The final UKPA and Polocrosse Extreme leagues for 2016 show that, for the first time in the two leagues history, the winner of each league is the same as in 2015. Kent Target won the Janet Jones trophy for main league for the fourth year in a row and Highlanders won the Polocrosse Extreme Trophy for the points per player league. Highlanders won this trophy in 2015 and also in 2011.
Though back to back wins are impressive, both results are probably what most pundits would have predicted at the start of the season. Kent overall domination of UK polocrosse is starting to become as predictable as a Mclaren one-two in a Formula one race. Meanwhile, as A grade specialists Highlanders are always going to give themselves a good chance of picking up the most points per player, providing they manage to get enough A grade placings throughout the year. However, the margin of victory for both clubs is truly impressive. Kent are 169 points clear of Celyn in second spot while Highlanders are nearly 5 points per player clear of Three Counties in second.
Kent’s points came in nearly every grade, the only two grades they didn’t get points in were the E grade and the Primary Juniors. They were the highest scoring club in four grades, namely the A grade, the B grade, the C grade and the Open Juniors. They finished second in the D grade and then third in the Intermediate Juniors.
Celyn were a comfortable 2nd (having finished in third spot in 2015), they won points in every grade and won the most points in the Primary Juniors. In the Junior grades and the bottom two senior grades combined they scored more points than Kent but Kent outscored them comprehensively in the top three senior grades and so guaranteed themselves a fourth title.
In 3rd spot were Cotswold, who will be pleased to have climbed up from 5th in 2015. They were the highest scoring club in the E grade and the second highest scoring club in the A grade, scoring 110 points versus Kent\’s 113 points. Arden finish in 4th spot for the second time in two years but will probably be disappointed that they are only club in the top four not to score more points than they did in 2015, despite their overall club size increasing. However, they will be pleased with their Junior squad (where they did gain some of their new players), who won the Intermediate Juniors, finished second in the Primary Juniors and also picked up points in the Open Juniors.
Below Arden their closest neighbours Rugby climb one spot from 6th to 5th, though again with lower points than 2015. Rugby mainly owe their success to their D grade teams, who dominated the grade in 2016. They scored 108 points in the D grade, out of their total points of 205. Their B grade also did well, scoring 53 points and finishing second in the B grade overall.
Three Counties ended in 6th spot in their first season with 188 points. Their Open Junior squad being the major winner of their points. They scored 93 points in the Open Juniors during the season to finish second to Kent. Northern Lions scored 123 points to finish 7th, an improvement on the 12th place they got in 2015 and for the first time they picked up points in the B grade as they continued their progression up the grades. Chiltern have also climbed the league placings, going from 11th to 8th place, with a very similar points scoring pattern to 2015.
In 2016 Highlanders won two A grades (one at Kent and the National Championship) and picked up two second spots (one at Kent and one at their own tournament). This gave them a total of 90 points, which was only enough for 10th in the main league. However, as they only have one team of 6 players they got 15 points per player which was comfortably enough for top spot in the league for points per player. Three Counties did well in their first year as they achieved 10.42 points per player to finish second.
Kent target were in third spot with 10.26 points per player. This was only fractionally more than the 9.75 points per player they achieved in 2015 but they have gone from 9th place to 3rd place as other clubs achieved far less points per player than in 2015. The Welsh Dragons were in 4th place with 9.69 points per player whilst in 2015 they achieved 12.17, yet in 2015 only managed to finish 5th.
Arden went from a close 2nd to Highlanders in 2015, with 16.17 points per player, to 5th spot in 2016 with just 9.32 points per player. Rugby have also slid down the table, they were 4th in 2015 with 12.28 points per player but in 2016 they ended 6th with 8.27.
Celyn were 7th with 7.51 points per player, which was actually a very similar score to the 7.91 points per player they achieved in 2015 (when they ended 10th). Cotswold were the club with the highest player growth rate in 2016 (excluding Three Counties who only formed in 2016), they went from 24 players to 42 players but it caused their points per player to drop from 11.36 in 2015 to 7.48 in 2015. However, in both years they finished 8th in the points per player league.
Overall, there were less points on offer in 2016, with there being a couple less tournaments run meaning that all the clubs were fighting for a slice of a smaller pie. The total number of playing members across all clubs stayed very similar (304 in 2015 versus 306 in 2016) so the resulting decrease in many clubs points per player is predictable.
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