Last weekend Basingstoke Bluefins entered both men’s and ladies team into annual RNAS CULDROSE NATIONAL WATERPOLO TOURNAMENT at Helston Cornwall

Basingstoke ladies had the early start on the Saturday morning against Barnstable but soon found their game and in a controlled display to kick off their first game with a solid 3-0 victory, next game up was the men against Tournament favourites Swindon the men started well with quick counter attacking play and pulled out a 2 goal lead but the extra physicality and experience of the Swindon team allowed them back into the game Bluefins finishing with a creditable 4-4 draw.

Next up for the ladies was British league team Devonport this was a very tight game against a higher level team but the Bluefins ladies stuck to their task and out played the Devonport team for much of the game ending up beating the British league team 3-2 to maintain a 100% winning record. Next game for the men was Jersey the Bluefins men changed their tactics for this game in order to mark out the Jersey pit attack which worked really well with James Stone having his best game of the season with many interceptions and the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Next game for the Men was against local rivals Southampton University whilst tactically everything worked against Jersey against the uni team Bluefins couldn’t impose themselves on the game ending up losing 2-0 in a very disappointing game for the Bluefins side. Next for the Ladies was local team Newquay this game was controlled by defences with Bluefins keeper Nina Rickards in outstanding form equally matched by the Newquay keeper... but the Bluefins ladies losing finally 1-2… to set back their hopes of reaching the final…

The Royal Navy was the next challenge for the men who after the set back of the Uni game again changed tactics in an effort to control the game with better possession this worked against the Navy team and Bluefins had their best result of the tournament winning 6-1 after a short break the men had to face title holders Newquay again deploying similar tactics as against the Navy Bluefins controlled large parts of the game to end up winning 5-2 and giving themselves a strong chance of making the final…

The ladies went into their final game of the Saturday against Southampton Uni knowing that a win would secure them a final place and with a great all round team effort ending up winning 6-0 to secure a place in Sunday’s final. With Newquay beating Swindon the Basingstoke Men’s team had to win their final match against Devonport to secure a final place as well. Whilst the Bluefins initially fell behind they kept their heads and ran out 4-1 winners in their final game.

Sunday finals day saw the Bluefins ladies against Newquay looking to avenge the defeat on the previous day with a couple of the team not fully fit follow previous days efforts the ladies started very slowly and soon fell behind again both keepers in great form but despite creating the more clear cut chances it wasn’t to be the Bluefins ladies game and they ended up losing 5-2 to come a very creditable second.

The Men were against Swindon for the final Swindon obviously had watched the Bluefins game plan from the previous day and used their superior physicality to control some of the Bluefins team and displayed a great counter attacking game with finishing of the highest quality the men stuck to their game plan going into the last quarter 6-2 down they soon pulled a goal back to give some hope but Swindon again countered defeating Bluefins 9-3

Overall this was an excellent club performance the first time in 19 years of going down to Culdrose that both teams reached the finals on the same weekend with both teams exceeding pre-tournament targets

Ladies team :- Nina Rickards, Pauline Lane, Natasha Miller, Holly Rowland, Aimee Dannan, Michelle Foulkes, Jo Davies, Nicky Horsfield and Rachael Mell

Mens Team :- Mike Sheath, Mike Steer, James Stone, Dave Trewhella, Matt Girle, Kevin Taylor, Chris Wintle, Tristan White, Ross Corbishley, Trace Morgan and Steve Fairhead

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