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Waterpolo Juniors were in action in Algeciras

During the weekend, June 15 and 16, saw the Gibraltar Junior Waterpolo Team compete in the VII Trofeo de Feria Habawaba de Algeciras. A total of 12 teams took part representing Sevilla, Jerez, Algeciras, San Roque, Malaga and Marbella. The boys knew they were up against strong competition following last year’s performance, where they did not manage to win any games, however, their hard work has definitely paid off giving them much better results this time round.
The boys were placed in the group including Marbella, Malaga C, Algeciras, Club Waterpolo (CW) Jerez and Club Waterpolo (CW) DOS hermanas Sevilla B.
The matches started off on the Saturday against CW Jerez who were one goal ahead by the end of the 2nd quarter and won the third quarter 3-0 but the boys managed to hold on for a 2 -2 draw in the last quarter, CW Jerez in the end winning by only 2 goals 7-5, an impressive performance by the Team considering their inexperience.
Second match had them facing the Malaga C team which, they managed to win by an amazing 20-2, their biggest win to date so, with good spirits they headed into their next match against the home team.
Algeciras, the host team and a team that the Team had faced on two previous occasions and came out the victor however, as hosts and with the home field advantage, Algeciras came out guns blazing. Gib team played their hearts out and with an outstanding performance by their goalkeeper saw Algeciras win but by a very close margin, 4-3.
Next they faced the Sevilla based, Club Waterpolo Dos Hermanas B, again, the boys played to an outstanding level and managed to win 11-3.
The last group game saw them face the Marbella A team whom they had never played against before. A bad first and last quarter and a brilliant performance from the Marbella side saw them trailing the entire match but, the final score was 13-9 against them so, not a devastating defeat either.
To wrap up the Group stage, the Gibraltar Team finished 4th out of 6 teams which shows just how far they have come in the last 12 months unfortunately, having finished 4th meant that they now had to play against the top seeded team from Group B, the Malaga A team who had won all of their matches on the day and only had 4 goals scored against them. Despite this the boys did the best they could losing by 15-2, this meant they would go on to compete for the 5th to 8th position finals. First match being against CW Jerez the next day, a team they had already faced once before.
Sunday matches started off early and our boys started strong off the blocks with the half way mark seeing a 4-4 draw, unfortunately in the third quarter the Jerez team managed to get a 2 goal lead which Gib was never able to overcome. Once again they drew the last quarter 2-2 finishing 9-7 overall, marginally losing to CW Jerez again. This then meant they were now fighting for 7th place overall and their next match was, again, against a familiar team - Marbella. Using experience as a weapon, the coaches decided to change the scheme of play and introduced a last minute tactical change. The kids had never played with this new formation before but they adapted quickly, learning from every opportunity. The last match started with a 2-2 draw in the first quarter, they then lost the 2nd quarter 3-0 but, the boys came back fighting in the 3rd quarter winning it 4-1 entering the last 5 minute quarter with a 6-6 draw. At this point the children had already given their all and with not much energy reserves left, a last minute goal saw Marbella clinch the win by the slightest of margins 8-7. But again, given their first match against this team the day before, it was a performance they could all be proud of, it certainly left the Gibraltar supporters in the stands with a few less nails and sore throats.
An overall 8th position in the tournament in which last year they came dead last, a brilliant achievement for the boys and a testament to their hard work and sacrifice throughout the year. We would like to thank all the parents for their support and if anyone would like to join the Waterpolo Junior Team, we will be training on Thursdays throughout the Summer from 19:30 to 20:30.

We would also like to mention all the participating children as they did a great job.

Jesse Gonzalez
Julian Galea
Zeyd Ouahabi
Aidon Porter
Ashton Vinent
Kaylum Davis
Leon Avellano
Julian Turnock
Evan Perez

As well as other Team Members who could not attend but have nevertheless worked very hard throughout the year.

A special mention to Leon Avellano as he achieved 7th position in the tournament in the fight for top goal scorer, considering Leon only started playing Waterpolo several months ago, this was an outstanding achievement for him. - GASA
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