The UK polocrosse season started at the Kent Target tournament on the 29th and 30th of May and it was the home club who got the best results, though the new club Canterbury Colts and Vale Impi both also managed two wins and a second place. The tournament was hit by bad weather on Saturday afternoon as the rain made pitches unplayable and matches were postponed until Sunday morning. This meant an early 8am start on Saturday for some people and there were clearly a number of sore heads from the first Saturday night party of the season. The pitches were also still wet early on and the first matches of the day saw a few slips and falls but then as the sun dried out the pitches and people recovered the standard of polocrosse improved and there were some great close matches played.

It was Kent Target who took the A grade on their home ground, though if Cotswolds had been less sporting it could have been very different. The two clubs played on the Saturday afternoon and the match was stopped half way through as the pitches became unplayable. As Cotswolds were leading when the match was stopped Kent offered them the win or a replay the next day. Cotswolds sportingly said they would replay. They might have regretted that the next day as Kent ran into a 6-1 lead in the first chukka with a strong display from their ladies section. Cotswold fought back but Kent kept steadily putting away the goals to stay in control and win the A grade.

In the B grade it was the mixed team of the Texan Cocktails which claimed victory, with the Canterbury Colts claiming second spot with a good display in their first tournament. The Cocktails featured the Americans Sam Pohl and Quentin Jameson and then the illustrious British names of “Uncle” Pete Wherrett (Kent), Tom Witchell (Kent), Laura Scott (Cotswolds) and the not-so-little-anymore Simon Amor (Celyn).

In the C grade it was Vale Impi who showed the results of their pre season training and their new signings as they claimed victory. They beat Kent and Pennine comfortably and though Ashfields pushed them close in their first match Jonathan Swift and Dan Kelly, who Vale Impi have signed from Ashfields and Solent respectively in the off season, made the difference and picked up best number 1 and best number 3 for their troubles. Ashfields and Kent ended up in joint second with the same goal difference after they and Pennine all ended with one win each.

Vale Impi also claimed a win in the D grade pool 1 as they teamed up a section with a Canterbury Colts section and just defeated Arden in a hard fought final. The D grade was so big it was split in two and it was the Canterbury Colts by themselves who won pool 2 as they pushed their neighbours, Kent Target, into second place.

In the Juniors it was incredibly close as Kent and a combined Vale Impi and Arden team fought it out to end the final dead level. So it went to golden goal and it was Madeline Kish who snapped the ball straight at the front of the line out from the start of extra time and went down field to score, much to the delight of the home crowd. Madeline picked up best number 1, while her number 2 Gwyn Parry got best number 2 and Natalie Cameron of Arden, who had a very impressive match both in attack and defence, won best number 3.

The Primary Juniors featured two sections, one from Vale Impi and one from Kent and they played each other a number of times over the weekend and showed that the future of the sport looks very promising. Celia Price of Vale Impi won best player for some very good displays at number 3, Alice Kish of Kent won best horse and rider for her and her pony Tommy and Jodie Davis of Kent won the Most improved Player award.

With over 150 players playing this was easily the biggest tournament Kent Target have ever held and it is yet another sign of polocrosse within the UK increasing in size and popularity. Kent Target’s chairman Jason Webb said at the prizegiving that next year they might look to use a bigger venue for their tournament so they can more easily accommodate such a large number of players.

A Grade
B Grade
C Grade
D Grade 1
D Grade 2
Primary Juniors
1st Kent Target Texan Cocktails Vale Impi Vale Impi/ Canterbury Colts Canterbury Colts Kent Target  
2nd Cotswolds Canterbury Colts Ashfields (2nd equal)

Kent Target (2nd equal)

Arden Kent Target Vale Impi/ Arden  
Best Horse Socks – Dan Duhig (Cotswolds)            
Best Horse and Rider Jason Webb and Banjo (Men – Kent)

Sarah Peaker and Papoose (Ladies – Cotswolds)

Joe Hopkins and Tangles (Solent) George Harding and Wayward Lee (Ashfields) Matt Smith and Spooks (Vale Impi) Andy Garrow and Breeze (Canterbury Colts) Lauren Williams and Paco (Welsh Dragons) Alice Kish and Tommy (Kent)
Best Player             Celia Price (Vale Impi)
Most Improved             Jodie Davis (Kent)
Best Numbers              
1) Sammy Rowden (Ladies – Kent)

Luke Mathie (Men – Cotswolds)

Tom Witchell (Texan Cocktails) Jonathan Swift (Vale Impi) Bob Sherwood (Canterbury Colts) Jasper Gale (Canterbury Colts) Madeline Kish (Kent)  
2) Shelley King (Ladies – Highlanders)

Will Halcrow (Men – Kent)

Uncle Pete Wherret (Texan Cocktails) Nicki Robinson (Kent) Alison Barnett (Canterbury Colts) Jade Dunn (Kent) Gwyn Parry (Kent)  
3) Debbie Harris (Ladies – Kent)

Jason Webb (Men – Kent)

Quentin Jameson (Texan Cocktails) Dan Kelly (Vale Impi) Angela Ristow (Vale Impi) Becky Rowley (Kent) Natalie Cameron (Arden)