Barnstaple water polo club celebrating final triumph over Paignton

Barnstaple’s U17 water polo team have won the Devon Knock-out Cup for the first time in five years with a thrilling 18-12 victory over Paignton.

Having placed third in the Devon Under 17 Water Polo League this year, Barnstaple continued their late surge of form by defeating champions Exeter 14-15 in the semi-finals in late October to book their place in the final.

Things were tight after the first quarter, but attacking the deep end in the second quarter Barnstaple opened up a commanding 12-4 half-time lead.

But within two minutes of the restart, Barnstaple had their captain and scorer of eight goals Sam Wordley ejected, and Paignton set about making their numerical advantage count, bringing it back to 15-11 going into the final quarter.

Barnstaple rallied in the final period, though, and with a few excellent saves from goalkeeper Nick Bull they were able to hold on for an 18-12 victory.