Midland tournament was played under a mixture of sunshine and showers and there was some excellent play. It was on the back of a very successful midland camp and it was nice to see that most of the grades went to third place as lately most tournaments have only gone to second and this means the leagues are looking bare!
The Highlanders machine is in gear and is quite possibly moving smoothly towards its second A Grade National Trophy. This weekend they defeated Kent by 5 goals. They only made it comfortable in the last couple of chukkas but it always seemed inevitable that they would win. The Highlanders have perfected the art of grinding out results, like top football teams can. They didn’t play their best for most of the final (Brian Davidge even missed a couple of shots) and Kent led early on as Jason Webb reveled in his return to the number one spot.
Kent have perhaps unfairly been overlooked so far this season by certain corners of the polocrosse media circus. They are an excellent team and on this form could well could face Highlanders again in the National final, especially as Arden seem to have problems. All the Kent players played well and they played very well as a team which is perhaps the key to beating a side as strong as Highlanders.
For a full review of the top four A grade teams and their chances in the Nationals click here!
2nd) Kent Target
1) Brian Davidge (Highlanders)
2) Lucy Shell (Highlanders)
3) Josh Greenwood (Kent Target)
The Northern Lions won the B grade again this weekend and a lot of the credit for this victory must go to Shaye Williams. The Welsh Dragons were the team unfortunate enough to face him in the final but they kept it close for the entire final and the result could have perhaps been different if only a couple of key moments had turned out differently. Credit must go the Lions’ team though who knew what they had to do and did it well, Shaye’s section supporting him well and the other Lions’ section keeping the Welsh danger player of Charlotte Pykett under control.
1st) Northern Lions
2nd) Welsh Dragons
1) Shaye Williams (Northern Lions)
2) Nigel Smith (Northern Lions)
3) Rhianyidd Lee Jones (Welsh Dragons)
The C grade was won by a strong Pennine team who defeated Arden in a hard fought final. Both sides had been on good form all weekend and either one could have won in the end. Arden lead early on but Pennine came back strong at the end. Arden can take heart however from the fact the Phillips sisters picked up Best 1 and 3 and also that the Pennine team could probably be weaker for the Nationals as Greg Burnett and maybe a couple of other players go to the B grade. Liscombe beat Kent Target in the 3rd/4th play off.
1) Tori Phillips (Arden)
2) Greg Burnett (Pennine)
3) Sophie Phillips (Arden)
Pendle stepped down a grade this weekend as they had players such as Chris Haymonds and Alex Roberts missing but the presenec of Kerry Bean and the loan of Jack ‘Ham’ Williams from Pegasus Croome meant they were strong enough to see off a combined Celyn and Cotswold side. Arden saw off Liscombe to take the third place spot.
1st) Pendle Wildcats
1) Rachel Pearce (Cotswold)
2) Kerry Bean (Pendle Wildcats)
3) Alex Clay (Celyn)
Kent claimed 1st place while Western Phoenix picked up second and third. Western Phoenix will be hoping to go one place better at the Nationals as they aim to hold on to their E grade trophy from two years ago.
1st) Kent Target
2nd) Western Phoenix
3rd) Western Phoenix
1) Jacklie Nickless (Western Phoenix)
2) Vibeke Svendson (Kent Target)
3) Ben Marsh (Kent Target)
Celyn do seem to be unbeatable in the Juniors this year as they won and three of their players picked up all the best numbers. Centaur were again defeated, as they have been at the Nationals for the last two years. Centaur, however, are missing a couple of key players in Steph Metcalfe and Tom McCloud as they are touring Australia with the UK Junior squad and they should be back for Nationals. However Celyn will also get Simon Amor back when the juniors return. Pennine picked up third.
1) Laura Hughes (Celyn)
2) Rosie Miller (Celyn)
3) Amy Hughes (Celyn)
Centaur managed to overcome Arden this time in the primary juniors in a reversal of their positions at Arden tournament. Also Centaur managed to pick up all the best numbers so they must now be feeling confident for the Nationals. Pegasus Croome finished in third place.
3rd) Pegasus Croome
1) Charlie Jones (Centaur)
2) Katie Newbrook (Centaur)
3) Libby Tyler (Centaur)
I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between minis and primary juniors but if some one could let me know that would be brilliant! They have both been awarded equal points in the league. Someone did suggest that perhaps mini’s might be on lead reins but I know this isn’t true because I watched some mini’s this weekend and there wasn’t a lead rein in sight. Unfortunately I happened to pick the most delayed minis match in the history of matches so of the ten minutes I watched I only actually saw about a minute of play. Kent emerged victorious with Arden in second place and Pegasus Croome in third. Oli Halcrow is obviously learning some tricks off his brother as he picked up Best 1.
1st) Kent Target
3rd) Pegasus Croome
1) Oli Halcrow (Kent Target)
2) Amy Harper
3) Pablo (Arden)