Cotswold Polocrosse tournament, which took place at Pimbury Farm on the 27th to 29th of August, featured two of the best parties of the polocrosse calendar, with the Saturday night featuring the Cotswold Olympics and Sunday night a Rubix Cube party, both of which proved to be strokes of genius by the organising committee, but it also proved a good hunting ground for Kent as they left with two wins and three second places. However, Arden grabbed two wins and a second place to continue to head the league.
Kent claimed the A grade in a hard fought final against Highlanders. Many thought that the Highlanders side, which featured a trio of Zimbabwean players in Sophie and Greg Sargeant and Damien Harris would win the final but they were ably dealt with by Kent, who had their own pair of married stars in Jason and Penny Webb to guide them to victory. There were also great performances for Kent from Debbie Harris and Scott Gurney who claimed Best Female and Male player in the A grade and Debbie also took Best Horse for Paso.
In the B grade it was the home club Cotswold who won, overcoming Ashfields in the final. Cotswold got off to the perfect start and lead 8-1 after two chukkas. Ashfields fought back to match Cotswold pretty much goal for goal from then on but by then the damage had been done and the end score was 15-7 to Cotswolds. Claudia Richardson and Matt Hale were on fire for Cotswold as they claimed Best Female and Male player for the grade while John Whitehead picked up Best Horse for Casera.
In the C grade it was a young Welsh Dragons side who overcame their even younger Arden counterparts. Welsh Dragons lead throughout and won it fairly comfortably in the end, Arden fought for all they were worth but they had no answer to the Welsh attack and in particular Hetta Carthew and Coyote who took Best Lady Player and Best Horse. George Boisseau claimed Best Male Player.
The D grade saw a win for Arden with a combined Welsh Dragons and Kent team in second place. Harry Twinberrow and Pip Rowland did the damage for Arden in the number 1 positions for the outset and Arden ran out winners by a good margin. Harry took Best Male Player while Pip took Best Horse for Casino. Alice Zawoda was also on excellent form for Arden and she took Best Lady Player.
In the E grade it was Vale Impi’s day as they pushed Celyn into second place and it was another good weekend for Bruce Christianson as he won Best Male Player and Best Horse for Pogo, while his team mate Susan Hendy took Best Lady Player.
There was also an F grade as there were over 200 entries and the grades for the teams were fairly well spread out and it was in this grade that Celyn got the win they had been denied in the D grade. They overcame Solent while the individual prizes went to Megan Hopinkinson for Best Female and John Blackmore for Best Male, while Liz Johnson of Arden won Best Horse for Mystique.
In the Juniors it was very much Kent’s day as they managed a one-two. Jazmin Henning, Tom Brown and Alice Kish overcame Maddy Kish, Alex Brown and Jodie Davis in the final. However, the second placed team did claim Best Lady Player for Maddy Kish, Best Male for Alex Brown and Best Horse for Maddy Kish’s Blues.
In the Primary Juniors, which was a round robin, Arden managed to win with Kent in second place. Kent did see Isabelle Kish claimed Best Lady Player and then Hugh Ralli of Ledbury Lions took Best Male Player and Best Pony for Polo.
All these results mean that there is no change at the top of the leagues, Arden still top the main league with 323 points and Highlanders have the league according to size all wrapped up it would seem with 19.5 points per player. However, Kent have closed the gap on Arden considerably, before the Cotswold weekend it stood at 73 points, it is now just 44. It would take a big Nationals from Kent and a poor one from Arden to see Kent go to the top but it is doable. Below them Vale Impi, Pennine and Cotswold are all scrapping it out for third spot while in the League according to size, Ashfields have taken back second spot with 7.55 points per player, just ahead of Pennine who have 7.24.
Overall the weekend was a huge success and for the most part the weather stayed pretty good, some heavy rain on Friday night soon cleared and the pitches played well. Cotswold did a fantstic job in organising two big parties and the image of the the UK under 21’s and the Pimbury Farm team fighting out a space hooper polocrosse battle during the final of the Cotswold Olympics will live for a long time in most people’s memories, as will the image of Connor Fleming and Simon Amor attempting to swap clothes during the Rubix Cube Party (Editor’s note: though many people will not want that particular image in their mind but it’s there now and it won’t go away!)
The weekend also featured the UK Under 21’s taking on the Irish Under 21’s and a full test series report for that can be read here.
|Kent Target/ Welsh Dragons
|Paso (Debbie Harris, Kent Target)
|Casera (John Whitehead, Cotswold)
|Coyote (Hetta Carthew, Welsh Dragons)
|Casino (Pip Rowland, Arden)
|Pogo (Bruce Christianson, Vale Impi)
|Mystique (Liz Johnson, Arden)
|Blues (Maddy Kish, Kent Target)
|Polo (Hugh Ralli, Ledbury Lions)
|Best Male Player
|Scott Gurney (Kent Target)
|Matt Hale (Cotswold)
|Hetta Carthew (Welsh Dragons)
|Harry Twinberrow (Arden)
|Bruce Christianson (Vale Impi)
Jon Blackmore (Solent)
|Alex Brown (Kent Target)
|Hugh Ralli (Ledbury Lions)
|Best Lady Player
|Debbie Harris (Kent Target)
|Claudia Richardson (Cotswold)
|George Boisseau (Welsh Dragons)
|Alice Zawoda (Arden)
|Susan Hendy (Vale Impi)
|Megan Hopkinson (Celyn)
|Maddy Kish (Kent Target)
|Isabelle Kish (Kent Target)