Canoe Polo success for Durham
This year held great promise for both the Ladies’ and Men’s A Canoe Polo Teams as every Durham competitor had been working hard on technique and fitness over the year, culminating in a pre-BUCS training camp in the week leading up to the 2012 BUCS Canoe Polo Championships.
The presence of three GB squad members certainly increased the teams’ chances, but the high standard of other teams and a very tough draw meant the Palatinates had their work cut out to medal.
The men had a brilliant start, winning their first game 2-0 against last year’s winners Cardiff. They went on to beat Bangor 3-2 and Nottingham 2-1. The next game was closely fought but unfortunately the team lost 2-1 to eventual winners Cambridge. Following this the team put in another strong performance against Nottingham, who were out for revenge after the previous defeat, to win 3-1. The final game saw the Team narrowly defeated 1-0 by a very strong Sheffield team, to finish in a hugely impressive third place over all.
Following on from a very impressive result for the Men’s Team the Ladies’ Team put in an outstanding performance, beating Bristol 4-1, Lancaster 6-0, Nottingham 5-0, before coming up against last years winners ULU. The hard-fought 3-2 victory earned them a well deserved place in the final against local rivals Newcastle. Spirits were high going into the final and the game didn’t disappoint with Durham performing fantastically to win the Championship with a 6-2 victory over Newcastle.
This is the first time that Durham have dominated so decisively in both the men’s and ladies’ competitions. The whole squad deserves credit for the huge amount of effort they put in, not only at the Championships, but throughout the whole year. A special mention however must go to Beth Barratt, who not only led the Ladies’ Team to victory but also played a vital role in the Men’s Team, playing double the amount of games as anyone else.
Bringing home such great Canoe Polo results rounds off a great year for the Club with successes early in the year at the Wild Water Race Championships and Slalom Championships where the club finished 3rd and 4th respectively.