Tauranga teams had contrasting fortunes on the final day of the under-14 division two water polo nationals at Baywave on Tuesday.

A bronze medal for the boys' B team and silver for the girls' B team tells only part of the story of a wild afternoon in the pool.

The boys team came from from a seemingly impossible position for bronze following an inexplicable error in the dying seconds by the Marist goalkeeper.

With a 2-1 lead with less than 10 seconds to play and not a soul within reach, the custodian swam away from his goal before launching a throw to the other end of the pool.


It fell to Ethan Bos, who in one motion controlled the ball before throwing a three-quarter length "Hail Mary" into the top right-hand corner of the goal as time expired.

The goal sparked wild scenes and set up a penalty shoot out, which the hosts came from behind to win 4-3.

Marist managed to turn the tide in the girls' final, dominating for long periods on their way to a well-deserved 2-1 victory.

The Tauranga girls' under-14 division one side finished second in Wellington, prolonging a long wait for gold.

Tauranga Water Polo administrator Dallas Coubee said 64 matches over four days of competition had made for a hectic but enjoyable spectacle.

"It's been a good tournament; long, but really good," she said. "There's been a lot of good play and the coaches and managers have all been really friendly."

She expressed disappointment at her club missing out on the gold in both Tauranga and Wellington on the same day, but said the division two competition had been a great learning experience for the younger players.

"Our C team here is all under-12 and it's a good experience for them ... when they reach the under-14s they will be a bit stronger for it.

"It is tough on them but some of the other teams have 12-year-olds as well."