Mid Sussex Marlins ladies and juniors make another splash
The Mid Sussex Marlins ladies’ water polo team were in action in the final round of matches in division two of the British Water Polo League.
They travelled to Haberdasher’s pool, Watford, in the knowledge that a single win from their final three matches would be enough to secure a place in the promotion play-offs.
The Marlins girls were extremely fired up for their opening match against Welsh Wanderers and rattled in six goals without reply in the first quarter.
This knocked the confidence out of their opponents and from then on the result was never in doubt.
Marlins ran out comfortable winners by 19-3. Holly Campbell (7 goals) and Caitlin Silk (4) were particularly clinical and no fewer than eight Marlins outfield players got their names on the scoresheet.
The girls were understandably elated after the win.
Marlins’ second game later that day was against unbeaten, table-topping, Exeter.
As anticipated this was their toughest match of the campaign: Exeter are an experienced and physical side.
Nevertheless the Marlins girls rose to the occasion and pushed them all the way, taking an early lead in a high quality and exciting game in which the score was close throughout.
The outcome was in doubt right until the final whistle. Unfortunately for Marlins, Exeter just squeaked home 14-12. Coach Lucy Fox was nevertheless delighted with another splendid all-round team performance.
The following day Marlins met City of Bristol, who needed to win their final match to secure a play-off place themselves.
There was an air of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ about this game and, while Marlins’ Kathryn Gracie-Langrick registered her debut BWPL goal, the team performance was not as strong as the previous day and they lost 7-2.
But the whole squad should be extremely proud of their weekend’s work.
There is a crop of young players coming through who are improving all the time and the squad has more strength in depth with increased competition for places, which bodes well for the future.
Marlins full-line up for the weekend was: Maddie Calthrop (GK), Ismey Hawley(GK), Lucy Fox, Lauren Hand(Capt), Rebecca Smith, Kathryn Gracie-Langrick, Lottie Apps, Holly Campbell, Lillie Standen, Giulia Villar-Alario, Amy Styles, Maisie Standen, Bella Power.
Marlins now have a few weeks’ break before they are next in action in the new year for phase two.
This will involve a lot of motorway miles with rounds in Matlock, Sheffield and Manchester when the top five teams from division two join the bottom three teams from division one in another round robin league.
The top three teams from phase two will then gain promotion to division one.
In addition to Mid Sussex Marlins’ flag-bearing senior ladies side, the club also have a crop of talented youngsters.
Numerous Marlins junior players have recently represented both the Sussex and south-east regional teams with great competitive success.
Maty Skoda and Max Cooper represented the south east region team who were runners-up in the Swim England under-16 national inter regional competition in Walsall.
Skoda, Cooper, Becky Smith and Lillie Standen were all in the Sussex under-16 mixed team who beat teams from Hampshire, Middlesex, Kent and Surrey to win the South East Region trophy.
Ella Boyle, Imogen Read, Lily-Joy Boyce, Leelou Butcher, Standen and Bella Power made up a large contingent of the Sussex team which won the equivalent girls’ under16 South East Region Trophy in London.
Congratulations go to them all.