Marlins Ladies confirmed their position as one of Britain’s top water polo sides at Matlock baths last weekend.
Having finished 3rd in Division 2 after the first phase of the league in December, the top 5 teams joined the bottom 3 teams from Division 1 for the Phase 2 Promotion play offs. After a thrilling final round of matches they just missed out on promotion to Division 1.
Marlins gave an excellent account of themselves, were competitive in every game and were the overall top scoring team with 72 goals. Dani Brazier was Marlins’ top scorer with 20 goals, however one of Marlins’ strengths this season has been the strength in depth of the squad and this was underlined by the fact that every outfield player scored at least once. The absence of regular goalkeeper, Amy Styles through injury, had a noticeable unsettling effect on Marlins defence, and this proved to be costly when Marlins dropped points in several close matches. Nevertheless, coach Tony Noble was delighted with the team’s progress this season with a squad containing many talented junior players who will be stronger still next season. “If we can keep this squad together, I feel we can really challenge and push on next year” he said, after the final game. “It is remarkable achievement for this group of girls from a small catchment area in Mid Sussex to punch above their weight against teams from major cities like London, Leeds, Liverpool and what are, effectively, the Welsh & Scottish national teams. They should take great pride that they continue to do so year after year.”
The Marlins Ladies now have a well earned break before their summer London league programme.