A DUNFERMLINE Water Polo Club star has described qualifying for the European Championships as her “biggest” moment so far in the sport.

Niamh Moloney said that she was “really proud” to play her in part in Great Britain’s senior women securing their spot at next year’s competition after topping their qualification section.

The talented 20-year-old, who in 2021 became the first water polo player from Scotland to be picked for a senior GB squad since Dunfermline’s Alasdair Campbell seven years previously, travelled with the team to Portugal to play three matches that offered the chance to reach the finals.

Ahead of the qualifiers, Niamh and GB travelled to Hungary to participate in the Danube Cup competition, and she was on the scoresheet in two of their matches as they won the competition, beating Germany in the final.

The two teams met again with a places at the European Championships on the line, and also faced Portugal and Finland, and Niamh played a key role in GB’s success.

They opened their campaign with a 13-5 win over Germany in Rio Maior, and a 14-12 success over the hosts in their second match secured a place at January’s finals, which will take place in Netanya, Israel.

GB ensured top spot in their qualification group with a 27-2 win over Finland, in which Niamh scored a hat-trick, ensuring that the senior women will play at the European Championships for the first time in 10 years.

“It’s massive, especially for the seniors, because we haven’t been in a major competition,” Niamh told Press Sport.

“It’s been 10 years and this is the first time we’ve qualified again for the European Championships. It’s really big.

“I’m really proud to be part of the team. Hopefully I can keep on going and get picked for the Europeans, but, if not, I’ll be happy to say I was part of the team that got them to the Europeans.

“It probably is the biggest thing so far, especially because it’s the seniors. It can’t get any better than that.”

Queen Margaret University student Niamh, Scottish Water Polo’s senior player of the year in 2021, believes that their Danube Cup success was key, continuing: “It was kind of a shock at first, but we had a camp beforehand, and we were playing quite well in that, so we had the confidence going into it, so it was good.

“It gave us the confidence and belief because we actually played Germany at the Danube Cup as well, so we knew we could beat them, and we did.

“That was the main goal of this year, to qualify, because, if we didn’t, then really we didn’t have anything else to go for. But, now that we’ve got it, it’s a good stepping stone to hopefully keep going in the future for bigger things.”