Best Mare of the Championships: Papoose (Sarah Peaker, Northern Lions)
A Grade Cup
They did it! For the second year in a row the Highlanders won the A grade title. They became the first team in several years to retain the title and they did it in style. In the end they comfortably beat Arden in the final after Arden had defeated Kent in the semis. It was close for the first couple of chukkas but then the Highlanders stepped on the power and Arden had no reply despite playing some very flashy polocrosse. Its hard to pick out one player for the Highlanders who excelled as they were all good but in defence Martin Brookes was as solid as rock and in attack Brian Davidge was his usual devastating self.
1) Brian Davidge (Highlanders)
2) Hamish Michael (Arden)
3) Guy Robertson (Highlanders)
Best Horse and Rider: Brian Davidge and Bullitt Lee
Best Horse: Bullitt Lee
A Grade Plate:
Highlanders completed a double victory when their young side (plus Brian Davidge again) won the A grade Plate. They defeated a very good Pennine side by one goal. It was looking more comfortable until the last chukka when Pennine threw caution to the wind and Sam Sics put away goal after goal to pull it back to a one goal difference. However, the Highlanders held on and this victory probably makes Brian Davidge the first man in the UKPA’s history to win both a Cup and plate at the same tournament!
1) Joel Sics (Pennine)
2) Elliot Gloyn (Pennine)
3) Lucy Shell (Highlanders)
Best Horse and Rider: Lucy Shell and Maud
Best Horse: Estrella (Sam Sics, Pennine)
B Grade Cup
The B grade Cup ended in a thoroughly deserved win for the strong, young Welsh Dragons side. No one could get near them all weekend as they beat two Liscombe sides and then Pennine to clinch the title.The numbers ones in Charlotte Pykett and Will Hunt scored countless goals and the defence from the Dragons was very strong as well. Pennine tried their hardest but ultimately no one was going to deny the Welsh their second B grade title in three years.
1st) Welsh Dragons
1) Charlotte Pykett (Welsh Dragons)
2) Vickie Metclafe (Pennine)
3) Charlie Wright Roberts (Welsh Dragons)
Best Horse and Rider: Charlotte Pykett and Smartie Lee
Best Horse: Smartie Lee
B Grade Plate
The Welsh did the double in the B grade, just as the Highlanders had in the A. Their second team clinched victory in a hard fought final over Kent Target. This team contained many of the winners of the C Grade title last year and the Kent team contained many of the players who had ended runners up so it was something of a grudge match. Kent, however, could not change the ending but at least they didn’t have anyone wrongly sent off this year.
1st) Welsh Dragons
2nd) Kent Target
1) Lewis Parr (Welsh Dragons)
2) Eme Johansen (Welsh Dragons)
3) Charlotte Nicholls (Welsh Dragons)
Best H&R: Charlotte Zygmunt and Donna Lee(Welsh Dragons)
Best Horse: Donna Lee
C Grade Cup
Celyn knew they had won the C grade before they even started as they had two teams in the final. However, no one has decided which team was meant to win and it went all the way to Golden Goal! In the end the ‘Young Tarts’ just beat the ‘Old Farts’, possibly due the length of the match having a tiring effect on the elder team (many of who were seen going for an afternoon nap afterwards).
1) Mike Pearce
2) Rosie Pearce
3) Ffion Tomos
Best H&R: Ffion Tomos and Time Out
Best Horse: Time Out
C Grade Plate
The Plate was won by a strong Pennine side who many would have expected to be in the Cup rather than the Plate. Having ended up in the Plate, however, they made the most of it as they beat Arden in the final. Ed Gall was on particulary good form for Pennine all weekend despite having barely played all year.
1) Ed Gall (Pennine)
2) Megan Hibberd (Pennine)
3) Laura Newell (Arden)
Best H&R: Ed Gall and Miloko
Best Horse: Miloko
Western Phoenix won their first Nationals title for two years as they managed to clinch the D grade, which was played as a Round Robin. Nick Foley played particularly well and won best number one and best horse and rider. Liscombe park finished second which was good achievement for them as the team was only put together at the last minute and hadn’t played together before this tournament.
1st) Western Phoenix
1) Nick Foley (Western Phoenix)
2) Nina Wiggan (Liscombe)
3) Alice Humphreys (Western Phoenix)
Best H&R: Nick Foley and ?
Best Horse: Mick Foulds Horse
The biggest upset of the tournament came in the Juniors where Kent suddenly popped up to take the title. Celyn have dominated this grade all year and had disposed of their old rivals Centaur in the opening game of the Championships. Kent have obviously been hiding this team all year, in fact they have barely played in Juniors at all. When you look at their strength in young players though perhaps we should have guessed something was on the cards! Celyn played well and can take a lot of pride in their performances this year but ultimately Kent were just a bit better.
1st) Kent Target
1) Oli Harwood (Kent)
2) Rosie Miller (Celyn)
3) Hazel Wilson (Kent)
Best H&R: Oli Harwood
Best Horse: Simon Amor’s pony
The Primary Juniors were won by Arden as they managed to beat Centaur. It was always likely that these two teams would be the top two but it was very hard to decide which one might win. Centaurs were the defending champions and all season it has been fairly even but on the biggest occasion Arden held their nerve and now hold the title until next year.
3rd) Kent Target
1) Ashleigh Burbidge (Arden)
2) Lucinda Cornforth (Arden)
3) Chloe Stuart (Kent)
Best H&R: Charlie Jones (Centaur)
Best Horse: Ted (Chloe Stuart)