Water polo talent pool gets deeper

HUNTER have had four players named in the NSW Combined High Schools water polo teams following the girls' championships at Woy Woy last week.

Brianna Watkins and Kelcee Byrnes, both of Lambton High, were named in the first team, while Savannah Henshaw (Belmont) and Milly Hughes (Merewether) were chosen in the second team.

This will be the second year that Watkins has been selected in the first team, while for Byrnes it is a progression from the second team last year.

Henshaw will also make her second appearance for the second side, and this will be the first year of state selection for Hughes.

Blair Davy (Whitebridge) and Marlee Byrnes (Lambton) were named in the CHS Honour side.

Hunter finished third at the championships this year.

A loss to Sydney East in the round games saw the Hunter girls finish second and into the semi-finals against Sydney North who they had defeated 7-5 in the round games.

Sydney North got their revenge in the match, defeating Hunter 10-5.

The Hunter girls recovered to defeat Riverina 8-2 in the play-off for third.

■ THE boys will hit the water this week for the NSW CHS water polo championships at Parramatta.

In the opening day's matches, Hunter took on Riverina, North Coast and Sydney North before playing North West and Sydney East today.

The Hunter boys will be looking to go one better than last year's second place.

Keenan and Mitchell Marsden and Jack Mihell (Warners Bay), Zac Collin and Nathan Cleary (Merewether), Liam Hardy (Maitland Grossmann) and Lucas Mackaway (Whitebridge) have all returned to the side.

Newcomers include Harry Mihell and Bailey Sheather (Warners Bay), Josh Whant and Keenan Bone (Lake Munmorah), and Jake Cartwright (Morisset).

■ NSW Combined High Schools present their annual Sporting Blues awards on Friday at ANZ Stadium.

Alicia Ierioanni (Great Lakes College) for canoeing; Nicholas Pepper (Hunter Sports) and Reece Pappas (Warners Bay) for football; Estelle Hughes (Merewether High) for hockey; Odin Mackintosh (Merewether High) for rowing; Adrian Delore (Whitebridge High) for rugby union; Jakob Martin and Shannon Allsopp (Belmont) for trampoline sports; and Georgia McConville (Swansea High) for water polo will attend from the Hunter.

■ Dubbo hosted the NSW Polding girl's cricket trials last week. Two Maitland Newcastle Diocese players were named in the Polding side, including Clare Webber (St Joseph's Merewether) and Emma Wicks (Holy Name Primary School Forster).

Last Friday, the Diocesan Summer Sports trials for boys' cricket and basketball were held. In basketball, eight girls and eight boys were selected to represent the diocese at the Polding trials next year. The boys selected included Isaak Berthold (Lochinvar), Liam Fairweather and Sam Jordan (Maitland), Oscar Mason (Raymond Terrace), Samuel Faraday-Bensley (Merewether), Michael Walker (Charlestown) and Henry Johnson and Jonah Anderson (Gateshead).

The girls selected included Hope Extrem (Taree), Jessica Relf (Gloucester), Caitlin Lynch (Merewether), Josie Varnum (Adamstown), Chloe Blake (Kotara South), Keely McLean (Warners Bay) and Imogen McCulloch and Kate Kingham (Merewether).

■ Boy's cricket was very competitive with John Crameri and Ben Standing (New Lambton), Jack Hartigan (Merewether), Sam Robinson (Maitland), Jock Vivers and Thomas Cant (East Maitland) and Alex McNeill (Muswellbrook) selected.

■ Cody Edstein Boyes (San Clemente Mayfield) made the NSWCCC cricket side.