Six teams competed on Saturday in Shrewsbury’s first polo tournament in the Quarry pool:
Shrewsbury; Salopian Ladies; DVCP; Pendle; SPS; Trentham/scratch
This was an open, mixed event with the cream of Shropshire Paddlesport’s A & B youth, winners of the previous Queens Head tournament, among the mainly adult, male teams. Pendle, NWRegional Div2, travelled from Lancashire looking for a pre-season workout against the favourites, Shrewsbury, as well as the newly formed but experienced Dee Valley. Some of Trentham’s top paddlers were attending another event, so they got loaned two players to make a scratch squad.
Special mention should go to the Salopian Ladies, most of whom were under 18 and only at their first or second tournament, and an even more special mention to Anita Evans, returning to the water with a month old baby in tow! The first match between them & Shrewsbury set the example & all of the five teams gallantly didn’t try to capsize them, in return for goals not contributing to the score-line. Despite losing Anita to baby-care duties after a couple of matches, they progressively developed their game & managed to get their first goal against Pendle, who said that they played an otherwise ‘full-on’ game and were impressed by the strength & co-ordination of the squad.
After 4 hours & 14 matches, Dee Valley had been pushed into third, despite being equal on points with the hosts they were behind on goal difference. So the top prizes were decided in the final game between Trentham’s scratch team & Shrewsbury. Trentham were ahead by one point, so Shrewsbury needed a win to avoid being runners-up.
A hard-fought first half saw Shrewsbury were 2-1 up after taking an early lead with a lovely one-two pass & shot. But then Trentham took advantage of a loose ball and equalised. Shrewsbury took the attack right to the goal mouth and a powerful shot meant the keeper lost hold of his paddle with such force the ref believed it had been thrown across the pool, awarding a direct shot on goal from the 2m line. Despite the keeper regaining his paddles and getting support from a defender, the ball found the back of the net.
When Trentham attacked five-out from the centre re-start they were intercepted and quick sprint up two thirds of the pitch to the open goal meant a final 4-2 score line to Shrewsbury with only 30 seconds to spare.
Pictures of the happy, and not so happy prize-winners, are here.
Our thanks go to the Quarry Centre staff for helping the evening go so smoothly. Also Cathy, Caroline, & Alison for running the time & score keeping desk so effectively. As loud supporters of the SPS squad, the (completely un-biased) final results are here!