Kent Target claimed the opening A grade contest of the year as they defeated Celyn in the Highlanders tournament final by a penalty goal at the final hooter. Kent had both Jason Webb and Emily Gilfillan doubling up in ther team as they came out to play with just four players. Kent lead for the first few chukkas but Celyn came back into the game in the 5th and 6th chukkas. However, despite Celyn levelling it up, in the dying seconds Kent got the ball and broke for the Celyn area. As the pass went across the 30 yard line to give Kent the chance to win, the Celyn number 1, Max Pedley, seemed to deliberately obstruct the pass from an offisde position beyond the 30 yard line. The umpires awarded Kent a free shot at the posts and despite the hooter going before there was time to take it, as it was free throw in the goal scoring area, time could be extended to allow the free shot to be taken. This was duly done and Kent duly scored to win the game.
In the B grade Arden combined with Celyn to get their seasons off to a good start as they won on goal difference, despite slipping to a surprise defeat to Rugby on the final day. Rugby had already been beaten by both Kent and the Welsh Dragons B grade sides, teams that the Arden/Celyn combination had overcome reasonably easily. So far Rugby had not really looked the threat that their high playing grades (they were the division’s top seeds) suggested they should be. However, they came out firing on Sunday and Arden and Celyn let them build an early lead. After that Arden and Celyn kept it close but couldn’t level it up but their victories against Kent and the Welsh Dragons were large enough to keep them with the best goal difference and push the Welsh Dragons into second place.
In the C grade (editor’s note: which Polocrosse Extreme sponsored with our highly desired gift vouchers) Welsh Dragons did get the victory as they overcame a combined Arden and Welsh Dragons side reasonably comfortably to win the final after both teams won their pools. The Welsh Dragons side had to fight hard to get past a Kent Target team in their pool on the Saturday but after they had done that the final on the Sunday was an easier affair.
In the D grade Rugby got the win with Chiltern, who are a new club within the UKPA this year, taking second place. Chiltern started earlier this year (after Vale Impi folded) and hope to run out Junior, D and E grade sides this year. They are based in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and as well as ex Vale Impi players they have also already attracted some brand new players to the sport. However, they could not overcome the Rugby team who consisted of a combination of polocrosse die hards and some more recent polo converts.
Chiltern also got second in the juniors grade (editor’s note: which Polocrosse Extreme also sponsored, not that we like to boast) to cap off a good first weekend for the club. In the Juniors Chiltern lost out to a strong Arden Juniors section, in which Annabel Twinberrow had particular reason to be happy as she picked up Best Horse for Tequilla. With the new UKPA rules coming into play this season, which mean that most junior players within the UKPA will have to play in Juniors this year, it should mean that this is the start of a particularly well contested juniors season and the UKPA hopes the start of their plans to develop and revitalise the junior aspect of the sport.
C Grade (Sponsored by Polocrosse Extreme)
Juniors (Sponsored by Polocrosse Extreme)
|Arden/ Welsh Dragons
|Alfie – Sharon Kennedy (Kent Target)
|Best Horse and Rider(sponsored by Swags and Bags)
|Misty Lee and Hetta Carthew (Welsh Dragons)
|Best Retrained Racehorse (sponsored by Retraining of Racehorses)
|Isotonic – Debbie Harris (Welsh Dragons)
|Best Junior Horse (sponsored by Bowbrook House School)
|Tequilla – Annabel Twinberrow (Arden)
|Best Open Horse
|Banjo – Jason Webb (Kent Target)
|Best Lady Player (sponsored by Hicks and Hides)
|Emily Gilfillan (Kent Target)
|Best Male Player (sponsored and Hicks and Hides)
|Matt Smith (Kent Target)