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Mon 22nd Jan 2018

HPA New Year National Club Championships

Print on Demand and Four Quarters win the Finals

In true British form, despite the incessant rain, a plethora of loyal spectators gathered at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club on Sunday 21 January for the Finals of the HPA New Year Club Nationals 6 Goal and 15 Goal. 

In the first Final of the day, it was youth versus family as local team Cool Hooves Polo came up against the Cork family's Print on Demand. To say this match was a close called event would be a huge understatement. As the torrent of rain and sleet descended on the teams' first throw-in, the fraught and fast play got underway. The first chukka was spent working out where to be and who was the most at risk of scoring. By the end of the second chukka, the young bloods of Cool Hooves Polo were sticking to their players like glue, aware that if they let Josh Cork alone for even a second, he would fire up towards the goal. Despite their efforts, Print on Demand were narrowly leading 8-7 at half-time, with all to play for. The match continued on this even keel for its entirety, with Cool Hooves Polo taking the lead 14-12 at the beginning of the fourth, but as if by magic, and to the fury of father Phil Meadows in the stands, small mistakes from Cool Hooves Polo became penalty wins for Print on Demand in the final moments. With the scores at 16-16, it looked like an extra chukka was on the cards, but Andy Cork managed to fire through a backhand neckshot with just 10 seconds on the clock to win the game 17-16. Saskia Meadows, following a three-year absence from the arena, was awarded The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player Award, whilst Marcus Cork's pony Tute, ridden by brother Josh, was presented with the Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug.
The 6 Goal HPA New Year Club Nationals Final Teams:
Print on Demand (5): Ollie Cork (2), Josh Cork (3) & Andy Cork (0)
Cool Hooves Polo (6): Saskia Meadows (2), Nell Jacob (2) & James Mann (2)
2017 winners, Four Quarters, were the next to take to the sodden arena against Tchogan. Despite the worsening weather, both teams came out with fire in their bellies, quickly notching up goal after goal on the scoreboard. Tchogan's Howard Smith and Seb Dawnay seemed the perfect pairing, as they rocketed up and down the arena, scoring four quick goals in the first chukka. But, their initial fervour became more of a mêlée by half-time, as Four Quarters found their stride. By half-time, Richard Tyrone had worked his usual magic, bringing the scores to 8-8. As the second half began, Tchogan began to falter and the play became more fraught. Tyrone and Tom Morley took advantage scoring three goals in as many minutes, with only one in response from Tchogan. As the minutes wound down in the final chukka, Tchogan tried to find the break, but Four Quarters would not budge an inch. Following another spurt of goals from Tyrone and Morley, Four Quarters took home the title for another year 17-11. Tom Morley was awarded The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player Award and Richard Tyrone's Irish Thoroughbred Routini was presented with the Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug. 
The 15 Goal HPA New Year Club Nationals Final Teams:
Tchogan (15): Heiko Voelker (2), Howard Smith (6) & Sebastian Dawnay (7)
Four Quarters (15): Simon Arber (1), Tom Morley (6) & Richard Tyrone (8)

Photograph: Print on Demand and Four Quarters picked up the coveted HPA Club Nationals trophies on Sunday at RCBPC. By Cymon Skinner Photography

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