Over the course of the weekend, Kilcock hosted the 2021 Canoe Polo Irish Open. The competition was a 2-day event, with over 20 teams competing across 3 divisions.

Sunday’s matches drew to a close with “Ulster A” facing “X-Out” in the Division 1 final. With both sides mostly comprised of young players still eligible to compete in the U21 class, the match was a fast-paced and high-scoring game. X-Out had a large share of possession throughout the 2nd half and needed to take their shooting opportunities. However, a strong Ulster defence broke down these attempts and were quick to take advantage of any changeovers in possession, resulting in a string of swift and aggressive counterattacks, ultimately allowing Ulster to widen the score to take the overall win.

Our Division 2 final was a close match with Kamikaze narrowly taking the win over KACC in a competitive golden goal extra time. While the Division 3 final also saw a tight contest with Cavan Cobras coming out on top over Kilcock.

This weekend of competition was, without doubt, a great success for the return of Irish Canoe Polo to the events calendar. Canoe polo has been heavily affected by ongoing restrictions and, due to the nature of team sports, has been slow to return when compared to other paddlesports. So, the sight of tournaments has been sorely missed by both competitors and spectators alike.

One point of note, while Ireland has had a short canoe polo season it has been very encouraging to see a high volume of entries. There were over 10 domestic clubs fielding players, which is a testament to healthy and resilient development/ youth programmes, showing that there is great promise for winter leagues and summer tournaments next season.

While we had no competitors visit from overseas, we look forward to welcoming back foreign teams, and for our own athletes to return to international competitions across the board soon!

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