The Clogau 12 Goal Challenge Match
All England Polo Club, Hickstead
Wales 18-17 Commonwealth
WALES SNATCH SUDDEN DEATH VICTORY
Wales clinched an important but deserved sudden death victory against the Commonwealth in their inaugural visit to the All England Polo Club at Hickstead today and banished the ghosts of last Summer’s Beach polo final where they lost the match in the last second in the most appalling of weather conditions.
This Arena Polo 12 goal challenge match, sponsored by Welsh gold company Clogau, was another epic nail biting encounter which the Wales team and supporters have become very much accustomed to in their last few matches. Wales, fielded a solid team led by Ricky Cooper accompanied by Roddy Matthews and new team member and the team’s highest handicapped player, Pete Webb.
Their opponents, a tough Commonwealth team fielded by Jonathan Munro Ford(Aus), Howard Smith(Scot) and Dean Lines (Eng) are no strangers to winners medals with Ford and Smith having combined last season to win 9 major polo tournaments including this year’s Snow Polo World Cup at St Moritz with Ford’s team the Black Eagles. On paper at least, the teams were evenly matched, and the good crowd that had gathered for this morning’s fixture were treated to a Gallery breakfast of 35 goals and some excellent Polo. Full credit here must go to the support team at Hickstead for ensuring the arena was in excellent playing condition which helped the flow of the game enormously.
Wales took the game to the Commonwealth from the off with Webb, who was fed by a gloriously weighted back hand from Matthews, and beat the defending player to strike home <a href="http://www Learn More Here.dallascowboysjerseyspop.com”>cheap jerseys within the first minute. Within 3 seconds, the Commonwealth had equalised, with Smith and Lines combining well to capitalise on a Welsh defensive error. Wales then rained Win in a further 4 goals with Webb bagging a hat trick in total and Cooper scoring twice to make the score 5-2 to Wales at the end of the first chukka. The second chukka started with another quick goal from Wales after the Commonwealth conceded a soft penalty allowing Webb to strike home again from the 15 yard spot. No sooner had the score board been marked up when the Commonwealth were back in the Welsh goal mouth and Smith struck a beautiful back hand shot from 10 yards. Wales composed themselves and within a minute had struck back again with Webb calling Cooper wholesale mlb jerseys of the ball from 40 yards out and dribbling the ball home.
Cooper, sniping Myspace at the Commonwealth goalmouth bagged two further goals in quick succession with Lines replying with a well taken goal at the end of the chukka to make it 8-4 to Wales at the break. By now the bookmakers would have shortened the odds on Webb scoring at the start of the third chukka and he didn’t disappoint, dribbling past two players from another excellent pass from Matthews and stroking the ball home. Smith replied with a phenomenal effort from 40 yards which under the new rules counts for 2 goals. The rest of the chukka saw another 9 goals scored, with Smith again hitting the target from 35 yards and all the Welsh players adding to the tally to make it 15-9 to Wales at the end of the chukka. With a six goal lead at the start sponsors of the final chukka, Wales started to lose composure after an initial exchange of goals between Smith and Matthews.
Commonwealth skipper Ford must 11-10 also have said something to his team before the chukka commenced and whatever he said, probably unpleasant, was extremely effective as Lines and Smith took control of the game and pulled Players seven further goals back in total to make the score 17-16 to Wales. With 4 seconds to go Smith capitalised on another defensive error to tie the match and force a fifth and sudden death chukka. Immediately, Webb cut rapier like through the Commonwealth defence and wholesale mlb jerseys was unlucky not cao to be awarded a penalty straight away as Ford deliberately blocked his line in front of goal. Umpire Bown instead awarded a penalty to the Commonwealth and for a few uncomfortable moments the Wales team must have thought it was not going to be their day. Cooper should have finished it seconds later for Wales, fed by successive counter attacks from Matthews and Webb, but was denied by an unfortunate bounce on both occasions.
Smith collected and rifled the ball upfield again toward unmarked team mate Ford, but Lions his pass was skilfully intercepted by 6-7 Webb who managed to quickly counter attack and eventually dribble through a melee and tuck the ball away from 5 yards to win the game 18-17. A relieved Wales captain Ricky Cooper commented, “That was an amazing comeback by their team, but we regained our composure when it mattered most and our determination carried us through. I’m very proud Hickstead of the guys, they’ve done the country proud and we’ve got that all important first victory under our belt for 2013”.
Wales; 1. R.Cooper (Capt) 2. R.Matthews 3. P. Webb
Commonwealth; 1. J, Munro Ford (Aus. Capt) 2. D, Lines(Eng.) 3. H. Smith(Scot)