Water polo makes splash as Victoria Country's best clash in Bendigo  

MANY goals were scored and a few shots were blocked as Victoria Country’s best water polo players clashed across the weekend at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre.

The championships drew seven men’s and four women’s teams for the two-day carnival in the Olympic-size pool in Barnard Street.

Geelong was victorious in the men’s final against the Ovens and Murray-based Northside.

In a huge upset, Northside beat hot favourites, Wodonga Pool Pirates, to reach the grand final.

The Geelong line-up won a closely-fought final to be Victoria Country men’s champions for the first time since 2005.

Albury Sharks won the women’s decider against Pool Pirates.

Bendigo was fourth in the men’s and women’s competitions.

Championship MVP awards were presented to Shannon Gould and Leah Dodd.

The Pridham sisters were in hot form for Bendigo.

Lily, 13, and Bonnie, 16, were joint recipients of the Dionne Townsend Memorial Trophy as Bendigo’s most valuable players.

The eldest of the sisters, 19-year-old Molly was named in Victoria Country’s squad to prepare for the Australian Country Championships to be played on May 14-15 in Canberra.

A first-year player for Bendigo, Paul McKenzie earned the Brett Spencely Memorial Trophy as MVP for the men’s team. A podiatrist, McKenzie previously played for Northside.

Bendigo’s men’s team was coached by Paul McKenzie and Dean Spencely, and the women’s team was coached by Camille Reed and Sally Livermore.

Bendigo Water Polo Association president Bruce Pridham said the weekend’s championships were a resounding success. Next year’s Victoria Country titles will be at the new Waves Aquatic Centre in Wodonga. 

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