Six teams entered the 2017 City & Country British Ladies Polo Championship at Cowdray Park, with Roger White’s Coombe Place meeting Lila Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings in the Final held on Saturday 22nd July.
Playing for Coombe Place were Dayne Waecher (2 goals) playing in the number 1 position, Daisy Hatfield (2 goals) playing at 2, Lottie Lamacraft (5 goals) at 3 and Hazel Jackson (8 goals) at the back door, the team’s 17 goal handicap giving them a half goal advantage on the scoreboard to start the match. Lila played at number 1 for her Cowdray Vikings side with Rebecca Walters (4 goals) at 2, Bryony Taylor (5 goals) at 3 and Sarah Wiseman (7 goals) at Back, making up an 18 goal side.
Coombe Place made a fine start with two rapid goals from Hazel Jackson, Cowdray Vikings notching up their first mark on the scoreboard with a goal from Sarah Wiseman. Cowdray Vikings bedded themselves into the match in the second chukka with three goals unanswered by Coombe Place, the first a mighty shot from Sarah Wiseman converting a 60 yard penalty, her second a good field goal and a goal from Bryony Wiseman taking Cowdray Vikings into the lead on a score of 4-2½ at half time.
Spectators bravely trod in the rain and the match resumed with a throw in and Sarah Wiseman dominating the action. Suddenly Hazel Jackson spotted an opportunity, steering the ball away from the pack and deftly manoeuvring it to pull a goal back for Coombe Place. Despite strong play by Bryony Taylor, Cowdray Vikings failed to score in the chukka so that the fourth opened with just half a goal between the teams. Not long into the final chukka Bryony Taylor was rewarded with another goal and the Cowdray Vikings team were clearly on a mission to prevent Coombe Place from catching them. Jackson finally found enough room to turn the ball and head for the goal posts, expertly popping the ball through, but it was too little too late and Lila Pearson had won her second trophy of the afternoon on a score of 5-4½, having earlier won the 1921 Cup.
Suzanne Aplin, Sales & Marketing Director of City & Country presented the silver salver to Lila Pearson. Prizes sponsored by the luxury leather goods company Aspinal of London were presented to both teams and Hazel Jackson’s pony ‘Song’ was awarded the prize for Best Playing Pony of the match. Lila Pearson said: “Every match in the tournament was hard fought and it has been wonderful to see such excellent play by all the competitors. Women’s polo is truly on the way up!”