British teams lead the way in Essen

Three of Britain’s top Canoe Polo team headed for Germany to take part in Essen’s Four a side Canoe Polo Tournament. Viking A, Meridian C and St Albans were all represented.

The tournament is played indoors over two pools; the pitches are less than 23m long meaning much less time on the ball. The game is usually much faster and higher scoring than the usual 5 a side game removing the need for the shot clock.

All three of the teams played really good polo on the Saturday, each one of them qualifying for the quarter finals by topping their group. Meridian had a late finish on the Saturday night, their quarter final being play around 10pm at night! For them it was worth the late finish as the moved safely to the semi-final.

Viking and St Albans had an early start, playing at 7 and 7.30am respectively! Both saw away difficult opposition with relative ease to set up a semi-final against each other later in the day. Meridian would play the host team Rothe Mule Essen in their semi-final. The Viking and St Albans game started off very tentatively with chances for both teams. As half time approach Viking took hold of the game meaning St Albans had to chase out to stay in the game, Viking took advantage of the space left by St Albans to close out the game and progress to the final.

Meridian had the closest game of the weekend taking Rothe Mule to a second period of golden goal extra time. Both teams had chances to win but the Germans nicked it and set up a final with Viking. St Albans and Meridian played off the final podium position, both teams cancelling each other out with their knowledge of the opposition. Both teams took the lead at times and both had chances to go clear but it was Meridian who capitalised the most pushing St Albans in to 4th and claiming the 3rd podium spot for themselves.

Viking had been playing well all weekend and were confident of a win in the final, but things didn’t go all their way. The Germans were ahead several times, but as usual Viking didn’t panic. The final score was 5-5, another period of golden goal for the Germans. This time though their opposition weren’t going to roll over. Viking scoring the golden goal in the first period and retaining the title they won last year.

Well done to all three British team, three teams in the top four is quite an accomplishment.

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