On 30th August, 16 Penguin girls headed to the Netherlands to play in the International Water Polo Tournament in Amsterdam. With a cross-section of ages and players both old and new, it was a great opportunity for the team to play together ahead of the imminent British Water Polo League season.
Our first match was an early start against Spanish team. Club Natacion B. Despite being evenly matched in terms of game-play, the opposition pulled ahead and capitalised on their shots taking the final score to 8-0.
Next we took on the hosts, Y2. As we found our feet and grew in confidence it was a closely fought game with the teams matching each other goal for goal. The final score was 8-6 to Y2 and we were unlucky to suffer defeat.
Saturday evening saw a Penguin turn-around from the results of earlier in the day, as we got used to playing together and communicated better. Fantastic goals from Julia Petchey, Marta Tufet and Sonia Spearing took us into the lead but the opposition, Arethusa, kept up the pressure taking the game into a tense final few minutes. Jess Harris pulled off several incredible saves to stop Arethusa adding to their tally and we secured our first victory of the weekend with a score of 7-6.
The Sunday morning wake-up call from Team Junior, Jia Mei Lee, was more of a struggle for some than others, but the team managed to hide their hangovers well in the water as they took on Y3. We were organised and in control as we set up man ups, and took more shots on goal. A score of 6-4 reflected both the hard work of all of the girls and more great saves from Jess in goal.
The final match was against Jaws and the we were determined to finish with a win. It was our best game yet, with extraordinary defence preventing many of Jaws’ chances. All of the Penguin girls worked really well together, and the match saw goals come from at least half the team. The final result was 7-2; a testament to the improvement we had made across the tournament.
Thanks to the organisers for a really well-run and friendly tournament, giving the opportunity for bonding with many teams from across Europe. We may have consumed the capacity of Shell pool in alcohol in the process, but the combination of water polo and socialising left many great memories of a fantastic weekend.
Additionally, huge thanks go to our own Chev Williamson who organised the tour and expertly pulled together the Penguin team.
See more pics from the weekend.