Batley octopush players shine in North of England glory

North of England Under-16s Octopush team won gold medals at the regional tournament in Newport,
North of England Under-16s Octopush team won gold medals at the regional tournament in Newport,

Players from Batley under water hockey team represented the North of England at the regional Octopush Championships last Saturday.

The North brought together 17 players from Manchester, Rochdale and Batley to play against teams from South West England, South East England and Wales at the Newport International Sports Village.

The North fielded two Under-16 teams, an Under-14s side and an Under-12s team, with Batley players Abbey Calvert (13) and Mason Ambler (12) attending their first competition.

The North Under-16 teams came first and third, securing gold and bronze medals, with top spot sealed on goal difference after they earned a thrilling 1-1 draw against South West A.

Batley players representing the Under-16s North were Hamish Dee, Matthew Adams, Abbey Calvert and Ben Morgan, while the team was made up by George Lythe, Harry Thompson, Ethan Redmond and Lauren Saville.

The Under-14s North team came fifth out of seven sides, while the Under-12s North team was extremely strong and gained the gold medal easily, not conceding a single goal in the whole competition.

Batley had five Under-12 players representing the North in Dylan Cusworth, George Richmond, Will Tarling, Callum Walsh and Harry Steadman, joined by Emrys Williams, Nieve McNulty and Ben Lythe.

Games were 10 minutes each with the Under-16 and Under-14 age groups playing at a depth of two metres, with the Under-12s category played at 1.5m.

Batley coach Jo Pitchforth said: “I was delighted with the way the players mixed together this year and formed true regional teams.

“Rochdale is only a small club and cannot field a full team but four of their players got a chance to play with players from the larger northern clubs, Manchester and Batley.”

The National Championships will be held at Leeds’ John Charles Centre on July 2 when Batley are hoping to enter teams into all the age categories.

Children from the age of eight years old, who are strong swimmers and can pick up a brick from the deep end of the pool, are welcome to octopush sessions at Batley Sports and Tennis Centre on Sundays 5pm to 6pm.