Falcon College Win 78th Crusader Shield Contest

Falcon College wrapped up their Crusader Shield campaign Saturday night with an 11-2 final win over Hellenic Academy to claim the 78th contest for the shield.

The Crusader Shield was first competed for in 1937. Despite being the ultimate trophy to win in Zimbabwe Boys Water Polo, the shield was originally only played for between Matabeleland and Mashonaland teams. Matabeleland schools would play for the Hart Shield in Bulawayo and Mashonaland Schools would play for the Bruce Kennedy Trophy.

The points awarded at these local tournaments would be carried forward to Crusader Shield. Generally, if you did not win either the Hart or Bruce Kennedy, your chances of winning Crusader Shield were really slim.

Levi Fargnoli passing a water polo ball
Falcon College skipper, Levi Fargnoli looks to pass during the Crusader Shield tournament

About seven years ago due to the shrinking number of schools playing water polo, the Water Polo Board of Control (WPBC) decided to combine the boys and girls to play at the same venue on the same weekend and make a vibrant festival of high school water polo.

The win by Falcon College marks the eighth time the Esigodini side has laid their hands on the trophy, having won it for the first time in 1970. Eight titles seems a lot, but Falcon are still a long way off the record which is held by Prince Edward who have won the shield a massive 29 times.

Burt Robertson, a past national water polo player, who was on the winning PE side in 1964 when they won the Crusaders’ against Plumtree High, presented the shield.¬†Falcon player Dudley Lenton was awarded¬†the Player of the Tournament.