There was rarely more than a goal between the two sides until the score stood at 9-9 midway through the final period.
Then Poly struck twice - vital goals by Sergio Schiaffano and Caleb Simpson. Penguin were still not out of it - a draw would have been good enough to earn them the trophy. With 1.15 to go, they were back to 11-10 - a strike by William de Vena. And that was how it stayed, prompting tremendous poolside celebrations by the Poly players.
Poly had clearly done their homework before the final drama, realising that they had to win and finish level on points with Penguin to take the trophy. Separating the two in this situation required a careful study of the rules and various options, which worked in turn like this:
+ Team gaining most points in matches between the two - one win apiece.
+ Team with the greatest goal difference in matches between the teams - evens at 19-19.
+ Team scoring most goals in games between the teams - level at 19 each.
+ Team with the greatest goal differance overall. Advantage Poly - 39 to the good compared with Penguin's 27.
It was as close as that!
The trophy and medals were presented by League President Trevor Pledger and former men's National League chairman Stephen Baker, a BWPL life member.
Polytechnic captain Kimon Haralambous, said: “Victory was an incredible moment for our team and for the London Polytechnic water polo community. Winning the Super 5s title after over 30 years of waiting is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our players, coaches and supporters.
“We are grateful to the British Water Polo League for hosting a successful league and providing us with the opportunity to showcase our skills on the national stage. We also want to thank our rivals, Penguin, for an intense and thrilling game that pushed us to our limits. The atmosphere created by both sets of fans was electric and added to the spectacle of the occasion.”
Photo (Trevor Hyde): Poly players celebrate after their thrilling victory.