Following recent successes at junior and senior levels in local leagues and cup competition, Chelmsford City Swimming Club entered their men’s water polo team in to the BWPL qualifiers to fight for a place to gain entry in to next season’s Division 5 of the National league competition.

Training was increased from January in readiness for the March qualifying tournament and the team was selected. The decision was taken to enter a team made up of mainly U18 players to give them good experience and to help with their own development. Which made qualifying even better.

With 3 teams out of the 4 to go through from the qualifying tournament, we were very optimistic of our chances.

The first game was against local rivals Watford. Their team was made up of strong university players that we hadn’t seen before and Chelmsford didn’t seem to turn up. Going down to 3 very quick goals, the Chelmsford team couldn’t get back in the game and lost 9-1. Young Dan Atkinson scoring our only goal.

With heads down, the next game was against a very strong Coventry team made up of seniors and players from the Army. At half time, with Chelmsford being down 5-1, it looked over. The mid way team talk and with the juniors realising that they were more than good enough to be playing in a National completion, the score line very quickly came back to 5-3. Only the missed shots cost us, and with the score finishing in a 5-3 loss, the players came away with their heads held high and feeling positive for the final game. Simon Lecomber, Tom Fairchild and Adam Frost being the scorers.

Spalding had also lost 2 games, so the winner of this game was guaranteed a place in next year’s BWPL. The junior players came in to their own. With Dan Atkinson and Tom Fairchild scoring fantastic team goals, the scores were tied at 2-2 at half time. The travelling support increased their noise levels and this pushed the Essex team on to victory by scoring 6 more goals to Spalding’s 3. Zach Beale scoring 3, Simon Lecomber 2 and Tom Fairchild coming in with another 1.

This win saw Chelmsford re-enter the National league club competition for the first time since 2000 and thanks must go to the swimming club, parents, players, coaches and staff at Riverside Ice and Leisure for everyone’s continuing support.

With the hard work starting now, we are looking for sponsors to help with training, kit, travel and accommodation costs when the season starts proper in September.