Triple victories secure first water polo trophy of the 21st century

Triple victories secure first water polo trophy of the 21st century

QE’s all-conquering U15 water polo squad brought home the National Bowl trophy for their age group – believed to be the School’s first silverware in the sport for a generation.

Their day at the national finals at Northampton School for Boys began with a solid 8-6 win over Newcastle-under-Lyme School.

After achieving a 4-3 victory over Warwick in the last minute of the game, the young team, comprising nine Year 9 boys playing alongside five Year 10s, then had their final match against Charterhouse.

The team, captained by Year 10’s Karan Somani, duly ended their campaign in some style, trouncing the independent school 8-0. Head of Aquatics Richard Scally said: “The team played their best water polo of the day to secure this emphatic win.”

The National Bowl is the English Schools Swimming Association’s water polo competition for developing schools.

“Their winning of the trophy represents an outstanding success,” said Mr Scally. “It is testament to the hard work and commitment of the boys. Water polo has been building in strength and depth here over a number of years, aided by our great home facilities in the Martin Pool.”

Two of the Year 9 boys, Keeyan Shah and Peter Atanasov, have already gained regional and national recognition for their efforts in water polo. And, with so many Year 9 boys lining up with the Year 10s in the winning squad, the National Bowl triumph augurs well for the future, Mr Scally added.

At senior level, QE’s U18 first team began 2023 with a visit from some Old Elizabethan players, led by Rishi Amin (OE 2015-2022). The alumni dominated for most of the first half, although the U18 players’ fitness paid dividends later in the match.

After that friendly, it was soon time for the senior players to get down to the serious business of competitive fixtures.

They succeeded in reaching the national semi-finals for their age group, where the top 12 schools in the country play in three semi-finals. “Unfortunately, in a very tough group, we didn’t make it to the finals this year, but we have a young side, so that bodes well for the coming years, where they can hopefully go one step further,” said Mr Scally.

The U15 National Bowl champions are:

Peter Atanasov, Year 9
Victor Varbanov, Year 9
Keeyan Shah, Year 9
Daniel Amon, Year 10
Karan Somani (Capt), Year 10
Mohammad Arif, Year 10
Ernest Gresty, Year 9
Jeevan Karthick Thiyagarajan, Year 9
Yik To, Year 10
Gregory Kalogirou, Year 9
Noah Morley, Year 9
Taylan Zuhtu, Year 9
Kavin Rameshshanker, Year 10
Ozgan Cakir, Year 9