It’s been a summer of success for the Hillingdon Penguin U13s after finishing as runners-up in Division 1 of the LWPL Summer Champs.
Sunday 11 September 2022 saw the final round of fixtures for the squad who travelled to Whitgift School in Croydon in fine form and cheered on by parents, coaches and supporters.
Going into the weekend, the U13s were two points clear of nearest rivals Latymer Penguin – the team from our Club’s other junior water polo section – after a series of strong performances in the previous three rounds of the competition.
Kingston were the first opponents of the day for the Hillingdon Penguins who held a 3-1 lead at half time. But the Surrey side fought back to take a 4-3 lead before Hillingdon Penguin struck once again to level the scores going into the final few minutes of play. In the end it was Kingston who found the winner with only a few seconds left on the clock, taking the match 5-4.
The second Hillingdon Penguin game of the day saw the U13s face Northampton, and they put in a very strong first half performance to lead 3-0 at the interval. Two further goals after the break saw them win the game 5-0.
Lewisham were the next opponents and a fiercely fought opening half saw the teams head into the break level at 1-1. But Hillingdon Penguin gave a confident second half display that brought three quick goals and a 4-1 win to set up a clash with Latymer Penguin.
Latymer took control of the game as early as the opening minute and just after the break, held a 4-0 lead. However Hillingdon kept fighting and pulled back two quick goals. Further goals late in the game saw Latymer claim a 6-2 victory and with it the Championship title. Hillingdon made it a Penguin double, finishing as runners up.
With a number of Hillingdon Penguin players now making the step up to U14s this was the last tournament in which many of the team were playing together, but the development of the players over the course of the past year has been clear for all to see. Well done all.
Hillingdon Penguin U13 squad: Aronas Alisauskas, Anaiya Athwal, Tuline Dagher, Zain Garnie, Eira Grant, Charlotte Hartwell, Amira Kabbou, Zayd Khan, Jacob Lillie, Eleanor McGeady, Ioanna Mouratidi, Dominic O’Neill Cuadros, Charlie Symons.
Report by Mike Hartwell.
Find out more about playing junior water polo with West London Penguin.