Watford Under-17s progress at ASA National Age Group Championships

Watford water polo go through at National Champs

Watford water polo go through at National Champs

First published in Sport

Watford Under-17s made it through to the next round of the ASA National Age Group Championships after finishing second in their group on Saturday.

Three wins out of four at Woodside Leisure Centre ensured Watford joined Invicta, Lancaster, Manchester, Sheffield and Croydon on the list of six teams to progress.

The next stage will see those clubs do battle for a place in the top four with the semi-finals and finals to be held in Manchester at the end of April.

Watford opened the tournament against Invicta and the Herts team took an early lead via Sam Carling. However, Invicta hit back to take a 3-1 first-half lead.

At the start of the second period, an exchange of goals saw Watford reduce the gap to 4-3 after goals from Carling and Alex Norcliffe.

Invicta restored their advantage soon after but a goal from Hamish Hudson with less than three minutes remaining made it 5-4.

Watford couldn’t find an equaliser in the dying moments and Invicta held on for the narrow victory.

In their second match of the afternoon, Watford got back on track with a comprehensive 12-2 win against City of Manchester B. Watford won the first quarter 4-2 and the last 8-0 with hat-tricks coming from Carling, Cami Baker and Paul Botje.

There was also a brace from Will Keegan and one goal from Norcliffe to complete the rout.

Watford chalked up another 12 goals in their third match against Solihull which they won 12-3.

Winnning the first half 5-1 and the second 7-2, Watford's goalscorers were Carling (3), Keegan (2), Botje (2), Hudson (2), Baker, Adam Kohler and Ross Leon.

The two victories put Watford in buoyant mood going into their fourth and final match and they continued their resurgence with a 7-3 victory over Welsh side Cwm Draig.

The goals came from Hudson (2), Kavi Shah (2), Baker, Botje and Jack Gilby.

The final standings saw Watford on six points, finishing only behind Invicta who ended the day on eight points.

The next round will be held at Woodside on March 29 and 30.

Watford team: Karan Basu (GK), Cami Baker, Will Keegan, Alex Norcliffe, Sam Carling, Ross Leon, Hamish Hudson, Paul Botje, Adam Kohler, Kavi Shah, Jack Gilby.

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