Water polo team beat Newton Abbot to add cup to league success

Barnstaple U19 water polo team made it a league and cup double this week by beating Newton Abbot in the Devon Knockout Cup final.

Their opponents had three current England squad members in their team but also had a handful of weaker players, whereas Barnstaple had strength in depth and a team spirit built over six years of playing together.

Barnstaple led 9-7 at half time but despite pulling ahead to lead 16-9 at the end of the third quarter the game remained very tight and Newton Abbot gradually reduced the lead at the Plymouth Life Centre.

Barnstaple conceded in the last two seconds but it wasn’t enough to deny them of a famous 20-17 victory.

Sam Wordley and Rob Squires top scored for Barnstaple with six goals each, Nick Moore and Haydn Lawson netted three apiece and Torin Lawson scored twice.

Matt Bull was outstanding in goal as was the whole team’s midfield swimming and drop defence on the strong Newton Abbot forwards in a physical contest between two good sides.

Barnstaple added the cup to the league title, which they won for only the second time in 25 years in November.