Success for Team England
After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, Saturday 5 March saw AEPC Hickstead welcome the return of The Inspired Arena Polo Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy, with England versus Ireland. Before the Test Match, the HPA Arena Colts showed the talent of tomorrow. With a 4 goal team playing a 3 goal team there was a two goal handicap start on the scoreboard to the Light Blues. The first chukka need 4-3, but by half-time the Light Blues had restored their two goal advantage and led 5-3. The third chukka saw Rafi Bruckner, the youngest player on the field, score three goals for the Light Blues with only one in reply for the dark blues. So, the last chukka started with a four goal gap between the teams. However, as is so often the case in arena polo, a large gap can be rapidly made up and with Aaron Lewis scoring four unanswered goals in the fourth, including the final goal with the last hit of the game, the final score was 8 goals each and it was agreed that this was a fitting way to end an exciting game. The Polo TimesBest Playing Pony was awarded to Tornado, played by Nico Hiller in the third chukka.
Following the rolling of the arena, the teams representing England and Ireland were presented to the crowd of by then several hundred spectators. England were first out of the blocks and by the end of the chukka had established a four goal lead of 6-2, thanks in no small way to some two-pointers. The second and third chukkas continued in a similar vein, with Jack Hyde’s seemingly insatiable thirst for goals continuing, backed up by Tom Morley’s long range Exocets. By the end of the third chukka England had established a seemingly insurmountable lead of 14-6. However, the Irish captain Ryan Pemble had other ideas and brought out two fantastic horses to take the game to the English in the last. Galvanising his team the Irish scored 7 goals in the last chukka but England’s lead was just too great and the game ended with a final score of 16-13 to England. The Polo Times Best Playing Pony was Cheyenne, owned by John Horswell and played by Ryan Pemble in the last chukka. The Most Valuable Player was Jack Hyde who was presented with a Stephens Polo Bridle Set and a £200 voucher by Stephen Biddlecombe of Equine Management Ltd. The prizes for both games were provided by Hurlingham Polo and the Bryan Morrison Trophy was presented to the winning team by Bryan’s son, Jamie.
Inspired Arena Polo Test Match for The Bryan Morrison TrophyTeams:
Ireland (17): Ryan Pemble (7), Niall Donnelly (5) & Max Hutchinson (5)
England (17): Tom Morley (7), Jack Hyde (6) & James Mann (4)
HPA Arena Colts Teams:
HPA Dark Blue (4): Hector Rogberg (2), Aaron Lewis (1) & Ulysses Hu (1)
HPA Light Blue (3): Logan Anderson (1), Nico Hiller (1) & Rafi Bruckner (1)
Photograph: England, winners of The Inspired Arena Polo Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com