Goals give women series edge

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 27 March 2013

hazeljackson

THEY DIDN’T take the battle but the girls eventually won the war. The Virgin Atlantic girls twice battled back from a goal down before holding on for a thrilling, last-second 4-4 draw against the Digicel men on Sunday at Holders Hill to give them this year’s Digicel Battle of the Sexes Polo series on goal aggregate. It was the second such draw in succession for the gripping, four-game series, which was all level at a game apiece after the men and women split the first two games and settled for a draw in Game 3. But the Virgin girls were awarded the cup after scoring more goals than their male counterparts in the entire series. They very nearly won it outright, too, as Sarah Wiseman appeared to have scored the certain winner at the end of regulation. However, her last-second shot was adjudged to have come just after the final horn. It was far from the game’s lone heartbreak for the women, who had three clear-cut opportunities to go ahead in the opening chukka but muffed each scoring chance. Wiseman went just wide on a penalty from 40 yards out before the Virgin girls also missed a shot earned from a safety just moments later. Claire Donelly then hit the upright on a clear breakaway before Damien Luke made them rue the blown chances by scoring seconds ahead of the horn. Hazel Jackson levelled the scores early in the second chukka, only for Marc Atwell to put the men back up just seconds later via a 40-yard penalty. Jackson wasn’t done yet, though, tying the game once again towards the end of the second chukka before she and Wiseman added two goals on the other side of the break to put the women up 4-2. Atwell finally ended their run of three successive goals with a 30-yard penalty to end the chukka and then returned to force a 4-4 deadlock midway through the fourth chukka via a 90 penalty. He probably should have decided the game a couple minutes later but he could not keep the ball in play with just the bars in front of him. (JM)

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