Newcastle celebrate charity Polo prize

Jess Rea

The Newcastle University Polo Club Intermediate team reigned victorious at the prestigious St Andrews University Charity Polo Tournament. Hosted at the prestigious Errol Park Estate, Perthshire, the tournament welcomed 65 players from universities across the country as well as over 1500 spectators, all in aid of Help for Heroes.

For the first time in its 12-year history the tournament was opened to English universities and welcomed teams from Newcastle and Durham who joined St Andrews, Aberdeen and Stirling in the Beginner, Novice and Intermediate cups.

The Newcastle club entered two teams into the tournament at novice and intermediate level. The Intermediates secured a win in the Intermediate cup after a strong four chukkas against home side St Andrews. Whilst the Novice team did not share in their success, they played their hearts out in what was undeniably a very tough category.

The tournament boasted an impressive display of polo talent across the categories. Aberdeen University Polo Club emerged victorious in the Beginners Cup after a nail biting final against Durham. St Andrew’s held on to the top spot in the Novice Cup, as their top two novice teams went head to head in the final round. Finally, Newcastle University Polo Club conquered all in the Intermediate Cup, clinching the lead against a strong St Andrews team.

“The Intermediates secured a win the Intermediate cup after a strong four chukkas against home side St Andrews”

Intermediate Team captain, Freddie McCarthy spoke after the win, “the standard of play was very high throughout the weekend and across all divisions. All Newcastle players displayed strong teamwork, discipline, and determination, which ultimately lead to our Intermediate team winning the tournament.

“It was a pleasure to attend and be a part of the tournament which was exceptionally organised and executed in all respects; both on and off the pitch. Thank you to everyone involved and especially a massive shout out to the polo ponies, the real stars of the show.”

Teammate Vicky Fenner added, “we played a very exciting and competitive match against the St Andrews Intermediate team over the two days. Despite very strong play from the opposition in Saturday’s chukkas we managed to hold on to our lead and were very happy to be able to lift the trophy at the end of the day.”

Ellie Tempest, Newcastle’s number 2, was awarded Most Valuable Player of the Intermediate Cup in recognition of her outstanding performance across the tournament. She demonstrated high-speed aggressive counterattacks whilst maintaining composure in front of the goal.

Newcastle’s Novice team captain, Charlie Baron commented, ‘this was a great opener to our grass season and a spectacular weekend hosted at an outstanding venue. Even though we didn’t score as many goals as we hoped, I feel our overall play improved across the tournament which sets us up nicely for summer nationals.”

Tournament organizer and St Andrews University Polo Club president, Hannah Middleton Cope said: “we were honored and privileged to welcome so many teams to the tournament this year and, of course, back to Errol Park. Looking to the future, we’re eager to expand on this year’s success by including more universities from across the county.”

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