Action from the Banff Canoe Polo Tournament in Banff Swimming Pool. Picture courtesy of Fiona McNab.
NORTH East Sea Kayak Club (NESKY) went home champions for a second year-running after win- ning the Banff Canoe Polo Tournament held at Banff Swimming Pool.
The tournament, in its second year, built on the success of last year’s event, and attracted teams from eight canoe clubs in the North-east of Scotland.
Teams from as far as Elgin through to Aberdeen competed initially in two groups of round robin matches, with the winners going on to the knock- out stages and then through to the final. Local club Deveron Canoe Club were represented by a men’s team of Ted Banford, Graeme Burnett, Gary Morrison, Ross Barron, Finlay Brooker, Charlie Clark and Iain Brooker.
In the group stages Deveron were drawn against teams from Peterhead, Elgin and Aberdeen University, and advanced to the semi-finals by beat- ing all three teams.
Their star striker, Finlay Brooker, helped the team to a total score of 13 goals, conceding only three in the process.
In the second group, games were much tighter.
Last year’s winners, NESKY, were up against op- position from Aboyne, Aberdeen and Donside. Both NESKY and Donside easily won their games against Aboyne and Aberdeen, leaving a nail-biting match between them to see who took the top spot.
The game was fast and furious, pitting the youths of Donside against the much older and more experi- enced team from NESKY.
In the end youthful enthusiasm shone through, with Donside taking the match 3-1, and with it the top spot in the group.
In the semi-finals Deveron were drawn against the much more experienced team from NESKY.
The Deveron team managed to contain their op- ponents to take the game into extra-time and the dreaded ‘golden goal’.
Deveron played a secure passing game and had many chances to score but, unfortunately, all went wide, leaving NESKY to score the winning goal on a counter-attack against the run of play.
The second semi-final was easily won by Donside against a less-experienced Peterhead team.
The final was to be a re-run of the earlier group match that had been such a tight, tense affair. NESKY changed their tactics for the showdown, slowing the game and not allowing the youths of Donside the space or opportunity to shoot.
This tactic worked to their advantage, but NESKY still had their brilliant goalkeeper to thank for keep- ing the Donside team from scoring.
Time after time Donside rattled shots in to the NESKY goal, every time being met with brilliant goalkeeping and a clean sheet. At the other end, NESKY had few chances but took them to run out 3-0 winners.
In the third place playoff, Deveron Men took on Peterhead and defeated them 2-1 to give them one place better than last year.
THE BANFFSHIRE JOURNAL Tuesday, March 13, 2012