team Administrator), Adam Pearson, Matt O'Dell, James Blything, James Jervis, Guy Proctor, Ben Alcorn (Squad Coach)
Front Row; - Ben Chegwin, Zach Elliott, Ben Curtis, Archy Burnell, Max Nugent, Elliott Hurst
After a very late notification of the date of this competition from the ASA, we only had a relatively short period of time to train and select a squad that would represent the region at this event. The final squad was selected after training sessions at Splashpoint in Worthing and eventually the following team travelled to Manchester for what was a busy program of 5 matches over the weekend; -
- James Blything (Hastings)
- Ben Curtis (Worthing)
- Archy Burnell (Worthing)
- Adam Pearson (Hastings)
- Ben Chegwin (Hastings)
- Matt O’Dell (Crawley)
- Zach Elliott (Portsmouth)
- Max Nugent (Southampton)
- Elliott Hurst (Crawley)
- James Jervis (Portsmouth)
- Guy Proctor (Dover)
The individual match reports are as follows; -
Saturday 27th, 14.45
South East 3, East 5
Quarter scores; - 1-4, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0
A tough start against a quality opposition and a slow start in the first quarter eventually cost the boys a chance of a positive result. The team played well and our defending was particularly good after the first period and as a result we were in the game right up to the finish.
With a better start and if we had taken a number of the chances that we missed we possibly could have taken something form the match. But the manner of the performance definitely indicated that the squad would be competitive in all of the matches.
Scorers; - Ben Curtis 2, Archy 1
Exclusions; - Adam 3, Elliott 1, James 1
Saturday 27th, 17.00
South East 11, North East Reivers 5
Quarter Scores; - 1-1, 5-1, 2-1, 3-2
This proved to be an excellent win and after a drawn first quarter we took control of the match and the final score was probably a fair reflection of the difference between the teams. We were particularly good in the second quarter when 2 goals from Ben Curtis along with goals from Archy, Adam and Elliott took the game away from the opposition.
We should possibly have scored more but we missed a number of chances when we really should added to our score.
Scorers; - Adam 5, Ben Curtis 2, Elliott 2, Archy 1, Ben Chegwin 1
Exclusions; - Matt 3, Adam 1, Ben Chegwin 1, Zach 1, James 1
Saturday 27th, 18.30
South East 8, North West Ravens 5
Quarter Scores; - 2-0, 2-1, 2-3, 2-1
Another good performance against a talented opposition and we definitely deserved to win the match. We played well to win the first quarter 2-0 and James was in excellent form in goal making a number of key saves. Ben Curtis had a particularly good game and led the scoring with 5 goals but this was a good team performance where all the squad contributed.
Scorers; - Ben Curtis 5, Ben Chegwin 1, Matt O’Dell 1, Elliott Hurst 1
Exclusions; - Zach 3, Adam 2, James 2, Ben Curtis 1, Archy 1
Sunday 28th, 10.45
South East 1, Wales 11
Quarter Scores; - 1-3, 0-3, 0-2, 0-3
Wales went on to deservedly win the competition and we knew that we would be in for a very tough match. A number of the opposition squad had played for the Welsh Wanderers in the second division of the recently completed British Water Polo league and this experience was fairly self-evident in the standard of their play.
We actually played well at times and our defending was always well organised but the Welsh just proved to be too strong. We struggled to create much in attack and we were also guilty of missing some chances when we really should have scored. Overall a very tough match but we still remained competitive and all of the squad made significant contributions.
Scorer; - Archy 1
Exclusions; - James 2, Ben Curtis 1, Archy 1, Adam 1, Matt 1, Max 1
Sunday 28th, 14.30
South East 3, Midlands 7
Quarter Scores; - 2-1, 1-1, 0-3, 0-2
A tough finish against the eventual runners up and we made an excellent start leading 2-1 at the end of the first quarter after goals from Ben Curtis and Adam. We still led at half time but the busy program took its toll in the second half where the squad started to tire and this was highlighted by the number of exclusions that we conceded. This was still a really encouraging performance against a talented and physical opposition and we were competitive throughout the match.
Scorers; - Adam 2, Ben Curtis 1
Exclusions; - Adam 2, Ben Chegwin 2, Ben Curtis 1, Archy 1, Zach 1, Elliott 1, James 1.
Overall this was a very encouraging weekend for the squad and we were very pleased to win two matches with two very competitive and close defeats. All the squad made significant contributions but Ben Curtis was named MVP for an overall excellent weekend. James Blything was outstanding in goal and deserves great credit for making a number of excellent saves but all of the squad played well. Ben Alcorn the team enthusiastically and imaginatively and the squad will have learned a great deal over the weekend.
The squad stayed together on the Saturday night at a local Travelodge and all of the boys and parents enjoyed a meal out together in the evening.
A fourth placed finish in this six team competition was well deserved and we are encouraged that 8 of this squad will be eligible to play again in next years competition which will be for the 2000 (& younger) age group.