Eckington Swimming Pool, Saturday 10th January.
This was Sheffield Monster’s first ever mini water polo tournament. 14 teams from as far a field as County Durham and Shropshire converged on Eckington to play in both a shallow end and a deep end competition. Over 124 children played to a noisy balcony crammed with supporters!
Our fantastic team of club volunteers worked hard to ensure a smoothly run competition. 32 games were fitted in during the afternoon and the schedule ran to the clock with only 60 seconds between halves and the end of matches! Many thanks to all our coaches, referees, table officials, buffet organisers, sandwich and cake makers, raffle ticket sellers and of course all the players and the parents.
The deep water competition was of a good standard with most of the games closely fought and exciting. In the end Sheffield Black and Sedgefield came first and second in the league just ahead of Rotherham and met in the final. Sedgefield avenged a defeat in the earlier rounds to claim the trophy. Our Sheffield team played with flair and determination but just ran out of steam in the last few minutes of the tournament!
In the shallow end competition it was great to see both teams from local schools and clubs gaining an introduction to water polo. The competition was fierce and eventually it boiled down to a closely run thing between Renishaw Rovers, Sedgefield and Matlock. After a tense play off game between Sedgefield and Matlock, the final was contested by Matlock and Renishaw, with Matlock running out winners in a close game.
The afternoon was rounded off with a buffet and the raffle prizes before the teams wound their way home. Many thanks to our sponsors; Pinders (for the printing and the promotional banners), Williams Electricals (raffle prizes), Sheffield Utd Football Club (raffle prizes) and Feet First from Woodseats (donation towards medals). Finally a big thank you to Eckington Pool manager, Geoff Warburton , and his outstanding team who couldn’t do enough to help us throughout the day!