Polo stars make strong start in bid to retain their title

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Lancaster Water Polo Club’s youth team made a good start in their bid to win back-to-back National Championships.

The youngsters had to play six games in just six hours at the Manchester Aquatic Centre.

In their first game Lancaster overcame Exeter 5-4 thanks to goals from captain Zak Lamb, Jordon Titley, Dean Akister and two from Ben Turnbull, his second the game’s winning goal coming with just four seconds left to play.

After such a hard-fought opener, the city side then swept aside Welsh Wanderers 21-0 in their second game.

Titley, James Pratt and Joe Barker scored four goals each.

Turnbull added two more with Lamb and Adam Coutley also scoring braces.

Akister, Stefano Coustti and Aaron Mason completed the scoring.

In the third match against Invicta, Lancaster led 3-1 at the break thanks to two more goals from Turnbull and a Barker goal.

Turnbull completed his hat-trick shortly into the second half with strikes from Akister and Lamb helping complete a 6-3 win.

Up fourth was the City of Sheffield with goals from Lamb, Barker, Akister and Pratt putting Lancaster in command.

The Yorkshire side roared back into contention at the start of the second half before Lamb put his side back in front with his second goal of the game. Owain Llewellyn then made a crucial penalty save before Titley confirmed the 5-3 win with 20 seconds to play.

With four games already played Lancaster found a strong Solihull side too strong in their next match falling 9-4.

The goals came from Pratt (2), Lamb and Akister.

The city side’s final encounter came against Caledonia with Lancaster bouncing back from their previous loss, winning 9-3.

John Pratt scored a hat-trick, while James Pratt, Barker and Mason notched doubles.

Lancaster finished second in their group and will play in Gloucester, on April 6 and 7 to find the top four teams to go through to the semi-final to be held on April 27 back at Manchester Aquatic Centre.