National Plate Final


Thursday 9th March was the U18 English Schools National Plate Final, which was held at Northampton School for Boys, with 6 teams competing to bring home the gold. The team finished 5th overall, which we left away with mixed feelings of disappointment as we knew we could have done better but also pleased in the way we played considering we were the youngest and smallest team by a long shot. The advantage is that we don’t lose any of our players so this same group get to go again next year so hopefully we can improve on our overall standing before then. Finishing 5th still ranks our U18 team in the top half of the country something we are immensely proud of.

Group Stage     SBSJ2 - 8Brentwood


Our first group game was against the eventual English Schools Plate Champions who dominated all day and were worthy winners. We were pleased in efforts against such a strong opponent who had an U18 GB player amongst their ranks and scored a total of 20 goals throughout the tournament, only 2 of which came against ourselves so we handled him pretty well. Daniel Colehan was the stand out player for SBSJ scoring both our goals and was awarded man of the match.

SBSJ4 - 5Bedford Modern

We needed at least a draw from this game to send us through to the semi-final playoffs. We started off slow and Bedford Modern capitalised scoring three early goals. However we kept going and on the stroke of half time Dominic Walker managed to find the back of the net with a long range effort bringing the score to 3 - 1. The second half was underway and we knew where their weakness was at this point and Jack Sheehan exploited it to perfection beating his man on several occasions on the right wing and scored a brace to get us level. The team were playing really well at this point and with good defending and organisation from Captain Dominic Walker who was assisted by both Cokewright twins Tom and Theo gave a solid base to build from. Cameron Fairbairn had to make some key saves to keep the score level as the opposition were relentless in their fight to get back in front. Jack Sheehan was on fine form on the right wing however the opposition picked on what he was trying to do and he was unable to have the same effect as before. Young starlet Darwin King picked up on this and swam forward in support going past Jack which then meant a dink of the top put Darwin through on goal. He was one on one with the keeper but from the right wing which is the hardest angle for a 'right hander' to score from. Luckily we have been working on this in training down at Ignis and Darwin executed the move perfectly which the crowd applauded their appreciation of the finish. We were now in front for the first time in the game and Bedford kept coming. The boys tried their hardest to keep up the fight but it was evident who was the fitter team and towards the end we couldn’t keep them out and they went on to win 5 - 4 meaning we couldn’t make the playoffs. A good team effort to begin with and hopefully this gives most of our lads a wakeup call that you need to be fit to challenge and maintain at this level. Jack Sheehan was awarded the man of the match.

5th/6th PlayoffSBSJ10 - 1Oundle

This game decided who finished 5th/6th on the day. The lads were determined to come away with a victory and it turned out to be an emphatic one! With this game finishing the biggest score line of the whole tournament. Dominic Walker and Jack Sheehan started off the scoring which was well assisted by Alex Handol. Confidence was high and Daniel Colehan managed to score a first half 'hat-trick'. With and assist each from both the Cokewright twins. The score was 5 - 0 at half time. Jack Sheehan wanted to do one better than Danny and managed a total of 4goals in the second half, helped with good combination play from Stafan Giangregorio and Fran Rocchio down the left and Darwin and Jack on the right. With us being 8 - 0 up, meant we could give reserve keeper Luke Handol a run out in goal. We kept up our dominance in attack and Patrick McGrath got himself on the score sheet with a good strong drive down the middle. Oundle did manage to get a consolation goal but Daniel Colehan finished off the scoring with seconds to go with a long range effort that hit the post and flew across goal into the back of the net.

Players of the tournament - Jack Sheehan and Daniel Colehan

Overall we are happy how the season has gone considering our team is young which gives us confidence moving forward. The lads know what they need to do if they are to improve next year and that is train! Because if we do we know we can match any team, which they have all shown in the past. Hopefully our current year 9's will spur them on next year as they will be training together. Meaning they will have to step up or be shown up by their younger counterparts. As our current year 9's are ranked in the top 10 in the country.

Well done to all involved.
Match report by Mr M Wright

2016/17 U18's Water Polo team:
Dominic Walker 12I
Jack Sheehan 12G
Daniel Colehan 12I
Patrick McGrath 11A
Cameron Fairbairn 11A
Alex Handol 10F
Luke Handol 10A
Thomas Cokewright 10A
Theo Cokewright 10F
Stefan Giangregorio 10A
Fran Rocchio 10C
Darwin King 9B