The curtain is coming down on a momentous year for Edinburgh University Swimming and Water Polo Club’s (EUSWPC) women’s water polo squad. A post-Christmas fixture pile-up knocked neither the first team nor the second team out of stride and season was concluded in the same strong form with which it began.
The first team have consolidated their dominant position in Scottish university water polo while making waves in Scottish Swimming Clubs National events, winning the Scottish National League in only their second season and the Scottish Cup at the very first attempt. The girls also went one better than last year to claim third place in the 2012 BUCS finals, only marginally beaten out of second.
The second team has seen the most marked improvement, though, developing a bigger squad around the core players already present. Wins over the first teams of Glasgow and Dundee – which Derek Docherty, coach of the Edinburgh women’s teams, described as “immense” – was a particular highlight of the team’s journey to securing their place at the BUCS semi-finals.
Docherty made clear to The Journal: “In all the years I have coached the girls water polo this year has been the most successful so far.”
“The new Sports and Conditioning Programme and increased funding have seen the players get stronger and fitter, and with the help and support of my assistant coach, Dave Armstrong, and both team captains, Marlies Nicholls (firsts) and Siobhan Walshe (seconds), both teams have achieved more than I had hoped for.”
Docherty also paid tribute to players Claire Gambles, Julia Rutherford and Dana Photiou, who will be leaving the team when they graduate this summer, and reserved special praise for departing captain Marlies Nicholls, “who has improved so much that I would put her down as one of my best achievements.”