Batley players help North to regional gold medal haul

Batley's Matthew Dawson competing for the North of England Under-14s under water hockey team.
Batley's Matthew Dawson competing for the North of England Under-14s under water hockey team.

Batley had good representation with the North of England teams who took part in the Regional Underwater Hockey Championships at the Newport International Swimming Pool in Wales last Saturday.

The North competed against teams from the South West and South East of England along with Wales with players also travelling from the Isle of White to compete.

The North teams dominated the event coming away with their best ever hall of medals.

Batley players Callum Walsh, Alex Horsman and Toby Hobbs were joined by four from Manchester as the North won gold in the Under-12s competition.

The North’s Under-14s team were made up mainly of Batley players, with Ben Morgan, Matthew Dawson, Will Tarling, Khai Parkin, Thomas Burnhill, Ben Richardson, Sam Oliver, Dylan Cusworth and Myles Leadbeater joined by one from Manchester, as they also won gold.

The North Under-14s beat all six opponents, with their closest match, a 1-0 win over Wales.

The North entered two teams into the Under-16s category, although due to illness these teams only had six players in each and no substitutes.

Usually teams have 10 players with four being able to sub in and out at any time.

The teams were made to be quite even with the North Stars and North Poles taking gold and silver medals.

Batley’s Abbey Calvert was joined by five Manchester players as the North Stars defeated North Poles 3-1 to take gold.

Batley trio Matthew Adams, Fiona Maynard and Nick Duffett were part of the North Poles team who took the silver.

The North’s dominance had begun the previous week when they also won gold at the Under-19s regional competition, also held in Newport.

Eight players from Batley will travel to Tasmania in July to represent Great Britain in the World Championships.

These include Matthew Adams, Fiona Maynard and Abbey Calvert, who played in the Under-16s competition last weekend.

The other players are Tom Pitchforth, Emma Pitchforth, Nathan Archer, Abby O’Brien and Shellby Stephenson, who were part of the successful North Under-19s team.

Strong swimmers who fancy having a go at underwater hockey, or octopush as it is also known, should get in touch with Batley Sports Centre for full details.

The Batley club hold training sessions on Sundays from 5pm when everyone over the age of eight years old is welcome.

Equipment can be borrowed for beginners.