Men win polo battle
THE 2014 Battle of the Sexes polo tournament did not live up to the high expectations or enjoy the usual pomp, pageantry or massive crowd support as in previous years at the Holders grounds on Sunday.
When the timekeeper blew the final whistle to signal the end of the keenly contested final, the Evian Men’s team of captain Wayne Archer, his son Josh Archer in his debut match, Adam Deane and Oliver Williams kept their nerve to come away with a 5-4 victory over the Virgin Girls team of Tiffany Busch, Karen Reece, Erica Sacks and Vickey Gonzales.
Leading by example, Wayne Archer, who is also the new president of the Barbados Polo Club, logged a beaver-trick.
He opened the scoring for his team with an unchallenged strike from approximately 70 yards out to go one up and immediately put pressure on the Virgin Girls. Moments later he missed an easy opportunity to make it 2-0 after the restart from the middle.
Less than a minute later he atoned for the earlier mistake after capitalising on a defensive blunder by Girls, to easily score his second goal in quick succession and extend his team lead to 2-0.
However, in the closing seconds of the first chukka, Erica Sachs, playing off a handicap of one, pounced on a loose ball which Adam Deane failed to clear, from the danger area to pull one back for her team. This was met by screams of approval from their previously subdued supporters.
On resumption, their highest ranked player, Tiffany Busch, levelled the scores with an exquisite strike from about 30 yards out that found the centre of the goal post. She would then miss a golden opportunity to put her team ahead when she bungled what should have been an easy goal by sending the ball wide of the goal post at the northern end of the field, much to the dismay of their supporters.
With the scores levelled at 2-2 the Evian side regained the lead after Archer penetrated the Girls’ defence to score his third of four goals in the match to end the first half at 3-2. This was short-lived as the Girls took the fight to the men to end the third chukka with the scores levelled at 3-3.
Deane would show why he is rated as a two-goal handicapper with a well-timed run through the Girls’ defence to score his team’s fourth goal at the southern end of the field.
With the clock quickly winding down in the final chukka, Reece got back into the thick of things after collecting a pass from Vicky Gonzales to once again level the scores at 4-4 before Archer completed a beaver trick to seal the deal for the men’s team.
In the opening game of the afternoon, the Apes Hill team of Richard Gooding, Teddy Williams, Jamie Dickson and Jeff Evelyn emergered victorious with another hard-fought 6-5 victory over The Hyundai team of Alex Cole, Mark Atwell, Philip Tempro and Danny Atwell. Dickson led the scoring for the Apes Hill team with five of the six goals. (CH)