Geraldton’s first WA Masters Water Polo Championships a huge success

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Melville Saints’ Paul Hazelwood defending a Joel Cross (Geraldton Young Uns) shot.
Camera IconMelville Saints’ Paul Hazelwood defending a Joel Cross (Geraldton Young Uns) shot. Credit: Supplied

It was a spectacular final day at the WA Masters Water Polo Championships over the weekend with the women’s 40+ final being decided in a sudden-death penalty shootout.

The women’s final was almost beyond doubt when 2000 Olympic champion goalkeeper Danielle Woodhouse stopped a shot in the shootout, gifting Triton the victory 7-6 over Medoburn, a combined Perth team that has 2004 Olympian Kelly Parkes and 1995 World Cup champion Sharan Colliss.

Meanwhile, Geraldton women pipped Peel 3-2 for third place.

In the men’s 45+ final, Melville Saints, a team that still plays together in the Perth competition, held off Barbarian 4-3 after being 3-1 ahead at half-time.

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In the derby for third place, Geraldton Sea Wolves turned the tables on the Geraldton Young Uns 5-4, having lost their preliminary encounter 8-5.

In the 70+ competition, that included 60+ women, the three teams were combined to two teams and played three matches, with Pink Cockatoos 2 beating the Pink Cockatoos 1 side 6-4 in the final, after two previous victories.

Geraldton players Anthony Cross, Russell McKinnon and Peter Gerada were members of the winning team.

The Pink Pointers women and Perth Cockatoos are regular travellers to FINA World Masters events. The men won the 70+ crown on the past two occasions and the women are the reigning 60+ world champions.

Geraldton Water Polo Association spokesperson Anouska Barnes said the event was “an unrivalled success” and had people saying that the event should be held in Geraldton in future years to help encourage the expansion of masters water polo in the State.

It was the first time the masters event had been staged outside Bunbury and the first time Geraldton players had fielded teams. In all, about 35 Geraldton players competed.

With the constant withdrawal of players because of COVID, Geraldton stepped up to the mark and provided a younger men’s teams and extra players to help other sides get in the water.

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