Cheltenham’s Teams Powering into 2020

BWPL, National League, Round Up


First Team, Phase 2, Champs 1

CSWPC’s mens first team are experiencing life for the first time in Champs 1.

Their first weekend at Haberdashers saw a close match against Caledonia. CSWPC were leading 8-7 in the final quarter only for Caledonia to equalise in the last 3 minutes and take the lead 10 seconds from the final whistle.

The following day saw a much better result against Portobello. CSWPC were trailing 5-4 in the first quarter but pulled back with a domineering 3rd quarter to win 14-10. Tom Hunt sits in third place in Champs 1 top goal scorers with 7 goals total from the weekend.

Spartans, Phase 2, Champs 3

A great start to phase 2 for the Spartans, on home ground at GL1, the balanced team, of senior & juniors went from strength to strength. Saturday saw a resounding victory over Tyldesley, 28-13 with 11 out of the 13 players scoring goals. The seniors lead the way taking the first quarter 9-2. Quarters two and three went 5-2 and 8-4.The final quarter was closed out by a pure Junior side 6-5.

Sundays match was against Bridgefield (Liverpool) who had already beaten Southampton and Tyldesley on the Saturday so it was game on…or so one would think..,. Spartans smashed it 25-12. Every quarter won and top goals from Rob Parker (5), Morgan Wells (4) and Joel Thomas (4). A great weekend sees Rob Parker in 3rd place on the Top goal scorers board although his average of 7 a match is the highest in the top 10. Special mention goes to George Glover whose performances were commended by the senior ranks. A great start for rookie coach Dan Yeates.

Full squad at GL1 –

Henry Redman, Rob Parker, Joel Thomas, Dave Taylor, Jules Bewley, Tristan Bradshaw, Will Cook, Taylor Walsh, James Willis, George Glover, Luke Tubby, Xander Mckie and Morgan Wells. Head Coach Martyn Thomas and assistant coach Dan Yeates.

Women’s, Phase 2, Champs 2

The start of phase 2, champs 2, of BWPL for CSWPC’s Women’s team was to be tough both physically and mentally. The draw had not been kind to Cheltenham as they were to play the 3 teams who had finished at the bottom of Division 2 in the first weekend.

First up was Otter Lutra. The first quarter was a close affair finishing 2-2, somewhat of a surprise given both teams gave away a number of majors including 2 penalties against CSWPC. Kate Read showing her skills with 2 irresistible saves. Georgia McCool and Livy Shelmerdine converted a brace of man up opportunities to keep CSWPC in touch. Following on with a similar pattern from Q1, in Q2 there were only 3 goals in total with Priya Kennedy converting a penalty chance with just 21 seconds left on the clock, giving CSWPC a slender lead 4-3. An early goal at the start of the third quarter drew Otter level. This was to be the solitary goal in this quarter with both teams squandering 4 man up opportunities each. So the final quarter started 4-4 – the tension was palpable, the first match of the second phase was fast becoming the game of the day. It was CSWPC who finally edged across the winning line with 2 goals by Charlotte Martin to counter a goal early doors by Otter. Final Score CSWPC 6-Otter Lutra 5.

The last game of the day and CSWPC’s second was to be completely the opposite of the first with goals  being scored for fun, although all the laughing was coming from the English Roses as they raced to a 6-0 lead. Finally Charlotte Martin converted for Cheltenham ending the first quarter 6-1 to Roses. Quarter 2 saw the start of the come back – 2 goals from man up’s taken cleanly by CSWPC’s left hander Olivia Shelmerdine and a long distance “power shot” from Priya Kennedy countered a solitary goal from The Roses. The start of Q3 was 7-4 in favour of the Roses. Shelmerdine’s left arm continued to look smooth and accurate with 2 additional goals. Priya Kennedy added another to counter Roses single goal to finish the quarter 8-7 in Roses favour.

The final quarter, this wasn’t going to be a game for the faint hearted, being the final game of the day most of the spectators had left, only the loyal Cheltenham support remained to enjoy one of the most exciting finishes to a game seen all season. Roses drew first blood making it 9-7 but in quick time two goals within a minute from Charlotte Martin drew CSWPC level for the first time in the match. Roses managed some relief with a goal from an extra man. English Roses hadn’t relinquished the lead throughout the match. CSWPC’s Crystal Hulls with a break away goal levelled the match 10-10. With less than 2 minutes to go Roses dealt what should have been the decisive blows – first a goal by Norris, her fourth of the match and second a penalty awarded to Roses. This was the match right here. CSWPC’s Kate Read had throughout phase 1 been saving penalties for fun and so it would prove to be the case again. The support for CSWPC were voicing their obvious frustration at the referees, but even they could do nothing to deny Priya Kennedy her second and final goal of the match to deserved 11-11 draw.

On the Sunday CSWPC faced Liverpool Liver Birds. If the match against English Roses was tight, then the third game of the weekend would prove to be just as exciting. Refereeing decisions have influenced many matches over the years, but seldom have the two men in white overseeing this one made so many poor decisions. No less than 15 majors awarded against CSWPC, including 6 penalties. When you consider the final score of 10-9 in favour of the Liver Birds there was no doubt that CSWPC had been denied their second win of the weekend which might prove to be decisive later on in the competition. Kate Read was outstanding in her goal keeping and leadership, the two left handlers were on target again with Olivia Shelmerdine 3 and Sophia Fountain 2. Other CSWPC scorers were Priya Kennedy 2, Charlotte Martin and Crystal Hulls with 1 apiece.

So the first weekend finished with 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss. Congratulations to all the players, support staff and travelling support on a solid start to phase 2 of the competition.

National Academy

2020 sees the start of another 2 year programme of National Academy’s. This year Swim England Water Polo are investing time and money into two year groups, 2005 born and 2006 and younger born. The aim is to give the top 30 boys and 30 girls in the country access to training weekends to enable them to be the best Water Polo players they can be. As in previous programmes  have a good share of selected players which will hopefully continue to build strong foundations in the clubs various teams. Congratulations to the following players we look forward to hearing about your development journey.

2005 Boys –

Zach Downer

Aaran Downer

Thomas Webster

Harry Barber

Sam Handly

2005 Girls –

Alice Tubby

Freya Webster

2006 Boys-

Harrison Walsh

Louie McKie.

Midlands Water Polo League U18’s

CSWPC continue to dominate U18’s league this season. With 9 wins out of 9 games the only team that may well stop the boys in their tracks is Solihull but after a confident 16-7 win against them at the end of January I’d say it is likely to be in the bag, even if it is on goal difference. Other results this month were CSWPC at home to Boldmere Juniors 31-2 win, CSWPC away to HGSOB, another commanding 24-7 win to Cheltenham and away to Warley Wasps 33-11 win to CSWPC.


Well done to CSWPC’s Matilda Dugdale on being selected to be part of the England Junior Women’s Team at the forthcoming EU Nations Tournament in Brno, Czech Republic. We look forward to hearing all about it. Below are the team at a recent training camp in Manchester.