The Highlanders Tournament took place on the 6th and 7th of June at Drakes Broughton in Worcestershire and their newly reformed A grade team emerged victorious in a hard fought final against Welsh Dragons. Alongside their success on the pitch the Highlanders will also be delighted that their tournament was once again quickly over subscribed and they had to turn away entries (editor’s note: which we feel makes it very important for us to start a “Third pitch at Highlanders ” campaign. We consider it more important than another runway at Heathrow). It was overall a very successful weekend, blessed with good weather and some great play.
In the A grade the Highlanders had borrowed Max Pedley from Celyn (as they are still awaiting the arrival of Travis Timm after the World Cup ends next month) and he managed to win best male player (sponsored by Havana) as they defeated Welsh Dragons in the A grade final. The match stayed close for the first four chukkas but then the Highlanders took a few goals lead in the fifth and though the Welsh Dragons fought back in the last it was not enough. The Dragons did get some consolation though as Sam Hanlan picked up best open horse for Jelly, a prize sponsored by Bowbrook House School. Joanne Lavery, the Irish lady player, won best female player as she made the trip over from Ireland to play for Kent Target.
In the B grade it was a strong Rugby team who won the day as they defeated all comers in a round robin contest, with Kent Target finishing in second place. Rugby also had more reasons to celebrate as Rob Jenkinson marked his return to a polocrosse pitch after a year off by picking up best horse and rider prize, sponsored by Swags and Bags. Ben Marsh also added more trophies to Rugby’s cabinet as he won the Retraining of Racehorses prize for best retrained racehorse with Jelly (editor’s note: We are pretty sure this is a different Jelly to the one Sam Hanlan played in the A grade).
In the C grade it was Welsh Dragons who defeated Ledbury Lions in a close final which ebbed and flowed but the Welsh Dragons seized the initiative near the end and emerged the winners. In the D grade it was a combined Kent and Celyn team who overcame Rugby and pushed them in second place, while in the Novice grade Arden managed to grab a win, with Welsh Dragons in second place.
In the Junior grades (which were sponsored by Polocrosse Extreme) there were some hard fought contests in both the Open and the Intermediate juniors but in the Open juniors it ended with a win for Chiltern as they defeated all the other teams, with some particularly good play from James Cook and Josh Smith, who won best junior horse with Joey.
In the intermediate juniors it was another win for Arden with a mixed team in second place after some exciting games which showed how much potential there is coming through in UK polocrosse.