This year’s SUPA Winter Nationals at Rugby Polo Club saw a record number of teams competing from Edinburgh University, with 25 players making the trip down south. 2 teams at Beginner Level, 3 Novice and 2 at Intermediate represented Edinburgh, such an impressive turnout coupled with a brand new banner meant that there was always a very loud level of support from the sidelines which was appreciated by all the players and contributed a lot to morale.
The B1 team put the weekend off to a great start with a very convincing 6 – 0 win on the Friday with particularly impressive play from Holly Bourne-Arton who notched up a hat-trick of goals, the team went on to win their next chukka but unfortunately were unable to keep up their winning streak with an unlucky loss against a very strong Royal Holloway team. This led them to be in the play off for 3rd and 4th positions where they just missed out on 3rd place in the penalty shoot out. The Beginner 2 team showed real enthusiasm throughout the weekend with some strong teamwork throughout their chukkas, they too managed to notch up two wins against good opposition – clearly both teams are ones to watch for the future.
The Novice teams too showed some great play with some excellent work in particular by Coco Allingham and Carlos Baird, with their team having a decisive victory over the notoriously tricky Harper Adams novices. Unfortunately they could not match this play for the rest of the weekend and were unlucky not to win their other games. The Novice A team made up of committee members Holly, Lucy, Alice and Annabel put up a great show in a very strong division and were unlucky that the results of their chukkas did not always reflect the play, however they were rewarded with two strong wins, putting them in with a good chance at this years summer nationals, which will very sadly be President Annabel Swiers last. The final novice team once again showed some great skills with the return of Finlay Wilson very much welcomed by the club, unfortunately they were unable to retain their division 3 title from last year.
The Lower Intermediate team was unlucky to draw the eventual winners of their division (UWE) in their very first chukka. Having never played together before as a team being matched against a very well drilled and seasoned set of players meant that they were unfortunate to lose their first chukka. However great promise was showed by Haden Trueman-Greinke at back and alongside Charlotte Bushby and Lucy Hall the team went from strength to strength in the following chukkas. Despite playing in a hurricane for one chukka the team showed great spirit and potential for Summer Nationals.
The Upper Intermediate team started off the weekend well with a 0-0 draw against Exeter. Livvy Woodhead showed great team play by marking their best player completely out of the game, whilst Adam Dove was able to show off his play making abilities. The team went on to play some great chukkas against Cambridge narrowly missing out by just one goal. Some really exciting GoPro footage from Adam Dove’s helmet cam perfectly captured the speed at which the chukkas were played as well as some very exciting moments.
However the weekend was not just about the polo and as always Edinburgh players showed their ability to play hard on and off the field. Quieter dinners on the Thursday and Friday nights enabled everyone to get to know each other better before the official SUPA party on the Saturday night. True to Scottish heritage and polo tradition Edinburgh, along with fellow Scottish university Stirling, showed off their artistic skills with great enthusiasm to excellent effect with the theme of Braveheart a very popular and striking one. With a lot of action off the field as it were there was plenty to gossip about on the long drive home on Sunday night. Once again a really great Winter Nationals which bodes well for this years Summers in June!
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