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Karratha seal Pilbara Championships water polo title after convincing win over Hedland Crocs

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Caitlin McCarthy scored three goals for Karratha.
Camera IconCaitlin McCarthy scored three goals for Karratha. Credit: Alexander Scott/Alexander Scott

Karratha’s men’s side claimed the Pilbara Championships title by one point after a thrilling day of water polo action.

The annual tournament was held at the Karratha Leisureplex on February 10 with teams from Port Hedland travelling down for the tournament.

Three games were played with the total goal scores being tallied to decide the winner.

Karratha took the overall prize after a 16-3 demolition of the Hedland Crocs men’s team to secure the championships 26-25.

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The men’s game saw the Karratha Marlins take control early when Rhys Knight scored two goals in the opening term to lead 4-0 at the break.

The Marlins continued to show their skill with back-to-back five-goal quarters in the second and third terms with the home side leading 14-2 with seven minutes to play.

Hedland came out firing in the final term to try and claw back as many points as possible but were unable to convert on the scorecard. The Marlins eventually outscored the visitors 2-1, to win by 13 points.

Knight was named male MVP for his stellar performance.

Meanwhile, the women’s game was a nailbiter with scores tied at full-time causing the game to go into a penalty shootout.

Hedland took the lead in the opening quarter before Karratha’s grit came through to have scores levelled four-all at half-time.

Both sides were unable to be separated again at three-quarter-time with two goals apiece, leaving seven minutes to decide the winner.

Karratha would rue missed opportunities at goal with Hedland’s defence proving too much and the game being forced into a penalty shootout.

With the game on the line, Hedland’s composure shone through scoring 3-0 in the shootout to take the game and the title, 9-6. Hedland’s Mercedes Ralph was named women’s MVP.

The final game of the championships was the juniors match with Hedland proving too strong for the home side, winning 13-4 and Bailey Shinners was awarded MVP.

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