FIP Zone C Playoff results
On Thursday 4 May, the England team continued their fight for a spot in Sydney. England and Spain met on Field 1 at Chantilly Polo Club in the penultimate battle for places at the FIP XI World Championships in Sydney, Australia. As both teams had won their first match (England against Germany and Spain against France), their places at the World Polo Championship, in October, were almost certain. From the get go the game was fast paced, both teams thundered up and down the field, scoring goal after goal. 17 goals in a four chukka game is not something you see every day!
The 4th and final chukka had the England team fielding their best ponies, helping them to secure their second win, leaving them with no doubt that they’d be on the plane to Sydney in October. Due to their previous two wins, England had now secured their spot, despite still in line to play France on the Sunday.
On Sunday 7 May, England came up against France in their final game of the Zone C Playoffs at Chantilly. France came storming out of the gate with two unanswered goals in the first chukka. By half-time the English team had returned two goals, but the French weren’t taking no for an answer as they scored a further two goals. By the beginning of the fourth chukka, the French team were still leading 6-5 and the worry had started to set in on the England side which meant emotions were heightened as there was all to play for. As the seconds ticked down, the English team mustered all their strength to score two perfect goals ending the Waterloo-esque battle 7-6. Unfortunately the men’s success wasn’t shared by the England women’s team with Italy taking the top title in the 1st Ladies European Championship.
FIP Zone C Playoff Teams:
England (14): Henry Porter (2), Mark Baldwin (3), Satnam Dhillon (5) & Will Lucas (4)
Germany (12): Heinrich Dumrath (3), Max Bosch (3), Caesar Crasseman (3) & Caspar Crasseman (3)
Spain (14): Mario Gomez (4), Antonio Ayesa (3), Pelayo Berazardi (5) & Jose Trenor (2)
France (14): Julien Reynes (3), Patrick Paillol (5), Pierre N’Goumou (5) & Alexandre Sztarkman (1)
Photograph: Winning England team at the FIP XI Championships Zone C Playoffs. Courtesy of HPA