Nationals Reports

Lower Beginniners: 10th

Upper Beginners: 5th

Lower Novice; 1st

Upper Notice: 3rd

Lower Intermediates 2nd

Upper Intermediates 4th

Lower Intermediates

Friday 13th Feb

CUPC 3 – 1 Warwick

Strong continuation for CUPC Lower Intermediates on Friday. Facing tougher opposition than Day 1, but mounted on resident tanks Whitsun and Menendez (and Santi), the team were ready for the challenge. We learnt from yesterday’s mistake and started with an early goal from TDS, shortly followed by a fancy near-side back hand from Clifton which rebounded nicely off the black backboard. After a nose-dive from Whitsun which saw Clifton’s whites go sand-coloured, Warwick scored one cheeky goal (fortunately only one as the ball zipped across the front of our defensive goal again and again, thanks to some fancy footwork from Menendez). A final goal from TDS gave us a good margin (just as he wanted against his old university team) before one of their players threw themselves into the boards and hit the ball out of the arena, just as “chukka” was called.

Thursday 12th

CUPC 4 – 1 Portsmouth

Cambridge CUPC lower Intermediates got the first touch from the line out, though a bit of a jumble saw Portsmouth steal a sneaky goal in the first 30 seconds. A wake up call and CUPC came back strong. From TDS at the hit out, Cambridge took it up the boards and found the goal. It stayed in our attacking half and after TDS scored our 15 yard penalty, two more followed from Evie throughout the rest of the chukka. Aiming to hit them hard from the outset we stayed on our men but will need to be a bit greedier with the ball when faced with Warwick at 1.50pm tomorrow – likely to be a strong team but TDS has a thing or two to prove to his old coach. The pressure is on…

Lower Novices

Match 1 – CUPC vs. Royal Holloway (3-1)

An exciting first match, with CUPC swiftly gaining the lead, scoring within the first minute. This was followed by rather rogue tactical dismounts by both teams and ponies roaming free throughout the arena. Unfriendly backchat from Royal Holloway spurred us on to score a further two goals, with the final score ending up at 3-1 to CUPC.

Match 2 – CUPC vs. Exeter 3 (2-1)

CUPC again started off strong, quickly getting a goal away and keeping up high pressure on Exeter. Strong riding off and hooking enabled us to keep them out of the game, with their only goal coming as a result of my overly keen pony who decided to get involved and with perfect aim kick the ball into our own goal. Thanks Whitsun. On to the semi-finals!

Match 3 – CUPC vs. Winchester (0-0)

This was our toughest match by far, with both teams fighting hard and missing a number of goal opportunities with some excruciatingly near misses by the CUPC side. We fought hard, putting in some very strong plays, and were disappointed with the end result of a draw when we quite frankly deserved to win. This result meant we needed to win the next match by as many goals as possible in order to secure first place. The pressure was on!

Match 4 – CUPC vs. Exeter 4 (6-0)

We went into this match with both confidence and nerves, knowing we had already beaten Exeter’s higher rated team but also that we needed a very high scoring game. However, our nerves were quelled soon into the match, when it became apparent that losing against this team would have been embarrassing on many levels. We scored goal after goal after goal, keeping high pressure through constant marking and quick plays. The war cries bellowed from Matt’s mouth sent fear into Exeter as we stormed about the arena. CUPC scored 6 goals in total, with a final score of 6-0. We soon found out that this was enough to put us in first place overall – well done team!

Upper Beginners

CUPC 6 – 1 Norland.

Norland got the first touch from the line-up. Fransisco then recovered the ball, hitting it into open space for Ben to then run it straight into the goal, leaving Norland in his dust. This continued until Ben fouled, giving Norland a shoot out that eventually resulted in a messy goal for the opposition – to which Dean was not impressed. Overall CUPC dominated with a score of 6-1 against a team of nannies.

CUPC 1 – 1 Exeter.

Having lost Francisco to London, Ellie stepped in. The chukka started well with the play predominantly in the Exeter half. Soon, Ben managed to score a goal by taking the ball up the wall only to be followed up by a goal from Exeter a minute later. With 30 seconds on the clock, CUPC were awarded a 25-yard penalty shootout that Ben narrowly missed, leaving the score at 1-1 when the whistle blew. Despite the dominance of play throughout the chukkas CUPC conceded a loss on penalties.

CUPC 5 – 0 Birmingham.

Ben continued to dominate the play, easily finding space to run the ball from the line up to the goal. After his fourth consecutive goal, the crowd started questioning the authenticity of Ben’s ‘beginner’ status so, instead of scoring again, he left the ball in front of the goal for Sara to pop it in just as the referee blew his whistle. A clear win of 5-0 to CUPC.

CUPC 3 – 2 Royal Holloway;

having beaten Royal Hollow the previous weekend 15-5 CUPC we were pretty confident walking into the warm-up arena, only to be told that not only were CUPC playing a different, better, team but that the guys had caught wind Ben’s formidable polo skills and that they planned to have two guys marking Ben. Despite this, Ben ploughed through them, to score 3 points in the first few minutes. Royal Holloway then stepped up their game and sneaked in two goals that even, leaving the overall score 3-2.

Overall the upper beginners had three good wins and an unfortunate loss on penalties placing them in 5th position.

Lower Beginners

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th

CUPC 1 – 2 Manchester

The first match for the lower beginner team turned into a battle of the sexes with the all girl lower beginners taking on a rather weedy looking all boy team from Manchester. The Cambridge team took a little while to get moving and in this time the Manchester team snuck in two goals, Cambridge then picked up and with a goal from Ellie in the last two minutes but it was a little too late for as the Cambridge team looked set to score again the buzzer sounded and it was a narrow 2-1 defeat for Cambridge.

Cambridge 3 – 1 Greenwich University

With a new resolve that there was no way we were going to be beaten in our second match we took on the girls in bright pink from Greenwich University. With Nydia on our side ready to ride off anyone in her way Cambridge scored three goals in quick succession (one from Lorel and two from Ellie). The girls from Greenwich managed to put in one goal in the last couple of minutes but by then it was too late and the buzzer sounded giving Cambridge a 3-1 victory

CUPC 4 – 0 Stirling

Match three took place at an unanticipated time due to rescheduling, sadly meaning Lorel and Carina had already made their way home from Rugby. Fortunately Sara and Katie were able to step in to defeat Stirling 4-0. The game got off to a worrying start with Stirling quickly scoring the first goal, however lower beginners made a huge comeback with play spending the majority of the time at their end of the area. The team marked up quickly and worked well together, as Sara followed through on Leona sticking to her player, enabling Katie to score 3 spectacular goals and Ellie to score one. A great end to an unexpected chukka from a makeshift team

CUPC 2 – 3 RAU

In the final match for lower beginners we faced the team from RAU. The opposing team got off to a quick start with three goals scored running down the wall on very speedy ponies. However Cambridge fought back with two penalty one goals due to the huge fouling from the opposing team, mostly uncalled, who didn’t seem to understand the concept of a line! With fierce riding off and a high paced second half the score was 3-2 and then came another (of many) foul from the opposing team leading to a penalty given to cambridge… which bounced just off the side of the goal ending in a close 3-2 defeat for Cambridge. A good and fast paced game overall but a slightly disappointing end to a great tournament leaving the lower beginners in tenth place overall.


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