IT’S been a golden start to the water polo season for Tamworth’s Jarrod Chester.
Chester has just returned from Melbourne where he helped the Hunter Hurricanes Blues win the 16 & Under Boys’ National Club Championships.
It was the McCarthy Year 10 student’s first time away with the Hurricanes.
They defeated the heavily-favoured Melville Sharks to win gold.
The Western Australian-based side had been unbeatable in recent years and was chasing a fifth straight 16s title.
But the Hurricanes put paid to that, 14-11.
“We led early,” Chester said.
They got out to a 2-nil advantage and went into the first break 5-2 up.
The defending champions responded in the second quarter and got back to 7-all but Hunter snagged a late goal to lead 8-7 at half-time.
They then took control in the third quarter, scoring five unanswered goals.
The Sharks rallied in the final quarter and outscored the Hurricanes but the difference was too much to drag back.
Chester said their team-work was one of the things that got them the title.
“We played more as a team that most of the teams and passed the ball well,” Chester said.
It was the biggest stage he’s played on.
“It was a really good experience,” he said.
He said it was the toughest water polo he’s played but he learnt a lot.
The side had been training since the end of June, which for Chester meant travelling down to Newcastle every Sunday.
Sometimes they were whole weekend trainings.
But the glimmer of gold made all that worthwhile.
His dad Doug took him down. Ryan Parker was also a great help.
Now based down in Newcastle, he kept Chester motivated, and did some training with him.
Chester is now looking forward to the local season getting underway.
This week saw registrations for three of the four competitions, with the competition-proper starting next week.