Bangor girls help Ireland stay unbeaten in Poland

Erin Brannigan (third from left, top row) and Anna Reilly (second from left, bottom row) were part of the undefeated u19 Irish Water Polo ladies team.


TWO Bangor women have helped Ireland’s U-19 water polo team secure an unbeaten run in a recent major European competition.

Former Bangor Barracuda Water Polo Club players Anna Reilly and Erin Brannigan represented Ireland U-19’s at an international tournament in Poland, returning home after victories over Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania.

The achievement was officially recognised at the Irish Senior Cup Tournament in Bangor Aurora – where the girls represented Cathal Brugha.

Anna and Erin, daughters of Bangor Barracudas founding coaches Jane Reilly and Sarah Brannigan, were selected alongside the best female U-19 Irish water polo talent, Anna as vice-captain and Erin emulating her mother – a former Irish International goalkeeper.

The U-19 team beat Poland by nine goals, Slovakia by 14 goals and Lithuania by 13 goals before drawing 8-8 with Ukraine, narrowly missing out on the gold medal on goal difference to Ukraine.

Jane Reilly, head coach of Bangor Barracudas and an age-grade national water polo coach said the women learnt the sport as part of the first ever Bangor Barracudas U-10’s team

“Our club was only established in 2012 and whilst we have had a number of players go on to achieve provincial and representative honours – it is the dedication to the ethos of the sport shown by all of our players that really makes us proud,” she said.

Bangor Barracuda Water Polo Club players Nina Lynes, Felix English and Ailill Hehir were recently selected to represent Swim Ulster at a recent inter–provincial tournament at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

Nina, a goalkeeper who has already represented Ireland at age–grade level, played for Ulster U-15’s girls team which recently beat Connacht 8-5 and narrowly lost to Leinster 6-7.

Felix, already an Ireland U-17’s representative player, and Ailill were selected to play for Ulster U-15’s boys team which beat Connacht 11-5, with Felix scoring six goals, and lost to Leinster 9-6.

Bangor Barracudas was established in 2012 to bring inclusive water polo to the Ards and North Down area.  The sport improves water confidence, builds strength and stamina and encourages teamwork.  For more information check out Bangor Barracudas Water Polo Club on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube.