Bears bring back Brisbane gold

Published 9:00am 6 April 2021

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Words by Nick Crockford

North Brisbane Polo Bears have brought premiership gold and silver back to their Albany Creek Leisure Centre headquarters.

With players from across the Moreton Bay Region and beyond, the Polo Bears had five teams in last month's Brisbane Water Polo Grand Finals.

The Under 14C Girls won gold beating Brisbane Girls Grammar School (BGGS), while the Under 12B Boys, Under 13A Girls, Under 13C Girls and Under 15 Boys were all runners-up and collected silver medals.

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Warriors Bears: Back row from left - Nate Mitchell, Blake Wilcox, Lachlan Payne, Blaine Legge, Levi Clapper, Noah Anderson, Coach Kelly Legge, Jack Stewart. Front row, from left - Victor Ivanov, Sidney Walter, Albie Royes, Harry Graham, Cooper Lyndon.

Under 12B Boys

The Warrior-Bears team played Mantas and lost 8-3, taking the silver medal. It was a great effort from all the players in a combined Warriors/Polo Bears team.

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Polo Bears Under 13A Girls - Back row from left, Manager Deanne Doyle, Ana Jaramillo, Alexa Rush, Sarah Cockburn, Lucy Stuart, Charli Griffith, Amelie Hoefel, Coach Glen Griffith. Front from left - Mia Doyle, Bless Daly, Ali McCarthy.

Under 13A Girls

Polo Bears lost a low-scoring game 2-1 against All Hallows. It was a close match between 2020 national gold medalists (All Hallows) and bronze medal winners (Polo Bears). All three goals came in the first quarter. Goalkeeper Lucy Stuart, scorer Bless Daly, defenders Amelie Hoefel, Ali McCarthy and Mia Doyle impressed as the team collected silver medals.

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Polo Bears Under 13C Girls: Back row from left - Assistant Coach Paul Hardy, Mena Bertinato, Lahna La'Afu, Samantha Jones, Eden McCann, Holly James, Ella Bostock, Bianca Cobzaru, Coach Ella Hardy. Front, from left - Samara Wildinson, Sienna Akermanis, Maddie Coates, Trinity Dobson, Asha Condie,.

Under 13C Girls

Polo Bears went down 8-6 to Mermaids White and took silver medals. Majority of the Polo Bears were in their first Brisbane season, but gelled well and with the guidance of coach Ella Hardy, made it to the finals. Promising signs for the future. Outstanding performers were Maddy Coates in goal, Trinity Dobson, Eden McCann, Sienna Akermanis and Bianca Cobzaru.

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Polo Bears Under 14C Girls with their trophy: Back row from left - Paul Hardy, Asha Condie, Trinty Dobson, Maddie Coates, Romnie Barnard, Chelsea Blake, Bianca Cobzaru. Front from left - Eden McCann, Sarah Kennedy, Mia Brown, Isla Barry.

Under 14C Girls

Polo Bears won 4-3 against BGGS to win the gold medal. Another close game with strong defence. Polo Bears won with amazing effort to get back and mark opposition players throughout the game. Sarah Kennedy in goal, Mia Brown and Isla Barry were outstanding. Ella Hardy coached this team to its first gold medal Brisbane Premiership.

Bears bring back Brisbane gold
Polo Bears Under 15 Boys pre-game: From left - Jack Plowman, Hugh McMaster, Lawson Collett, William Plowman (partially hidden), Adam Edwards, manager Rachel Collett, Isaac McCarthy, George Mcclennan, Jack Lazarus, Lucas Lane, Tian Markart.

Under 15 Boys

Polo Bears lost 9-6 to Barracudas. A great performance but the Barracudas were just too strong in the end. Some notable performances by Tian Markart (goalkeeper of the competition at the last state titles), Adam Edwards, Issac McCarthy, Jack Lazarus, Lawson Collett, George McLennan. Coached to the competition by Paul Rusnac, coached at the finals by Naomi McCarthy (nee: Castle, the Olympic 2000 gold medalist).

The grand finals on March 27 were split between The Valley Pool and Somerville House Pool and the first since the COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 finals. Polo Bears had nine teams reach the semi-finals.

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