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Scotland Senior Teams to Compete in North Sea Cup
Scotland's Senior Men and Women will this weekend compete in the inaugural North Sea Cup (or 4 Nations Water Polo) Tournament. This tournament is an expansion of the Tri-Nations which was re-established in Scotland in 2010. The original competing nations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland will be joined this year by the national teams from Denmark. The hosts for the new expanded event this year will be Ireland with the competition taking place at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Teams will take part in 2 full days of competition on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October with both Scotland teams kicking off their campaigns with fixtures against Denmark.
Both squads will be looking to build from recent international successes. The Men will be playing in their first international fixtures since winning Bronze at the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships in Aberdeen in April. The Women have gained more recent success by also winning Bronze in the EU 5 Nations tournament in Switzerland in August. There have been some changes to both sides with new younger players joining the sides and this will be a great opportunity for the new players to gain valuable international experience. With the majority of players also preparing for the beginning of the British Water Polo League the tournament will act as an excellent marker for the season ahead.
This tournament is another in a busy season for our National Squads at all levels. As well as the previously mentioned tournaments, the Junior Men have recently returned from a tournament in Andorra. With the domestic, national and international calendar filling up it’s an exciting time for Water Polo in Scotland.
We wish all of our players the very best of luck!
Junior League Calendar meeting this Sunday
The Scottish National League is holding a calendar meeting to finalise the Under 18 (1997+) and Under 16 (1999+) schedules for the Autumn. This is a mandatory meeting for clubs participating in these leagues. It will be at 12:00 in the Stirling Pool's conference room. It's become necessary to have the schedule sorted to near perfection to fully utilize the limited pool time we currently have. Additionally, the meeting will clarify protocols with officials, fines, and more.
Scotland Women take Bronze in Switzerland
The Scotland women earned the bronze medal at the EU 5 nations tournament with a convincing win over a resurgent Denmark in the bronze medal match 15-6. While the Scottish women had rolled the Danes in the opening match 18-6, the Danes woke up through the rest of the tournament taking a lead over the eventual gold medalist Czechs well into the first half, lost to Ireland only in the last seconds and beat the Swiss to set up this match. However, it was only Scotland who could contain player of the Tournament Emma Hansen who was a Champions League winner with the Spanish professional club Sabadell. While other teams dedicated two defenders to her, Scotland's Holly Campbell and Fran Collings took solo turns keeping her threat to a minimum while keeper Chantal Guillot seemed to know where the shots were going before they came. The rest of the team benefitted from the freedom to attack and took an early lead of 5-1 with Laura Mathewson tallying two first quarter goals. Susan Johnston fired in her first two goals of the tournament as the Scots rolled to an easy 9-1 halftime lead. The progress of the Scottish Squad was apparent in these wins as they had lost twice to the Danes in February in Odense.
In the previous four preliminary matches Scotland had two wins and two losses, starting with Friday's easy 18-6 opening win over a disorganized Danish squad. In game two, the Scots came from ahead to lose to Ireland 6-8 in a tough physical match that was made much tougher when goalkeeper Chantal Guillot went out for the second half with a double leg cramp and was replaced by field player Laura Fox. The youthful Irish didn't waste their luck and came back with fierce determination from two goals down with 12 minutes left.
On Saturday playing the heavily favoured Czech Republic, Scotland started well going 1-1 for most of the first period, but then gave up seven consecutive goals - mostly on counters. However, a bit embarrassed by the second period capitulation, the Scots shored up their game and drew the second half 4-4. An unexpected bonus of this match was the emergence of 15 year old Scottish pit player Carys Hardy spinning the tournament's dominant centre defender Lucie Votovova and earning her first international exclusions. The final result of 5-12 was by far the closest match the Czechs had on their way to gold. Scotland then took on host Switzerland for it's final match of the prelims. The Swiss looked outgunned falling behind 7-3 at the end of the third period, but they refused to give up and the home crowd rallied them with cheers of 'Haupt Swiss' but a little too late, Scotland won 8-7.
The tournament was a fantastic experience for all the Scottish squad and staff who reveled in the beauty of Thun's lakeside outdoor pool with the background of the snowy Swiss Alps. The late pull-out of the Serbian Squad (it was supposed to be 6 nations) didn't greatly affect the tournament. The squad welcomed four first time senior squad rookies: Emma Bird (2 goals), Erin Reilly (1), Alison Thomson (4), and Carys Hardy who each demonstrated unique skills that earned them the right to be on this squad. Fran Collings (1) showed her speed and defensive skills in only her second tournament for Scotland. Huge offensive outputs and defensive performances came from Holly Campbell (11) and Nicola Tate (14) who both scored in all five matches. Captain Julia Mackay led both in and out of the pool notching 8 goals while decimating opponents defense by drawing more than 20 exclusions and penalties. Veterans Laura Mathewson (3), Susan Johnston (2) and Victoria Witko (1) gave their all while also teaching the newcomers.
Women's polo Car Wash to raise funds for Switzerland Trip
The Scotland Women's team is doing its second fundraiser this month to raise money for the upcoming 6 Nations trip in Switzerland and N. Sea Cup in Ireland in mid September.
So come down to the Peak in Stirling on Saturday August 9th 12:00 - 15:00 and the women and staff will help wash your car for 5£ - what a deal!
The squad is doing it's final training camp before heading to Thun, Switzerland August 14-17 for the EU 6 Nations Cup (though it's only 5 since Serbia dropped out). They will take on Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Denmark and Ireland. The final squad is:
Chantal Guillot, Julia Mackay (captain), Nicola Tate (DWPC); Erin Reilly (Hamilton); Holly Campbell (Otter); Laura Fox (Sheffield); Fran Collings (Mid Sussex); Carys Hardy, Victoria Witko (Portobello); Laura Mathewson, Susan Johnston (Menzieshill & Whitehall); Alison Thomson, Emma Bird ( Edinburgh Uni). Team Manager is Elidh McCall-Lawrie, Referee Paul Metcalfe, Coaches Andy Wilson and Neal Rayner.
WELCOME to JEN HARDY and DEBBIE McROBBIE WHO ARE THE SCOTLAND WOMEN'S NEW TEAM MANAGERS - starting with Ireland's North Sea Cup
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