THE first all-female version of a water polo tournament set up in memory of a West Fife stalwart of the sport has been hailed as its biggest yet.

Over the weekend, around 140 youngsters descended on Carnegie Leisure Centre for the latest installment of the BMC Cup, which was created in honour of Dunfermline Water Polo Club life member, Brian Campbell.

First held in 2021, the competition was created by Brian's three sons - Alasdair, Darren and Chris, who have all played for Dunfermline - as a way of marking his contribution to the sport.

Its first edition saw six under-18 boys teams compete in a one-day event, before the second, last year, welcomed eight teams - including three from England - of more than 100 players to take part over two days.

A third all-male edition is to take place later in the year but, on Saturday and Sunday, six under-18 female teams took to the pool, as did four under-14 mixed development teams in a separate competition.

City of Liverpool, and Junior Celtic Dragons, of Wales, made the trip north to join teams from Dunfermline, Warrender, Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth and Portobello in competing, and it was the English side who claimed overall top honours.

Dunfermline, whose Great Britain international, Zara Christie, was named goalkeeper of the tournament, were third, behind Junior Celtic Dragons, whilst the host club were top of the standings in the under-14 event.

"It was brilliant. We had 140 kids playing water polo, and 100 of those were girls," Alasdair told Press Sport.

"It was amazing; the biggest BMC Cup we've had yet. To have teams travel from all over the UK is pretty special. We've had a lot of positive feedback from everyone who came.

"The important thing is that a lot of players are inspired and want to take up the sport. The benefit of having it at Carnegie is that there are a lot more things going on, like swimming lessons. One class came in and were watching some of the games, so hopefully it inspires them too."

The tournament featured the first penalty shoot-out across the BMC Cup competitions that have been played so far - which was won by Dunfermline, after they scored two late goals against Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth - which Alasdair said had created a "really good buzz".

"There were lots of good games," he continued.

"Liverpool won the tournament. They were really strong and it was good for the Scottish teams to go up against that kind of opposition.

"I'm already thinking of how to improve it."

The tournament pays tribute to former Scotland international Brian, who sadly passed away in December 2019, aged just 61, following a brave battle with cancer.

In addition to holding several roles with Dunfermline, who he also coached to a British Cup win at under-16 level, he was involved in coaching Scotland and Caledonia boys' teams, the latter of which is a composite side featuring players from Dunfermline, and other Scottish clubs, to compete in British Water Polo League competitions.

"The big reason to do the tournament is in memory of my dad, but about 40 per cent of why is because there's a big hole. There's not enough junior boys and girls tournaments up here," Alasdair added.

"I hoped there would be demand for it, but the teams travelling up from England and Wales, I was a bit taken aback by that.

"It ticks so many boxes. In the under-14s, so many of them were playing their first water polo games, so it's really positive."