Monday 19 March 2018

Horetown record tremendous treble

THE NATIONAL Polocrosse championships were held recently in Collins Equestrian Centre at Athlacca in Co. Limerick. Horetown Polocrosse Club was represented in all grades from 'A' to Junior. The action began at 9 a.m. on a Saturday with hopes of silverware from teams all over Ireland.

The Horetown Junior team of Ellie Byrne (captain), Emily McDonagh and Shannen Furlong had their first game at 12 noon against Limerick Natasha. They got into their stride early in this game and won by an impressive 13 goals to one.

Their next game was at 3 p.m. against another Limerick team, this time Limerick Ian. Again the girls proved too strong for their counterparts and won 71.

This moved the Juniors into the final on Sunday against Carrickmines of Dublin, one of the highly-fancied teams to take the national title. The game was played at 12 noon on the main pitch and in front of a huge attendance of spectators.

Horetown came out confident and with skilful passes, great marking and level heads, they led 4-1after the first chukka. Carrickmines tried to come back into the game in the second chukka and scored two more goals but were quickly answered by Horetown, and the scoreline going in to the final chukka was 8-3.

The terrific trio came out fighting and with some impressive goals by Emily McDonagh, great scoops of the ball by Shannen Furlong and wonderful defence by Ellie Byrne, they emerged national champions on a scoreline of 12-4. Emily McDonagh received best pony in the Junior grade on her pony 'Janey Mac', and Ellie Byrne received the title of best player in the grade.

The Horetown 'D' grade team of Liam McKelvie (captain), Dayna Moran and Liam Neville began their quest at 9 a.m. on Saturday with a very tough game against Wicklow Bay Mick.

Even though this was their first game of the weekend, they needed a win to ensure they were top of their group to progress over the weekend as there were 15 teams after this coveted title. They did not dissapoint and won 8-6.

They had to wait until 6 p.m. for their next game against Birr. From the very first whistle it was evident that the team from Offaly couldn't handle the onslaught of goals and heavy defence, and Horetown emerged easy winners.

They met another Wicklow Bay team at 9 a.m. in the semi-final, but Horetown were a much stronger side and quickly dominated the game to ensure their place in the 'D' grade final.

A large crowd of spectators gathered to see the final between Wicklow Bay Stephen and Horetown at 3 p.m.

Dayna Moran was steadfast in defence, and with Liam McKelvie feeding the ball into Liam Neville, they topped the scoreline and soon had an impressive lead.

To the delight of the Horetown supporters, they now had another team bringing home the silverware. Liam Neville also received the best player award in this grade.

The 'A' grade team from Horetown of Aidan McDonagh, Richie Nolan, Aaron Power, Conor Doyle, Craig Kileff and B.J. Byrne started their games on Saturday at 9 a.m. against Carrickmines Seb. The game promised to be a good contest but it soon became evident that the team from Dublin was no match for the boys in black who won 25 -5.

Their next game was at 2 p.m. against an all too familiar Horetown Pádraig. These players knew each other inside out and started off pretty level, but they soon out-horsed and out-played their club members.

This now meant they were through to the final on Sunday.

The 'A' grade final which is always the highlight of any national competition was the last game of the weekend at 4 p.m.

A huge crowd gathered around the main pitch to watch this display of great horsemanship and skill between Horetown and Carrickmines James.

Horetown started slowly and were 5-1 down at the end of the first chukka. The second section, however, soon proved they could overpower the reds and they brought the scoreline back to within two goals.

Horetown came out in the third chukka and gained the lead for the first time.

The pace was fast and furious and called for fast thinking and great manoeuvres. Carrickmines kept battling hard and never gave up, but the Horetown men stood strong and emerged victorious with a win by five goals.

B.J. Byrne's horse, 'Penelope', won best horse and Aaron Power won best player in the 'A' grade.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend with teams also doing the club proud in the 'B' and 'C' grades.

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