Southwest Region polo tournament 14 Jan

Brecon Canoe Club’s polo team was in action yesterday for the first time in almost a year – and our first time for several years in a ‘proper’ UK tournament – and what’s more, we even won two of our four games! The tournament was part of the UK Southwest Region league and took place in the 33m pool at Cheltenham: with more space to move around than our small pool in Brecon, but consequently lots more distance to be covered, leaving our players more-than-a-little tired by the end of the day! Newcomers Chris, George and Sam H joined Mike and Pete (who played their first tournaments last year) and old-hand Jess (a past member of our former league-winning youth team, and captain for yesterday’s tournament) as core team members, with Steve ready as a substitute in between his stints refereeing all-but-one of the other games (good practice after a long time-out!). Our first two games, against teams from Rhondda Paddlers, offered a good opportunity for the team to warm-up and grow in confidence (since we won them both!), then things got harder in a close-fought battle against Bridgend Orcas. For the first part of the game we looked the stronger team, with a 2-2 score just before half-time when a series of mishaps led to us playing for a while with only 3 players, giving Bridgend the opportunity to score a third goal on which they then capitalised with a fourth in the second half. George, having received an ‘Ejection Red’ Card during the confusion of the Bridgend game, was unable to play for our last game, against Warwick University, leaving us short of one of our strongest attackers (and even needing to call on Steve momentarily!). Nevertheless we fought bravely and played well but our opponents had a well-organised defence and strong shooting arms, resulting in a final score of 7-0 despite some great saves by goalkeeper Sam. We retired to McDonalds for sustenance before the long drive home; and to lick our wounds; but more importantly to celebrate how well we had played in this team’s first ever tournament (having had only one training session together the previous Monday evening). Well done everyone – we’re now looking forward to the next (Welsh 4-a-side) tournament in Rhondda on 11 Feb and the next Cheltenham round in March.

NB we may have space in our polo training sessions (next one tomorrow, 16 Jan) for one or two more players (teens and upwards), just let Steve know if you’re interested…

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