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UK win ICWI women's polo final
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Led by four goals from captain Lucy Taylor, the United Kingston (UK) came from behind to beat the United States America (USA) 5-2 in the final of the first-ever ICWI Tri-Nation Ladies Polo Tournament, at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates, yesterday.
The 'Brits' ended the tournament unbeaten, having defeated Jamaica 5-2 in the first match, last Tuesday, at Caymanas Estates and the United States 6-5 in their first meeting, last Thursday, at Chukka Blue in Sandy Bay, Hanover.
Although their first clash was a thriller, the United Kingdom confirmed their superiority by winning quite easily on this occasion.
England opened the scoring in the first minute, thanks to a surging solo run by Talyor, who flicked the ball across the line.
The United States fought back strongly with two quick goals from Erica Gandomcar, to lead 2-1 at the end of the first chukka.
Both teams had several near misses in the second chukka, which did not produce a goal. However, the red-clad UK team, comprising Taylor, Rosie Ross, Diana Jack and Sophie Kyriazi, asserted their authority in the third chukka with unanswered goals from Ross, followed by consecutive penalty flicks by Taylor, to lead 4-2 going into the fourth and final chukka.
The USA tried desperately to rebound with Gandomcar, captain Karen Reese, Cecelia Cochran and Fiona Eagle on the hunt. But they missed out on a few scoring opportunities, and Jack duly made it 5-2 for the UK team with a late goal.
Eagle fell from her horse late in the match and hurt her right knee. However, she was able to continue.
This match was preceded by a 'Battle of the Sexes' clash between a select women's team (led by Lesley Fong Yee) and their male counterparts. The men's team, captained by Mining and Energy Minister James Robertson, won 4-1 with Robertson scoring three goals.
Taylor, who hails from Cheshire in the North of England, praised her team for keeping their composure when behind at the halfway stage.
"I was a bit worried but Rosie, in particular, had a great game and although we were really feeling the heat out there, we eventually got it together in the third chukka and that was it," said Taylor, who received the ICWI championship Trophy from Gill Drake, wife of the British High Commissioner, Howard Drake.
Ross capped the award as Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Big C, owned by Jamaica Polo Association president Dennis Lalor and groomed by Andrew Hall, was adjudged the best playing horse.