AM Polo CT Crowned Champions in British Ladies High Goal Championship for the Cowdray Rosebowl & Undefeated Semper Anticus Claim Open Title
Facing off in the final of the inaugural British Ladies High Goal Championship for the Cowdray Rosebowl, an undefeated AM Polo CT battled Semper Anticus for the second time in the 22-goal tournament after previously claiming the 6-4 victory.
Sheikh Alya Al Maktoum led AM Polo CT in the number 1 position, followed by Azucena Uranga in the number 2 shirt. Argentine Candelaria Fernandez Araujo played number 3, while English 7-goaler Milly Hine was at Back. For Semper Anticus, Clarinda Tija-Dharmadi played number 1, while Lucy Coddington was at number 2. Rounding out their lineup, Tamara Fox and 10-goaler Nina Clarking played the 3rd and Back positions.
AM Polo CT opened the anticipated final on back-to-back goals from the field from Candelaria Fernandez Araujo and Milly Hine to establish an early lead. Two missed penalty opportunities in the opening chukka from Hine prevented them from extending the lead further and opened the window for a response from Semper Anticus’ Tamara Fox. Converting from the 30-yard line, Fox was followed by 10-goaler Nina Clarkin’s first of the match in open play to tie the contest at 2-all. Answering to Semper Anticus’ two goals, AM Polo CT’s Hine and Azucena Uranga each found the goal in the third chukka with an effective defensive effort contributing to their 4-2 lead entering half time, leaving them just two chukkas away from the undefeated run in the tournament.
Accelerating forward, Semper Anticus’ Milly Hine singlehandedly produced a spectacular three-goal run that included perfect 2 for 2 shooting from the penalty line, while also adding a field goal to suddenly increase AM Polo CT’s lead to five. Stunned by the stretch to begin the second half, Semper Anticus turned to their captain and experienced 10-goaler Clarkin to close the gap. Finding the posts twice, once each from the field and the penalty line, Clarkin brought Semper Anticus back within reach, trailing 7-4 after three chukkas. With their sights set on the title, AM Polo CT received a goal off the mallet of Uranga to double up Semper Anticus on the scoreboard. Using their defence to AM Polo CT to just two shots in the remainder of the chukka, Semper Anticus’ offense came to life once more as back-to-back goals from Clarkin were complimented by another from Tamara Fox to bring Semper Anticus to within one. Racing back to the throw-in line in an attempt to tie the match, the bell quickly sounded ending the comeback attempt as AM Polo CT held off the charging Semper Anticus team to complete their undefeated run and earn the heralded championship 8-7.
Mariya Dykalo, Creative Director at Aspinal of London, presented the Cowdray Rosebowl to Sheikh Alya Al Maktoum and generously donated and presented beautiful prizes to all the players, including the Most Valuable Player prize which was awarded to Candelaria Fernandez Araujo. The Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Mosqueta played by Milly Hine.
Following a disappointing 8-7 loss to AM Polo CT in the British Ladies High Goal Championship for the Cowdray Rose Bowl, Semper Anticus faced a quick turnaround as they competed for their second title opportunity of the day in the British Ladies Open Championship.
Featuring a nearly identical line-up from the Rosebowl, Semper Anticus returned Clarinda Tija-Dharmadi in the number 1 position, Lucy Coddington in the number 3 position and 10-goaler Nina Clarkin at Back, while newcomer Chloe Horswell inserted into the number 2 position. For Coombe Place, Sophie Kenna donned the number 1 shirt, followed by Kayley Smith at number 2, Lucy Bowman at number 3 and Lottie Lamacraft at Back.
Setting the tone in the defensive affair, Semper Anticus’ Lucy Coddington converted a 30-yard penalty in the early stages of the match, while Coombe Place were held scoreless throughout the entire first half. Outshooting Coombe Place from both the field and the penalty line, Semper Anticus’ ability to keep Coombe Place from attempting a single shot in the half while adding a second goal from Horswell allowed Semper Anticus to take a 2-0 advantage into half time.
Regrouping in the tent, Coombe Place’s Lottie Lamacraft found the posts from the 30-yard line to score Coombe Place’s first goal of the match and trail by just one. Held scoreless for the first time in the match, Semper Anticus was unable to restore their two-goal lead as the two teams entered the final chukka separated by just one goal. Following a blocked a 60-yard penalty, a drive by Nina Clarkin increased Semper Anticus’ lead back to two at 3-1, leaving Coombe Place with little time for a comeback. Unable to capitalize on Semper Anticus’ late foul troubles, Lamacraft could only convert once in the chukka on three attempts as time began to expire. Semper Anticus were able to hold Coombe Place to just two shots from the field throughout the contest, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the low-scoring affair to deliver Semper Anticus the 3-2 victory and the British Ladies Open Championship.
Jane Wetherill presented the stunning silver salver to Clarinda Tija-Dharmadi, as well as the individual prizes, which included U.S. Polo Assn. whites, to the players. The Most Valuable Player Award was given to Chloe Horswell and the Best Playing Pony rug was presented by to Kitty, played by Lucy Bowman.
Pip Hitchman, Cowdray Park Polo Club