Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club joined in with another 28 teams at the Manchester Festival. Lancaster City entered two teams, an under 14s and a under 12s team. The festival was all about playing games and developing new skills. The under 14s team was coached by Zak Sly and Jordan Titley came along and helped out as his first coaching experience at an event. The Lancaster team saw a mixture of 14 and 13 year olds which included both boys and girls. The under 14s first game saw them go down by four goals in the first half, against a strong Rotherham team. A half time team talk and encouragement from both coaches saw Lancaster hit Rotherham hard in the second half to win the game 6-5. This built the young team’s confidence up and they went on to beat Tyldesley boys 12 – 5 and Welsh Wanderers B 12 – 1. Some good team work including some great saves and passes out from goalkeeper Mackenzie, a strong positive attack from Matty, Ben, Jake, Michael and James and some great defence from Evan, Eoin and Abby who kept on going and got stronger throughout the day. Lancaster next played ORCA; a win would see them to the semi-finals. The Lancaster players kept up their hard work for an 11-1 victory. Their semi-final was against Warrington and a tight first half saw Lancaster take the lead by a couple of goals. In the second half, Lancaster pushed hard to complete a 7-4 win. Lancaster had made it to the final against Bolton School. Lancaster opened up the scoring but Bolton School hit back with two goals for a narrow half time lead. A quick team chat and the Lancaster players were up for it. The second half swung backwards and forwards with Lancaster levelling and Bolton taking the lead again. With just 13 seconds left Lancaster equalised to take the final to penalties. Lancaster were up first, Ben scored the first goal and goalkeeper Mackenzie saved Bolton School’s first shot. Matty Alderson scored the second goal. Another save from Lancaster would mean Lancaster would be crowned winners! The whistle blew; but the Bolton school player took too long to shoot; a foul shot was declared and Lancaster won the competition! Under 14’s Players: Matty Alderson, James Moore, Eoin Broadhurst, Mackenzie Matheny, Michel Hampshire, Ben Stephenson, Jake Mendelsohn, Evan Titley, Abby Trowse The Lancaster under 12s team followed in the footsteps of the older players by winning their first three games in the morning. Their opening game saw them beat Hucknull 13-0, followed by wins over Warrington 5-3 and Merseyside 12-0. Their first game in the afternoon was close with Lancaster losing 4-3, The only game of the day they lost! This meant they just missed out in the semi-finals and were playing for 5th to 12th place. Another close match saw the Lancaster team beat Northampton 6 -5 and put the under 12s team in their final game fighting for 5th place. Lancaster took an early lead and never looked back and won to finish 5th. A solid performance for Lancaster water polo youngsters The under 12s team put in a strong performance, with Jake Alderson making some fine saves in goal and Charles Moore playing his first ever club level competition after playing games for his School Ripley. Lewis Trowse and Matthew Taylor showed big improvements through the day, scoring some great goals and never giving up. Three players; Eoin, Abby and Evan played in both teams, mostly one game after the other! Under 12’s Players: Eoin Broadhurst, Evan Titley, Abby Trowse, Jake Alderson, Lewis Trowse, Matthew Taylor and Charles Moore.