Having carried all before them in the 2015 National Water Polo League season, Sydney University Lions men’s and women’s teams were beaten in their finals at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Sunday.

UNSW Wests Magpies defeated the Lions 9-6 in a tough men’s final, while Brisbane Barracudas prevailed in the women’s title, winning a shoot-out 4-1 after the game had ended 7-all in regular time.

Sydney University had led the men’s and women’s competitions through the season to win both minor premierships and they continued their good form through Saturday’s elimination finals to earn berths in the finals.

But it was not to be. UNSW Wests Magpies posted back-to-back titles in the men’s league. It was their third title in the 26-year history of the national league in its current format, while it was the fifth time Sydney University have finished runners-up.

The finals was an arm-wrestle with the Magpies converting the few opportunities that were presented in front of goal, while the Lions battled for each of their goals as they struggled to launch  comebacks in the third and fourth quarters.

“The Lions have been the pick of the competition this year, and they really set the standard, but our sights were set on winning another title at the start of the season and we’ve done that,” UNSW Wests Magpies stalwart Dan Swinnerton said.

Richie Campbell scored four goals for Wests, with Jarrod Gilchrist potting two and Matteo Sessantini, Corrie Eames and Mace Rapsey scoring one each.

The two teams scooped the awards after the finals. Sydney University collected the Southern Cross Trophy for the minor premiership and the Lions Johnno Cotterill was named MVP of the 2015 season.

The MVP of the 2015 finals series was Richie Campbell who, along with Cotterill, was also named in the All Stars team. Jarrod Gilchrist, the Drummoyne Devils’ Mitch Emery and Lions star Goran Tomasevic were also named in the All Stars line-up.

In the women’s competition, Sydney University finished the regular season with a 19-3 record, with two of the losses coming in the final two games when five of their players were on Australian duty at the Intercontinental Cup in New Zealand. It was the best win-loss ratio ever by a Sydney University Lions women’s team in the regular season.

Having made it through the sudden-death elimination finals they reached the final only to fall to the Barracudas in extra time.

UNSW Wests Killer Whales’ Bronwen Knox was recognised as MVP of the 2015 season and named in the women’s All Star team. Lions’ goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas was also named in the All Star team alongside teammate Keesja Gofers.