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Students Join England U17 Water Polo Team

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Year 12 student Ben Ray recently captained the U17 England Water Polo team as they competed for the Baltic Amadeus Trophy. He was joined by fellow Boys’ Division Year 12 student Bill Moores in goal. They travelled out to Lithuania to play up an age group against U18 teams.

A solid performance in their first match against Lodz (Poland), which they won 10-5, made for a good start to the competition. Two of the goals scored in that match came from team captain Ben. This was followed by another win against Finland 7-6. In the final group-stage match, in spite of a strong performance from the England side including a draw in the first period, a win in the second, and another goal from Ben, they were narrowly defeated by group winners Moldova with a score of 6 goals to 8. However, as runners up, they could still claim a place in the semi-finals.

A semi-final match against hosts Lithuania was the next on the cards. The four quarters were fiercely fought by both sides, with a score of 5-3 to Lithuania at half time giving the England team hope that they might yet pull the score back. However, the home team proved too strong on this occasion and Lithuania won the match 11-6.

England’s final match of the tournament was for the bronze medal, and was a re-match against their group-stage rivals Moldova. Ben once again scored two goals in this incredibly exciting confrontation, while Bill made a number of fine saves throughout the match. England won the second and fourth quarters, putting an amazing 6 goals past Moldova’s goalkeeper in the last quarter, but in the end it was not enough. They fell just one goal short in an agonising 13-12 defeat.

The England team achieved fourth place overall despite a great performance throughout the tournament. Ben led the team by example during the competition with plenty of goals to his name, while Bill conducted himself well as goalkeeper in each of the matches.

Ben and Bill join a long line of Bolton School pupils who have represented England water polo over the years.

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The England U17 Team: Ben is second from the left on the middle row, and Bill is on the far right of the front row

The England U17 Team: Ben is second from the left on the middle row, and Bill is on the far right of the front row