Established 5 years ago, Penrith Canoe Club have been developing their structure and coaching of Canoe Polo skills, which is now paying dividends. In the first 2 years in National Division 4, they finished mid table. Last year they finished 3rd, narrowly missing promotion, but this year they are on target for winning.
In the first tournament in September, they unfortunately only had 4 players (5 in a team and up to 3 subs), but still played well, winning 3 matches, drawing one and only losing one match, to current league leaders, Tees Tigers. In the second tournament in October, Penrith won all their matches, but so did Tees Tigers, who remained unbeaten. However, this all changed in the 3rd Tournament on Sat 19th November.
Penrith’s first match of the tournament was against Tees Tigers and they knew this was pretty much going to decide the league. They went out to win, playing with discipline in defence and confidence in attack. Ball handling and passing was excellent and they exploited all Tees Tigers mistakes, as well as creating goal opportunities of their own making. The final result was a 5-1 win to Penrith. That fired them up for the rest of the tournament, beating White Rose 7-2, Trentham 6-4 and Manvers 9-1. They couldn’t have played better, but to put icing on the cake, in the last 5 seconds of the last match of the tournament, White Rose took a long short and scored, beating Tees Tigers 4-3. That means that if Penrith can win their final 3 matches at the last tournament, they have won the league and get automatic promotion, without even needing to attend the playoffs in June.
(Photo L to R : Jack Dunn, Chris Archer, Katie Farley, Hilary Clarke, Tim Mather [Connor Haynes missing])