The Australian polocrosse team took a 2-0 test series lead against the UK with two matches left to play. The Australians won the first test comfortably, running out 29-15 winners, but the second test proved a much harder battle as the UK got to grips with the Australians’ game plan and practically matched the Australians goal throughout the game before eventually going down 23-19, mainly due to a strong last chukka from the Australian men. This close result gives the UK team a belief that they can square the series when they face the Australians again next weekend in two more test matches , to be held at Ashfields Carriage Driving Centre in Great Canfield.
The other good news for the UK side is that their ladies section beat the Australians ladies in both tests. In the first test they won by just 1 goal and in the second test they won 10-7, thereby confirming the suggestion that they are the strongest ladies team in the world at present. The UK men suffered worse, going down by 15 goals in the first test and 7 in the second, but the transformation in the way the UK men played between the two tests was very noticeable and going into the last chukka the Australians were only up by 20-18. However, the Australian men added three more while the UK men could only pull one back and so Australia ran out the winners.
The UK also suffered disappointment in the European challenge, which was an event held alongside the test series for the developing European polocrosse countries. France, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands all sent teams to the UK and the UK and Ireland each entered a handicapped team to play against them (all players had to have handicaps of four or lower). The Irish team proved the strongest while the UK could only finish third on goal difference to France. The UK and French sides drew 8 all and were on equal points but it was the French who had the better goal difference and so were awarded second place. Though this was a blow for the UK side it was brilliant for the development of polocrosse to see all the European countries playing each other and hopefully they will come on over the next few years so that they can play against a full UK side at some point soon.
More detailed reports on both the tests and the European Challenge to come over the next few days so come back soon!