Colchester Mens Polo Team Compete at NCWPL.
Due to the growth of Colchester mens water polo team over the past couple of years, they decided to enter the National league programme to remain competitive. 2022 saw an excellent debut campaign Colchester narrowly miss out on a play off place for Division 4. This year Colchester have entered the newly formed National Conference Water Polo League that has replaced the BWPL Division 5. Over the first weekend based in Walsall Colchester had 3 tough games against Radcliffe, Invicta Marlins and Bedford.
First up was Radcliffe on Saturday lunch time. Colchester began well leading 6-3 after the first quarter, but Radcliffe hung on and despite Colchester playing a high press continued to trouble to Colchester defence. It wasn’t until the third quarter that Radcliffe began to tire and Colchester too full advantage. The game finished 24-11 to Colchester as they began their season in style.
The second game was Invicta Marlins late on Saturday evening, in a similar scenario the previous year the Marlins had shocked Colchester, so Colchester were hopeful of gaining revenge. Colchester hit the ground running early and pushed Invicta back with their high press. The first quarter finished with Colchester leading 6-2 and by half time they were winning 12-4. Invicta regrouped and drew the third quarter 6-6, but Colchester proved too strong in the final quarter with the game finishing in the same score as the Radcliffe game earlier in the day. Adam Lecomber, Colchester’s own previous GB under 19 forward score 18 goals throughout the day. 2 wins from 2 games was a great start to the season.
The Sunday fixture saw Colchester take on Bedford, who Colchester previously played in the qualifying playoff for Division 5 the previous year. Bedford played a deep drop and counter attacking game, a tactic that Colchester were not used to and made their pressing game less efficient. The game was end to end and never more than 2 goal difference between the teams. Bedford also found a way of stopping Lecomber being so dangerous in front of goal. Something for Colchester to think about in the future games. The score at half time was 7-6 to Colchester and the game went back and forth right until the final seconds with Colchester squeezing out at 12-11 victory to secure their third win of the weekend to sit in second place in the table just behind Coventry, the favourites for the title on goal difference and ahead of Sheffield Dolphins, the only other team with a 100% record after the first weekend. Colchester now travel to Northampton and Bolton for the final 2 weekends of the season.
Colchester juniors impress at season opener
Colchester juniors travelled to Hitchin to participate in their open air tournament at Letchworth lido on September 2nd. Following the summer break, this was the first times many of the players had been in the water for 3 weeks!
Nevertheless Colchester’s team was strong and were hoprful of putting in some good performances against some very competitive junior teams. Colchester were drawn against hosts Hitchin in the first game, who had previous won Colchester’s home tournament, so knew they would be up against it. Despite this Colchester put in a great performance to run out 4-2 winners.
Next up Colchester played Cambridge. From the start Colchester controlled the game and ran out 6-0 winners. Thie meant that Colchester won their group and would now play the final against Watford.
Watford are by far and away the biggest water polo club within our Region with over 300 members. Colchester showed no nerves when coming face to face with their rivals. A tough encounter saw the scoreline 0-0 at half time. Unfortunately one of the Colchester players suffered cramp in the second half and had to sit out, this enabled a way in for Watford who began to dominate in the second half. Watford ran out 4-1 winners on the day. Coach Scott Ginder said Colchester’s players all acquitted themselves really well and it would only have taken a few things to go differently and the score line could have been different against Watford. A great start to the season for the juniors.
Back row from left to right: Philip Rutland, Segio Velcherean, George Li, Seth Belshaw, Almos Bujtar, James Blacker. Front row: Freya Wood, Daisy Himsworth and Maisy Head
Colchester Water Polo has gone from strength to strength
14th April 2023
COLCHESTER Water Polo Club is on the up.
Water Polo is a hugely demanding sport, both as physical exercise and for the competitive nature of the game. More than ten years ago, many local teams folded due to ageing players and lack of funding, following on from the disappointing results of team GB competing at the London Olympics. As this occurred, and with their senior team ageing, Colchester Water Polo Club decided to increase their members by introducing a junior section.
Not a well-known sport, local teams are few and far between and travel costs are high just to ensure league matches are played. It is also worth noting the cost to participate in the sport for both travel, competition and membership costs. They took it upon themselves to gain all necessary qualifications to be able to run the club, often at their own expense, despite all having young families and demanding day jobs. Word soon got out and they quickly saw the enjoyment the children gained from playing waterpolo, which in turn excited them in the thought that they could finally see a future for their club.
Now many children have gone on to compete at various levels due to their work with local training centres and teams to ensure all receive the best possible training and opportunities to play at the highest levels. Many of their members now compete in the London League in amalgamated teams for Chelmsford.
They have players that have trained and competed in the Regional Training Centres and this has led to competing for both Essex and Southern County regions and National Age Group championships. Some have progressed to GB trials at various age groups and Colchester Water Polo Club’s Adam Lecomber represented GB at under 19 level in last year’s European Championships. Things have come a long way in the past couple of years.
The club now have a Colchester British Water Polo league team and successfully won a place in division five after a tough play-off tournament. They competed in division five as a Colchester team for the first time ever last year, finishing a very creditable joint second in the division in their first season. Many of those players competing for Colchester have come through the club’s ranks.
Locally they now have two teams entered the local senior leagues having had so many youngsters coming through they decided they needed a second team to encourage them to play more polo. They host and travel far and wide to support their junior teams at under-12, 14, 16 and 18 levels wherever they can get games.
They now have a women’s team that have competed locally but have just been accepted into the women’s London League. Here the club’s girls will mix with other teams in the region at a higher level.
More recently they have introduced mini polo, which has given the club the opportunity to attract members as young as 8 years old into their group and offer a pathway into their junior section.
They now boast more than 60 members with ages ranging, from 8 to 66.
The club don’t have the best facilities in Colchester for water polo. The pool is very tired, and it is hard to attract the top-level teams to their pool due to the fact it has a shallow end. As sports centres try to overcome losses from Covid and increased energy prices, the club are doing all we can to try to ensure water polo continues in Colchester at an affordable price for all.
Colchester under 14s vs Hitchin under 14s - 15th January 2023
26 January 2023
Colchester welcomed Hitchin under 14s team to Leisureworld on Sunday 15th January. The game was set up to give Colchester’s new junior players the opportunity of a competitive match against a team of similar age. The game took place in front of the biggest crowd seen at a Colchester game for a long time. There was a buzz of excitement around the pool before the game began.
Colchester fielded their eldest player in goal to give the youngsters game time on pitch with Colchester’s players ranging from 9-13. Hitchin began well and had one player in particular who caused Colchester’s defence problems. He scored all 3 goals as Hitchin went into a 3-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. Despite this Colchester had chances to score, but just could not quite manage the final pass or shot.
The second quarter saw Colchester grow in confidence, James Blacker in goal made a number of good saves. As the defence were able to keep Hitchin at bay, Colchester managed to finally break their duck and get the first goal of the game through Almos Bujtar. A much better performance from Colchester saw the score at 3-1 at half time.
Colchester’s players put a lot of effort into the second quarter, which showed, as Hitchin began the third quarter strongly. Hitchin broke a number of times and showed their experience against the younger players of Colchester. James Blacker, now playing on pitch for Colchester looked dangerous when he received the ball, but Colchester struggled to get the ball through to him. Blacker did manage to get one goal, but Colchester conceded 4 as the third quarter ended 7-2.
The Colchester coaches gave final team talk before the final quarter to try and encourage the youngsters, who all still wanted to get in the pool and compete despite being extremely tired. They showed a great deal of determination and strength to finish the game 11-4 to Hitchin. Blacker scored another 2 goals, but Colchester conceded 4 on the break. It was a fantastic performance by the Colchester team in their first real competitive game against an older and more experienced team. The more games they are able to play the more they will improve, build on their stamina and be more competitive in these games. Thanks to Hitchin, who made the long journey to Colchester on a Sunday night, it was great to see so many cheering both teams on in the spectator area.Back row from left to right: Dexter Atkinson, Josh Raven, Max Rose, Seth Belshaw, Almos Bujtar, Aryan Uttawar, James Blacker. Front row: Daniel Blacker, Seb Velcherean, George Vinter, Emily Turton and Ed Turton
Colchester under 18s vs Cambridge under 18s - 11th December 2022
15 December 2022
Colchester welcomed Cambridge under 18s team to Leisureworld for a hard-fought game on Sunday evening. Despite the inclement weather Cambridge turned up with a strong team and both teams put in a huge amount of effort and the result was a very entertaining game.
Colchester began the first half brightly with Alex Wood, two, and Olivia Vinter scoring to see the home team race into a 3-0 lead, however Cambridge fought back well and showed they are no mugs with 2 goals late in the first quarter to see the deficit reduced to 3-2.
The second quarter was again evenly matched. Colchester again increased their lead thanks to a brace for Vinter and further goal for Wood. But again, Cambridge fought back strongly to reduce the arears. Wood managed to score with a long shot in the final second of the quarter to leave Colchester 7-5 up at half time.
The third quarter was full of goals. The game was now end to end and shots being fired in from all angles. Vinter scored a hatrick in the third quarter, Wood a further goal and George Li got on the scoresheet. Cambridge were equal to Colchester who tried to introduce some younger members of the team for an introduction to the game. Cambridge quickly pounced and reduced the lead to 12-11 going into the final quarter.
Colchester went back to first team for the final quarter to secure the victory. Li and Felix Hirst scored 2 each in the final quarter and Vinter scored to finish the game with 7 goals. Cambridge scored 3 goals of their own in the final quarter but were just not strong enough as Colchester ran out 17-14 winners.
Waterpolo is a team game all members contributed to the team. Full team below: Sergio Velcherean, Olivia Vinter, Freya Wood, Daisy Himsworth, George Li, Tilly Bland, Matt Birsan, Almos Bultjar, George Vinter, Felix Hirst, Seth Belshaw and Dan HimsworthColchester senior team now take on Chelmsford in a 2 legged final for the Eastern summer cup.
2 Colchester teams travel to Norwich - 12th October 2022
14 October 2022
Colchester took 2 teams to play Norwich recently on the 12th October. Norwich also have a junior section and asked Colchester to field a mixed junior team for a friendly before the senior teams met in the Eastern league fixture.
Colchester fielded a team of 10 juniors ranging from the age of 14 to 17. The game began as a tight affair with the first quarter being drawn 2-2. Colchester’s goals came from Matt Birsan and Maisy Head. Colchester had a couple of late arrivals due to the lengthy journey and by the second quarter they were up to their full squad and piled pressure on Norwich. George Li scored 3 goals and a goal a piece for Felix Hirst and Head saw Colchester build up a 7-2 lead at half time.
The third quarter showed the strength of the Colchester juniors as they held the Norwich team at bay and continued to be ruthless in front of goal. Olivia Vinter and James Blacker got on the score sheet as Li and Hirst added to their tallies in the 3rd quarter as Colchester built up a 11-4 lead going into the final quarter. Their dominance continued as Vinter scored a hat trick in the final quarter and Li and Head scored further goals. Norwich were unable to break down the resilient Colchester defence in the final quarter and Colchester ran out 16-4 winners.
Buoyed by the juniors result the seniors then set about taking on the Norwich senior team. Colchester started at a similar pace to the juniors with Ben Chapman grabbing two really quick goals at the start of the game. Norwich did respond, but Colchester managed to grab two further goals through Martin Vinter and Simon Lecomber to lead 4-2 after the first quarter. The second quarter saw Colchester build up a head of steam, Chapman added a hat trick to his tally, Matt Vinter scored 2 and further goals by Dan Himsworth and Ethan Wyatt saw Colchester build up an 11-3 lead at half time.
Colchester Mens Polo Team Compete atPonds Forge in Sheffield 8/9th October
10 October 2022