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Published on: Tuesday 7th May 2019

Batley Underwater Hockey Champions

On Saturday 27th April, the National Junior Underwater Hockey (Octopush) championships were held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. Batley Barracudas entered teams into all 4 age categories: U12, U14, U16 and U19. They came away with medals in 3 of the categories. They faced opposition from Manchester, Plymouth,  Pembroke, South East England and South West England.

Underwater hockey is usually played with 10 players with 6 in the water at any one time. The U12 teams play with a slightly smaller puck at a depth of 1.8m. The U14s play with a large, adult puck at 1.8m whereas the U16s and U19s played at the international depth of 3m. Players must hold their breath whilst working as a team to move the puck into goals at either end of the pool.

The U12 team consisted of 8 players many of whom were playing in their first tournament. Finn Tattersfield, Oscar Dransfield, Harry Walker, Neave Lumb, Nathan Dee, Dan Fallows, Harry Taylor, Florence Hall. They had some hard fought games and came 5th.

The U14 team had 7 players: Alex Horsman, Callum Walsh, Harry Daniel, Archie Hall, Olivia Hopkins, Daniel Finnegan, Danika Hall. This team played extremely well and came 3rd in the competition. 3 Batley players : Maddeline Delis, Maddy Senior and Isobelle Addyman also played in the U14 competition as part of a mix and match team. The aim of all junior teams in the country – of which there are only 10 is to get children playing this exciting sport.

The U16 team reached the final in their competition despite only having 7 players. Unfortunately several players from Batley had to miss the tournament due to either injury or illness.  Players were Matthew Dawson, Khai Parkin, Will Tarling Dylan Cusworth, Sam Gregory, Albie Gray and Sam Oliver They had a nail biting match against Team South West where the score was 2 all at half time. The final score ended  4 :5 so Batley came away with the Silver medal.

The U19 team had only 7 players with a borrowed player from the Orkney Islands.  The team consisted of Fiona Maynard, Matthew Adams, Kiara Baillie, Nick Duffet , Abbey Calvert, Cole Thomas, and Gavin Green.

In addition to celebrating the results of the National Finals Batley Baracudas was also celebrating the selection of no less than 10 of its players who will represent GB at the World Championships in August this year being held at Sheffield. These players are Boys U18 : Khai Parkin, Will Tarling, Matthew Dawson and Ben Morgan.-

Girls U18: Abbey Calvert. - Boys U24 : Thomas Pitchforth , Matthew Adams, Nathan Archer -  Girls U24: Emma Pitchforth, Fiona Maynard.

If anyone is attracted and wants to have a go at Underwater Hockey, or Octopush, please come along on a Sunday to Batley Sports and Tennis Centre at 17.00. All equipment can be borrowed. You just need your swimming costume / trunks. Children should be aged 8 or over and capable swimmers.

Full results for the Junior Championships  can be found on the British Octopush Association Facebook page:  British Octopush Association (GBUWH.co.uk)  

Also Yorkshire Underwater Hockey Club has a facebook page which you can find out more about Octopush sessions in our area.

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