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Tue 26th Jun 2018

Flannels England Lift the Trophy at Cirencester

The Kings Head Hotel Ladies International

The 2018 Kings Head Hotel Ladies International was awarded all the pomp and prestige this exciting event deserves. As the final polo instalment of The Cotswold International Day at Cirencester Park Polo Club, the ladies’ teams were welcomed onto the field by a thousand-strong crowd of polo fans from across the region.

Prior to the match, the buzz around the stands was in Flannels England’s favour, but as play commenced, it was clear the All Africa Ladies were in for the win. Nina Clarkin secured the first goal for the Flannels England Ladies with an under-the-neck shot, but the Africa Ladies quickly took control, focussing their attention of shutting Clarkin’s plays down. The play became very close and ferocious, which pushed the Africa Ladies to give away a penalty, putting Flannels England ahead 2-0 at the end of the first chukka.
The second chukka saw the Africa Ladies really pool together, forming stronger and stronger plays. Their determination was palpable and following a penalty conversion from number three Sally Jenkins, they were back in the game, with the score at 2-1. Flannels England continued to dominate with another field goal off Rosanna Turk’s stick going into the half-time break, but following what must have been some stern words from coach Tamara Fox during the break, Tiva Gross came thundering out of the first throw-in, scoring a blinding goal for the Africa Ladies. Team mate Izzy Parsons followed suit, finding a gap in the busy play and firing a field goal straight through the posts. With the clock ticking down, the scores rested at 3-3, but Tiki Brown saw another opportunity and put the Africa Ladies ahead 4-3 going into the final chukka. The crowd were on the edge of their seats as the ladies came out for the final hurrah. Clarkin began the scoring, bringing the scores even again, but as she raced forward for another goal, Gross, on Clarkin’s mare Trilogy, who later went on the win the Polo Times Best Playing Pony, raced at full pelt up the field, catching Clarkin with a hook at the last moment, scuppering her first chance at the posts, but her fast play just couldn’t stop Clarkin securing the all-important goal to put Flannels England in the lead once more, 5-4. The Africa Ladies converted a penalty, 5-5, with the minutes literally falling away, so it was all to play for in the final, tense moments of the Ladies International. As if by magic, Lottie Lamacraft broke away from the pack, racing towards the posts, with a determined Africa pack flying up the field behind her, but as she found the goal it was all over for the visiting team as Flannels England secured the trophy at this year’s International. Gross was presented with The Polo Magazine’s Most Valuable Player Award for her phenomenal speed and agility, whilst both teams were heartily congratulated by the assembled crowd for a wonderful example of high goal women’s polo.
The Kings Head Hotel Ladies International Teams:
Flannels England (22): Rosanna Turk (3), Milly Hine (4), Lottie Lamacroft (5) & Nina Clarkin (10)
All Africa (22): Tiki Brown (4), Sally Jellis (6), Izzy Parson (6) & Tiva Gross (6)
 
Photograph: Flannels England defeated the Africa Ladies at The Kings Head Hotel Ladies International at Cirencester Park Polo Club yesterday. By Tom Reynolds Photography

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