St Bede’s and St Margaret’s win junior water polo titles

St Bede's George Methven looks to link up with a teammate on their way to the boys division one South Island junior secondary school championships title. PHOTO: St Bede's

St Bede’s and St Margaret’s were the top water polo squads at the South Island junior secondary schools championships.

Competing in Christchurch over three days at both Jellie Park Recreation and Sports Centre and Rangi Ruru Girls’, the St Bede’s year 9/10 side won the division one boys title while St Margaret’s year 9/10 team won the division one girls crown.

Christ’s College and St Andrew’s placed second and third in the boys and Marlborough Girls’ and Dunedin’s Columbia College placed second and third in the girls.

St Bede’s Patrick O’Neill was named boys most valuable player for the tournament.

Coach Cooper Stewart said the team gelled really well especially off the back of Patrick and his brother Sam.

“They both are something else. They really stood out in the tournament,” he said.

The O’Neill boys are identical twins, which proves difficult for Stewart to tell them apart.

“They switch shoes sometime just to mess with us. They are very identical,” he laughed.

St Margaret’s Violette Perry was named girls MVP.

Director of sport Helen Belcher said the team of young girls will take a lot of confidence away from the tournament win.

“There were also some solid performances by the senior members and together as a team they worked well to sustain pressure against some of the best schools in the South Island,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what these girls can do in our senior teams.”

Both schools had three players selected in the tournament team, based on their performances over the three-day event.

O’Neill, brother Sam and Sam Rochford were joined by Christ’s Moe Gath, St Andrew’s Lachie Frazer, King’s High’s Josh McGregor and Burnside’s Darius Porter in the boys team.

Perry, Josie Persico and Ella Frazer were included in the girls team with Rangi’s Lucy Howden, Columbia’s Emily Peacock, Marlborough’s Georgia Reed and Louise Brown.