St Mary’s water polo made more than just a splash at the various tournaments which took place over half-term.

Thirty-eight water polo players competed for St Mary’s at the following prestigious schools tournaments: U13 St Stithians Invitational, U14 Roedean Water Polo Tournament and the 1st Team St Stithians Invitational. All three tournaments hosted 20 competing top water polo schools from all over South Africa.

The U13 team placed third, beating Kingsmead in the bronze medal match. They won all their pool games to go straight through to the semi-final and then narrowly lost in an exciting penalty shootout, which placed them in the bronze medal position.

The U14 team had a consistent tournament with huge improvements made as a team. They placed 13th, beating Kingsmead in the 13/14th place match.

The 1st team made huge waves in the water over the weekend after placing 13th at this same tournament last year. They placed third this year. The 1st team placed second in their pool game matches, which lead them to play Clarendon in a play-off to get to quarterfinals. They beat Clarendon 4-3 and advanced through to play Roedean School. They beat Roedean in a very tense but exciting match where they overcame their opponents by two solid goals in the last two minutes of the day, taking a clear win. They lost to Pearson High School in the semi-final and were matched to play Reddam House Cape Town in the bronze medal match.

St Mary’s took the lead in the bronze medal match with Kayleigh Boere (vice-captain) scoring a long shot to get St Mary’s on the board. Reddam equalised and then challenged again with the first quarter ending 2-1 to Reddam House Cape Town. The second quarter remained the same with no goals scored for either team and Francesca Wright (captain) and Nicola Watt (goal keeper) showing strong defence and holding the score line down. The third quarter saw St Mary’s back on the score line with a fantastic goal from Rebecca Duffy and then later in the quarter, another great long goal from captain Francesca Wright with St Mary’s taking the lead going into the final quarter of the game. Reddam House Cape Town continued to challenge the St Mary’s team and gained another 2 goals putting them in the lead with only 40 seconds left in the match. A team time out was called for a last chance at saving this game and Kiara Walsh gained a good position and scored yet another long range lob goal which equalized the match and lead to both teams going into a penalty shootout and St Mary’s coming up tops, winning the match in the end, 7-5.

Kiara Walsh and Kayleigh Boere were selected in the tournament’s “All Star Team”.

This was a very successful weekend for St Mary’s water polo and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.

Kelsey White

Head of Waterpolo