from Chantal Gybney A sell-out crowd of Irish, Hungarian and British supporters packed the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) this evening to witness triple Olympic Water Polo champions Hungary take on the National squad from Great Britain in a head to head nail biting match. Over 2,000 supporters were accommodated at Dublin’s world class swimming pool facility, to enjoy a thrilling game which ended in Hungary 16: Great Britain 3.
Played in the main competition pool, the match was a spectacle for Polo and non-Polo fans alike. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Mr. Leo Varadkar TD as well as Mr. John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council and the Hungarian Ambassador Mr. Ferenc Jari attended the match which lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes.
At the half time mark there were just a couple of goals between each team then the experienced Hungarians, who have won the last three consecutive Olympic Games, crept ahead to dominate for the rest of the match and beat the Brittons.
All new match equipment was purchased by the NAC in advance of the event, and a special security team was also put in place to handle the numbers of spectators in attendance.
Bobby Nolan, President of the Irish Water Polo Association and the man behind the Hungarians making their decision to come to Ireland commented after the match, “It was just a fantastic match, absolutely phenomenal. The standard of Polo seen here tonight has done so much for the sport of Water Polo in Ireland and the NAC proved to be one of the best facilities in the world to host a match of this calibre.”
This was the first visit by the Hungarian National team to Ireland. Their next tournament as a squad will be at the upcoming World Championships in Shanghai, China (16-31 July). Discussions regarding the Hungarian Olympic team making Dublin and the NAC their training base in the lead up to the London 2012 Games are ongoing.
Issued by the Swim Ireland in conjunction with the Irish Water Polo Association.