Sport’s long-awaited return creates splash at La Vallette

THE sun certainly shone on water polo’s long-awaited return to La Vallette.

Hands up who likes water polo: Action from one of the dozen matches at the Bathing Pools on Saturday.
 (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30992697)
Hands up who likes water polo: Action from one of the dozen matches at the Bathing Pools on Saturday. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30992697)

The bathing pools hosted a tournament for the first time since the 1970s on Saturday when teams from Jersey and England joined local sides in a competition that featured 12 fixtures overall.

The tournament was split into male, female and mixed categories which were alternated throughout the afternoon.

All the games, 10 minutes each way, were played in the Ladies’ Pool and local water polo stalwart Brian Chapman, 77, was enthused.

‘I have to say I think it’s gone remarkably well, with the teams that have come across, and it’s been a reasonable standard.’

Looking further ahead he promised more tournaments.

‘It looks like we will be getting some university sides to come over as well.’

On this occasion it was Basingstoke, Worthing and the Mid-Sussex Marlins that joined Jersey to test the locals.

The big game of the afternoon was unsurprisingly the inter-insular clash which was played halfway through the schedule.

Jersey were looking very strong but the Sarnians pushed them hard and only narrowly lost 6-5.

A very eventful game see-sawed before the visitors managed to score a late winner.

Despite losing, Guernsey captain William Mansell was pleased with his side’s performance.

‘Jersey looked very good against Basingstoke who are the best team here, so playing well against them and coming away with a 6-5 score is very good,’ he said.

James Cooper, the Guernsey coach, was also pleased with how the day went.

‘I think it’s gone really well, there has been some really close games. Guernsey versus Jersey was a cracking match and all the other games have been fairly close.

‘There’s been some decent polo played, but at the same time it’s been nice to get so many teams together to play some nice polo and get so many people down to watch.’

Cooper is another aiming to expand the sport on the island, aiming to create more fixtures for players and spectators.

‘It would be nice to do this again and get a few more teams to come over to play as well.’

More to follow

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