On 12-15th February, 5 teams and additional spectators returned to Onley Polo grounds for Winter Nationals 2015. Teams played a combination of indoor and outdoor chukkas and every team won chukkas across the 4 day tournament.
Our first-time National players in Beginner 1a and beginner 2 quickly settled into the swing of SUPA, playing chukkas against Regents, Greenwich and London amongst others. There was great play from all, thus earning themselves a well deserved 14th and 8th.
Novice 1 had some tough competition in their challenging section, but they played superbly against Scottish rivals Stirling, and beat Oxford in tense penalties as the tournament was drawing to a close on Sunday. Taking 11thplace, they did us proud!
Novice 2a were first up from the Edinburgh cohort, bright and early on Friday morning. A fast chukka against Kent Uni ensued with goals scored by both teams and Edinburgh just being pipped to the post in the final minutes. They reclaimed their loss in their next chukka with a convincing win on the outdoor pitch to eventually claim 7th place.
Upper Intermediate took on UWE and Birmingham in some fast and action-packed chukkas on the outdoor pitch. Things were looking bright for an Edinburgh win but a tense final chukka saw RAU take first place. Nonetheless, an impressive second place!
On a very exciting note, Adam Dove from the Upper intermediate team was scouted by SUPA to play at the Empire Polo Club in March for a test match against a USA selected Inter-Collegiate side for the Townsend Cup. Huge congratulations to him! We look forward to following his progress over in California. Watch this space…
However, all work (!?) and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Daytime entertainment existed in the form of picnics and car park reels – a very unusual sight! Thursday evening, an EUPC only evening, was spent in an Italian restaurant conserving energy for the upcoming BNO (Big Nights Out). On the Friday we joined other clubs at the Dun Cow for a fabulous pub supper and a competitive game of ibble dibble. However, EUPC excelled themselves on the Saturday evening. Taking the fancy dress theme of ‘Life’s a Beach’ very seriously, EUPC outshone all at the Player’s Party with their interesting attire (not to mention the domination of the dancefloor).
Overall, the tournament ran very smoothly thanks to superb organisation and good weather (there was sunshine!). We were even treated to a fantastic exhibition match featuring 12 and 13 goal teams – an inspiration to all!
Special thanks to Thom Bell and his wonderful ponies. And also to our President Alice and Polo Manager Helena for their unceasing efforts to ensure the most fantastic weekend of 2015 yet!
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