Eastern Water Polo League Cup Final - by Tom Mills

Ipswich 13 - 9 Colchester

Friday night saw RHS host the second leg of the Eastern League Senior Cup Final with Ipswich coming into the game with a 4-0 head start after a big away win in the first leg. Due to the handicap rules of the competition, this lead was increased to 5-0 based on the previous years league standings.

The game started very evenly, with both teams having possession of the ball but being unable to create any clear chances. Ipswich were defending very well and kept organised to keep out two man-down attacks from Colchester before scoring a counter attacking goal. Ipswich managed to score again a couple of minutes later before Colchester found the net in the later stages, making the score at the end of Q1 6-1.

Ipswich began the second quarter man up and were able to capitalise on this by scoring a well worked early goal. Ipswich found their stride in this quarter and were far more dominant than in the first period, completely stopping any meaningful Colchester attacks and scoring a total of 4 goals without conceding. Half time score of 11-1.

The third quarter started as a complete reverse of the second, with Colchester now finding their rhythm and putting Ipswich under constant pressure in an attempt to get back into the match. Ipswich maintained a strong defence but were unable to keep out 4 Colchester goals and only managed to score 1 in response due to such defensive efforts. Score at the end of Q3: 12-5.

The final quarter began in similar fashion to the third with Colchester throwing everything they had at Ipswich in attack. This made it difficult for Ipswich to respond with many real meaningful attacks and allowed more pressure to build from the opposition. Another 4 goals from Colchester made the match tight in the closing minutes but Ipswich held on and scored a late goal to secure victory.
Final score of 13-9.

A fantastic achievement by all of the senior team to win this trophy for the first time since 2011 and in style for the majority of the matches we played! Everyone played their part tonight in what was a solid, organised and ruthless team performance! Well done all!


2018 National Age Groups - by Brian Poole

Successful (mostly) weekend for Ipswich players in the 2018 National Age Groups Waterpolo championship. The biggest event in the junior Waterpolo calendar and played over three weekends during spring. We had 5 players in action across 5 teams at the weekend in the finals weekend at Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Eve Poole (Otter U17 & U19)
Dan Loveless (Caledonia U17)
Cameron Baigrie (Caledonia U17)
Joshua Mills (Watford U17)
Fin Parnell (Sheffield U19)

4 medal winners as follows:

Eve Poole, Silver U17 girls Cup, Gold U19 girls cup
Dan Loveless, Gold U17 Boys Plate
Cameron Baigrie, Gold U17 Boys plate
Joshua Mills, Silver U17 Boys Cup
Fin Parnell, 4th U19 Boys cup

Well done to all, some tremendous games that went to the wire and some heroic performances from players of our little club.

Thanks to James Poole for refereeing fairly, his efforts saw him officiate the Boys U17 gold medal final between Watford and Manchester.

For the full results please see:

Great weekend. Well done all. Very proud of what you are all achieving.



East win Division One of Boys' U16 Inter Regionals

3 Team Ipswich players were part of the East region’s boys team that lifted the U16 Inter Regional Division One Title after completing an unbeaten campaign in Grantham.

The East had two re-arranged fixtures to play after the second day of the original tournament was postponed.

Having won both their matches from the original competition, East took on North West Tigers in their first rescheduled game in Grantham.

Tigers were the only other team unbeaten from the first set of matches and were looking to land the Boys’ U16 title for the second year in succession.

But it was the East who burst out of the blocks in the match, establish a 7-4 lead through three quarters.

To their credit, Tigers pulled off the comeback in the final quarter, scoring three to share the spoils at 7-7.

East defeat London Sharks in second game

East returned to the water against London Sharks in their second game, closing out an 11-8 victory to move to the top of the group table.

And with Tigers defeated 14-8 by North East Steelers in the final match of the day, the title was awarded to the East.

Well done to Josh Mills, Dan Loveless and Cameron Baigrie (not pictured)


Water Polo Success for TeamIpswich Player

Team Ipswich Water Polo player Fin Parnell is currently in Hungary on an intensive GB training camp. Fin's recent MVP (most valuable player) award is another step towards selection for the European Championships in Malta, 2017.

Fin gained automatic selection to the U16s GB team this year, following a successful performance through 2014. 

The team, who come from all over England, Scotland and Wales arrived in Hungary last week. Having had a long journey from London, the team was rather tired, however they performed well against their hosts that afternoon. They started their journey in Szentes for some serious training and matches and have moved to Eger, later heading to Budapest.

You can follow Fin and the team on Facebook at England Water Polo U16 Men's Squad.



U16 Boys Inter-Regional Championships - Cardiff 10/11th July

East Region Report

Whilst England cricketers were putting the cocky colonials to the sword down the road, the most important contest in Cardiff was taking place in the International Pool: 10 water polo teams, all with the desire and dreams of winning.

Having been involved with the England Talent Coaching of this age group, I knew how level the competition might prove to be as 120 players trialled back in 2014 and all teams were missing key players due to holidays.

We were drawn with North West, North East, South West and London B. This was by far the strongest league on paper and the results backed this up (North East winners, South West runnersup).

I have long believed that at this age having fixed positions for field players is counter-productive to their development because the biggest skill the players have is, hopefully, swimming speed. Therefore motion is critical because it causes confusion in the defence and chaos ensues because the play is not predictable.

The players worked hard on this in training and I think they enjoyed the different approach and the sense that they could all get into attack and score, which is the main aim of the game. Before the competition all we lacked was the opportunity to put it into practice in a meaningful game.

The South West, seeded 3, would be the first team to experience it. We started brightly with lots of drives in front of goal but the opportunities created were missed by the feeders as everything happened so quickly. However, it made for a thrilling game and with 45 seconds to go the scores were level at 5 apiece, then we gave away a penalty. On losing the ball in our last attack a speculative shot slipped under the goalie’s arm: 5-7 defeat. We scored 2 out of 3 man-ups with the missed one coming after a TO!

Having lost the first game we faced the best team in the contest, who had just had a shaky start, drawing with the NW. The North East, unseeded, has a good percentage of the best players in the country at this age. They started with real intent and were 3-0 up in two minutes. East steadied the ship and at the half were 3-5 down. North East raced away again to a 5 goal lead before we pulled back 2 goals. The game ebbed and flowed as we rushed attacks to catch up and long passes missed their intended targets. Then the young referee made a very poor penalty call and in my desire to educate him (my profession after all) he stumped me with a red card as the ball in my hand fell into the water during my visual replay of what had actually taken place: not my first and very likely not my last! Two losses meant we had no chance to make the top 4 and we couldn’t afford to lose any more.

North West, seeded 2, had no chance against us and East ran out comfortable winners 7-3, followed by London B 13-1. Chaos was beginning to reign coupled with our defensive tactics. Also Ricky 2 Eatough, in goal, positioning himself better for the speculative shots, was making some excellent saves.

Day 2 started with the South East, who having no answer to the speed and accuracy with which the team was playing, were pushed aside 12-3. North West’s second team were the weakest in the competition and, as these things go, it was our most inept performance even though we won 11-3. Our passing was sloppy and driving game almost non-existent. These were worrying signs as it meant that the team were allowing tiredness to affect their performance. We still had Wales to beat to finish 5th.

Having demonstrated my passion to the team we started brightly and went into a 2-0 lead. Then like many a British tennis player we made a couple of mistakes and it threw our concentration. Back came Wales with some morale-boosting goals and a swim-strangling press to lead at half time by 5- 4. We exchanged goals without gaining parity and half way through the half Wales still lead by one: 6-7. They then managed two unanswered, jaw-dropping goals, so with 2.38 to go the scoreboard read East 6 Wales 9.


What do you do? Emphasise the need to swim, to create chaos and make that seemingly risky pass and take your shots.

14 seconds later Will (shot-shy) Eggleton scorches the ball into the net (his 11th of the tournament: 7-9 24 seconds later he unleashes his 12th: 8-9. 31 fast ticking, tense seconds pass by before Fin (I can score from anywhere) Parnell dispatches his 19th goal: 9-9 and 1.17 remaining. A draw will secure 5th and Division 1 polo in the future.

Wales attack and shoot at Ricky who bodychecks it, counter-attack is launched and the ball is thrown to the driver instinctively and with 45 seconds remaining East Fin(ally) regain the lead 10-9: 20 goals. Wales have one attack and 10-10 is good but the team want more. Good team defence wins the ball and is safely in the goalie’s hands. Jarryd Myburgh receives the ball and turns his man; exclusion. Fin jumps to the left post, pass equals 21 goals and a compelling 11-9 victory.

5 goals in 2 minutes cannot be predicted. It was quite magnificent to watch. It encapsulated what this team was all about and the sudden, necessitated belief in themselves and what they were trying to do.

I had a difficult job selecting the MVP with Will Eggleton suddenly finding his shooting confidence; Ben Chapman working tirelessly down the wings; Thushira Kamarage’s calm defending at centreback and Adam Frost’s intelligent defence and distribution when coming off the bench.

However, we started the campaign without a goalie and Ricky Eatough showed up and filled the position with ever-increasing confidence, improving game on game. He got the nod. Fin’s 21 goal haul turned out to be the best in the competition and he is the first East player to achieve that. Well done boys!

East Team 120715.jpg

This, however, is a team game and I was mightily impressed with the performances of all the players, especially those coming off the bench. Below are the team stats with goals first and majors second. 3 Ricky Eatough (0/2); Fin Parnell [capt] (21/5); Ben Chapman (4/2); Max Dawson (4/1); Will Eggleton (12/3); Thushi Kamarage (5/5); Jarryd Myburgh (4/0); Dan Harris (3/2); Tom Fairchild (8/0); Dan Eaton (0/0); Adam Frost (1/0); Cameron Gilmour (0/2); James Underwood (2/1).

My special thanks go to Alison Harris who having recently qualified as a Team Manager, at the first East Region Water Polo camp, accepted the role and took a lot of the workload.

All the regions have parental support at these events, and I may be biased, but I think ours are the best. It’s not just at the tournament but all the miles to club and regional training sessions. Many, many thanks for your continued support of the Region. The best is yet to come!

Written by East Region Coach Tim Whitwham

NEWS JUST IN - East Boys 5 Goals in 2 Minutes!

A thrilling final match saw East Region's 2000 Boys take 5th position following a strong performance against tough competition. With 2.38 minutes left and trailing by 3 goals East had one of those eureka moments scoring an outstanding 5 goals in exactly 2.00 minutes, one every 24 seconds! Ipswich's Fin Parnell captained the team and even bagged top scorer! Match report to follow soon. 

East Region U16 Girls Succeed at Walsall Inter-regional Tournament 2015

Following a string of successful preparation sessions to build up to the tournament on the 4th & 5th July , the East region U16 team were looking like a team with something to prove. Resplendent in the new ‘East Angels’ team kit with branded costume, shirt and shorts, they looked like an organised outfit in their uniform before even hitting the water.

Playing within division 2 (division 1 were playing simultaneously in Liverpool) with East were the regional team of London, Midlands, Wales, and South East. So four matches over the weekend, two per day each was setup as a full game of 4 x 7min quarters. The task was understood and the coaches had settled the play tactics and organised the team positions. The team was made up of the following players and the starting seven were selected: Scarce, Colliver, Coyle, Cotton, Wall-Peters, Mayall, Poole.

Game 1: East vs South East

The opening game was key to set the mood in the camp and settle nerves across the team. South East were looking like a well organised side in the first quarter thwarting our chances a number of times in front of goal but the chances were made and eventually the first goal came over 2 minutes from the start and was followed up 30 seconds later with a second, both from Meg Wall-Peters. The quarter ended 2-1 and the match looked set to be quite even. Second quarter started and South East almost immediately settled the scores on 2-2 and time elapsed after this with failed attack after failed attack on both sides until with 1m43s left of the quarter the Angels Poole clawed a goal ahead from a quickly converted long ball from deep in defence off the trusted arm of Mayall. What happened next was the turning point in the game and a remarkable procession of goals from Poole and Cotton from quick turnovers and long balls finding the sprinting Angels. In 1m43s to the whistle there were 5 East goals the last in the final second from Poole who was now nursing a painful shoulder injury. 7-2 at the end of the quarter and the Angels were now starting to get into flow. With Poole retired to the bench and the substitutions starting to rotate East began to dominate now and forced 2 penalties in quick succession with their relentless attacks with captain Mayall converting coolly on the second attempt. Quarter 3 saw two more goals from Cotton and Bailey to finish the quarter 10-3. Quarter 4 saw debutant Nicholson score her first goal for the Angels on her first touch of the ball! Well done Ciara. Coyle was now in her element in pit attack and stuffed 4 goals past the goalie in quick succession as they failed to mark her tight enough. Then it was as though she passed the scoring ‘baton’ to Colliver, another debutant for East Angels, who found the net the next 3 times, the last just on the buzzer to finish the game 18-5. East Angels had found more space and opportunity from quarter 2 onwards which is testament to their superior swim speed and fitness. The key element of the East Angels game was rock solid defence and quick counters, a formula seen at the U14’s in Liverpool earlier in 2015. Eight scorers across the East team showed the threat could come from anywhere in the pool, and our goalie was looking like she was a force to be reckoned with……we had made our mark.

Game 2: London vs East

London were a side we had received a friendly warning about that it was pretty much the successful  London Otters side that Mayall was used to playing within, however this wasn’t any deterrent for the Angels. Coaching plan was for more of the same, solid defence being the key.

In blue hats the East team set about business. Starting 7 saw Poole back in the team. The game started and it was clear that London had two main threats from London’s Emma Gillie and Lydia Toth. The Angels organised for some tough man marking to limit the damage of these two and slow down the London advances. The pressure was working and soon East were in the lead with 2 goals from Cotton and Wall-Peters but the tide looked like turning when London had two man-up situations but careful marking and pressure on the ball saw both of these fail. East did concede eventually but the quarter ended 2-4 to us. Quarter 2 saw East creep ahead to 4-7 but Gillie from London kept spoiling the party and they crept back to 6-8 by the 3rd quarter end. A tense start to the quarter 4 saw no goals for nearly 3 minutes but events including a penalty and a yellow card for the London coach kept the entertainment up for the spectators. The tide began to turn in London favour and a succession of goals saw the scores levelled on 9-9 with just over 3 minutes to go. Everyone was tense, the Angels coaches sweating. An inspired goal from Mayall on 2m30s from a good 15 meters out lifted the spirits of all Angels fans and players and gave the buoyancy needed to drag the game to the finish line but not before Colliver made it certain with just 13 seconds to run and the match ended a relieved and hard fought 9-11 to East. What a battle!

8 of the London goals came from Gillie who was a one person scoring machine. Once again Angels had a spread of goals across 7 players – clearly a big strength to our side that many could shoot.

Angels enjoyed a relaxing night revelling in their success before the next days focus began again.

Game 3: East vs Midlands

Day 2 of the event and there was shock news that Wall-Peters had been taken ill with sickness overnight. A major contributor to the team this was a big loss to the team and would bring a different shape to the side for the first game. Starting seven now saw Ward in the mix bringing a defensive strength to the side pushing forward Colliver and Coyle taking the left mid position.

Midlands looked a handful in the games from day 1 with an attack force similar to Angels and fire power across the side it was going to be a full 6v6 battle to defend every attack.

Poole got East off to a quick start but this was not held for long before the Midlands grabbed 2 back in the space of a minute. Another from Poole saw quarter 1 end 2-2. This was looking like an evenly matched game. In fact it was tit-for-tat during the second quarter finishing 4-3 to East following two great goals from Cotton. 3rd quarter was the turning point. Some really great defending (as had been all tournament) had forced turnover after turnover and East were able to convert at the other end with goals from Poole and Mayall winning the quarter 5-2 and we were now at 9-5. Keeping the game even for the final quarter with 2 goals each side the game ended 11-7.

It was great to see Wall-Peters back in the game after she arrived midway through this one and was very keen to take part, which she did and was very effective in linkup play and defence.

A proper game of digging deep and battling hard across all players in the pool. Some tremendous displays of defending, notably Coyle in pit defence pushing the pit attacker Shay out from 2 meters to about 8 meters whilst on the ball, time after time. Great work from her and everyone else in front of our own goal.

A large number of fouls in this game due to the physicality and passion each team exhibited saw East pick up 4 players on 2 majors and 8 of the Midlands team picking up at least 1 major. Total of 17 majors across the teams.

Game 4: East vs Wales

The last game and parents and coaches were starting to do the maths on the league positions to see who was in position to win. With a tip off from the organisers that the way the rules worked East could end up behind London if they won their next two games (which was likely) and we lost to, or drew with, Wales. Newly invigorated by this news the team were briefed and attitudes grounded to the task at hand – we had to win.

Wales had looked a tough opposition but had conceded heavily in their wins giving us some hope that our attack was able to breach their defences without too much effort. But we had to contain the rampant Faye Warren who seemed like a one person demolition in the pit attack position. Coupled now with Sanders in pit defence who had missed the first day of the tournament they were looking strong.

The first quarter saw 7 goals and 5 exclusions across the two teams, finishing 4-3 to East it was apparent this game was going to be physical and tough to get the space East needed to free the counter attackers. Second quarter things started to slide and Wales strength battered us to the point where they were leading 5-7 with just 2 minutes to go, Coyle and Cotton levelling the scores at 7-7 for the end of quarter 2.

The Angels were coming out of the pool, sometimes in tears at how physical the game was and some of the underhand tactics out of the referees sight. The close contact game was playing to Wales strength and their superior size made us an easy target. Things needed to change. Pressing high on Wales we forced errors in handling that started to release our counter attackers who still had energy to spare and speed in abundance. Breaking free into our sweet spot, East scored 8 goals to a single goal in reply as our tour de force of defending hard and counter attack brilliance wore down the less fit and speedy Welsh team. They seemed to almost sigh as the Angels took flight time after time to ping another ball into the back of their net – relentless forward movement resulting in 8 goals shared across Mayall, Poole, Wall-Peters and Cotton.

Welsh were on the back foot and Angels seemed to grow further in stature, confidence and determination, in the face of what was a brutal game for them underwater as frustration was evident across Wales.

A final flurry of 6 goals from East, again with only a single goal in reply, finished the game off making the score line look like a walk over when the game started so hard and tight. Well done to the girls for the resolve and persistence to see this result out when they could have faded to the bullying in the pool.

21-9 must have surprised the Welsh team, whose coach Phil Whiting was very complimentary of the team afterwards.

East Angels were now division 2 champions and returned to the stands to a standing ovation from the parents who were on song throughout with the obligatory chant of ‘Angels, Angels’ as the girls went into the second half of the game and absolutely lifted spirits!

Its difficult to mention everyone’s involvement when the goals attract most of the commentary, but there was not a single performance from any of our players that wasn’t up to the high standard we maintained this weekend. Notably and unanimously, Erin Scarce played out of her skin in goal and saved many shots through her determination and recently acquired goal keeping skills – Well done Erin! Superb performances from the team outside of the aforementioned goal scorers, Ella Ward – one of the best defenders on the team, fantastic power and work rate. Amelia Spinks – working the wings she did a great job defending and adding some breadth to the attacking force. Eloise Bailey – nailed 3 goals on counter attack, watch out for her in 2016! Hannah Osborne – grew as the games went on tracking her mark and getting into space going forward. Paige Flower – strong swimming and keeping her mark under control, winning balls in attack and defence and threatening goal. Ciara Nicholson – our smallest player with the biggest heart, a power house to be reckoned with Ciara picked up a debut goal and was relentless in defence.

East Angels U16 team will be ready for division 1 next year as 10 of them will still be able to play given only 3 of our team were in the top of the age group (2000 born) this year. Watch out Div 1 teams!!!


Top scorer: Eve Poole

Scorers: Eve Poole(18), Ella Cotton (11), Poppy Mayall (8), Rebecca Coyle (7), Meg Wall-Peters (7), Eda Colliver (6), Eloise Bailey (3), Ciara Nicholson (1)

Major Queen: Ella Cotton

Majors: Ella Cotton (7), Poppy Mayall (6), Eve Poole (5), Rebecca Coyle (4), Eda Colliver (1), Meg Wall-Peters (1)

Goals for: 61

Goals against: 30

Majors total: 24

Majors against: 30

MVP (Tournament): Poppy Mayall

MVP (Parents vote): Erin Scarce

MVP (Team vote): Meg Wall-Peters

Team Spirit award: Meg Wall-Peters

NEWS JUST IN - East Angels are Undefeated

Division 2 Champions - Girls Inter-regional U16's 2015! 

Well done to all the Angels but especially Eve Poole, Meg Wall-Peters, Poppy Mayall, Ella Ward and Hannah Osborne. 

Successful first day 18-5 versus South East and 11-9 against London.
Day 2 scores East v Midlands 11-7, East v Wales 21-9.

New dedicated Water Polo hub

The ASA has launched a brand new Water Polo hub which is dedicated to providing the latest news and updates to the Water Polo community.

Timed to coincide with the appearance of the GBU17 women's team at the first ever multi-sport European Games in Baku, the new hub reflects the exciting new direction for England Water Polo under the ASAWater Polo Management Group, headed up by Ian Elliot.

The hub will provide coverage of England's Water Polo results, news and a community forum to help you have your say.

As well as the European Games, there are lots of exciting events coming up including the English Schools Boys' team playing in an invitation tournament in Malta and the GB U20 women's team competing at the Junior Water Polo Championships in Mexico. 

Keep your eye on the Water Polo hub for results from all of these events and more, and follow @ENGwaterpolo on Twitter to catch all the updates as they happen.

2014 Player of the Year Presentations

Phil Trett, TeamIpswich Water Polo captain, presented the club's 2014 player trophies at an awards evening recently.

The winners were:
Senior Player of the Year:Clive Mills
Senior Top Goal Scorer:Tom Ealham
U17 Young Trophy, Player of the Year: Ollie Ward
U17 Ealham Trophy, Top Goal Scorer: James Poole
U16 Player of the Year: Brad Watts
U16 Most Improved: Tomas Gould
The Naden Cup, U14 Player of the Year: Dan Harris
The Naden Cup, U14 Most Improved Player: Ella Ward
U12 Ward Cup, Boys: Josh Mills
U12 Ward Cup, Girls:  Faye Poole
Mini Polo, Best New Comer:  Kate Makin
Best New Comer: Jack Andrew
Boys, Poole Trophy, best all-round: Tom Mills
Girls, Poole Trophy, best all-round: Dawn Poole

Ipswich Girls In National Title Win


Four TeamIpswich girls were in the East Region Girls Under 14 water polo squad that caused a major upset in winning the National Inter-regional Water Polo Championships  held in Liverpool (Nov 8-9).

Captained by Ipswich's Poppy Mayall, the 13-strong squad, going under the name of East Angels, also included Eve Poole, Ella Ward and Meg Wall-Peters Ipswich. After qualifying through the group stages on the Saturday, East Angels beat the all-conquering NorthWest 7-5 in a dramatic final.

The Magnificent Seven

We are please and proud to announce that seven TeamIpswich Waterpolo players have been selected to take part in GB talent squads.

They are:
Bradley Watts (99)
Dawn Poole (99)
Finlay Parnell (00)
Poppy Mayall (01)
Meg Wall-Peters (01)
Daniel Harris (01)
Eve Poole (02)

This is an incredible achievement for us and we're keen to keep building on the success in future generations.