It was North Warwickshire who won the Championship class at the Pony Club Polocrosse Championships for the second year in a row as they defeated Ledbury 19-10 in the final. Ledbury could not match the Junior section of North Warwickshire, with Pip Rowland at number 1 scoring freely, and their senior section, which consisted of John Whitehead, Pippa Leith and Will Hunt, could not do enough against a very resilient North Warwickshire trio of Chris Milburn, Dave Baker and Lucinda Cornforth. It was always likely to be a case of whether Ledbury’s seniors could score as quickly as the North Warwickshire Juniors and it was fairly clear early on that the answer was going to be no, with the North Warwickshire senior section playing very well and matching them goal for goal in the first couple of chukkas of the match.
In the Senior class, it was Brecon and Talybont who lifted the trophy, defeating an Area 17 team by just 1 goal. Area 17 had made the ferry journey across from Northern Ireland and this final bought back memories of the recent Great Britain versus Northern Ireland Pony Club matches at the 2011 Polocrosse World Cup, with Olivia Miller and Hetta Carthew playing for Brecon and Emily-Jayne McCleane and Matt Fynn playing for Area 17. Again, however, it was the Great Britain players who emerged victorious and for the second year in a row the senior cup went to a Welsh Pony Club and Olivia Miller was on the winning team (last year she won it with Flint and Denbigh).
In the Juniors it was Romney Marsh who won a thrilling final on golden goal against the newcomers Over Dalkeith Stables. Over Dalkeith were at the championships for the first time having made the long journey down from Scotland. Over Dalkeith only started playing polocrosse last year and they showed how quickly they have learnt as they made the final. Romney Marsh dominated the first chukka but Over Dalkeith fought their way back into it in the second and it was level at the end of it, though there was a lengthy discussion as Romney Marsh were sure they had scored more goals than were officially recorded on the scorer’s tables. However, the official score stood and so it went to golden goal. In the line up Hamish Gillanders, the Over Dalkeith number 1 who had a brilliant game, grabbed the ball, and shot down the pitch to score a goal, only to realise it was in the wrong goal. Romney Marsh therefore got the free throw from the 30 yard line and their number 1, Jodi Davis, took it and went on to score the winner.
It was a cruel ending for Over Dalkeith and Hamish in particular, who had been the major force in getting his team back into the game, including scoring one goal which would have not looked out of place in the World Cup itself, somehow pulling in a bounce under immense pressure from Madeline Kish, the Romney marsh number 3, and throwing an overarm from close to the back line straight between the posts. Romney Marsh did, however, deserve the win overall, they were the better team for most of the match and posssibly should have won it in normal time, and so it would have been harsh to see them denied the glory.
The mini’s class was also won by Romney Marsh as they won all their matches in the round robin competition which featured the highest number of teams ever, with 14 sections competing. United Pack finished in second place and Hurworth Hunt A were in third place.
For full placings, click here.
For the full results from all the matches, click here.