Land Rover Durban successfully hosted the inaugural Highgoal polocrosse tournament over the last weekend in May (27-28 May). The picturesque setting of the Durban Shongweni Club combined with impressive displays of polocrosse played by some of South Africa’s best and topped off with a fancy black tie gala dinner meant only one thing- those who weren’t there certainly missed out!
The event saw eight teams fighting it out in a number of games over the weekend to win the prestigious title. The four men’s teams were generously sponsored by Branson, Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching, Alzu and Durban Land Rover and the four ladies’ teams by Alzu, Team M&M, Rhino Truck Sales and Team Evoque. In the end however, it was both Land Rovers’ men’s and ladies’ teams who came out on top. Land Rover Durbans Team Evoque for the ladies division walked away with R10 000 cash following an incredibly impressive performance over the two days, and after a nail-biting, highly competitive final, Land Rovers men’s team also walked away with the prize of R12 500 cash as well as the title that started it all- first ever winners of the Land Rover Durban Highgoal!
The finals for both the men’s and ladies’ divisions were held on Sunday. With teams so evenly matched it was difficult even for those who have been around since the beginning of competitive polocrosse in South Africa to pick the winners. At one point the commentator even mentioned that the teams with the best horses will be the ones who come out victorious. Whether this was true or not, Land Rovers Team Evoque beat Team M&M 16-12 with Alzu finishing 3rd with a score of 16-15 against Rhino Truck Sales. In the men’s division, Zambeze Delta Anti-Poaching lost to Branson with a convincing score of 32-25 and Land Rover finished the day off with an impressive win against Alzu, beating them 35-24.
Not only were both Land Rovers’ teams winners of their divisions, but Jean Hackland- member of the Land Rover Evoque team also won Most Valuable Player in the ladies division as well as Best Turned Out Pony for her horse Mayhem. Andrew Haynes who captained the Land Rover men’s team also took home the prize for Most Valuable Player in the men’s division and his horse Vault of Value won Golden Pony for the tournament. Their Australian ‘import’ Lance Anderson walked away with the award for Best No. 2 player.
“It was a fantastic event overall with world-class polocrosse players bringing their best to the field,” said event organiser and Shongweni Polocrosse club chairman, Brent Von Benecke. “Shongweni experienced the usual glorious weather for this time of year, and there was a great turnout with hundreds of visitors coming to witness the fast-paced action.”
Being a High Goal tournament, each team consisted of six players with a combined handicap of between 42 and 45 (out of a possible 60) where 0 is a beginner and 10 a world-class player. Showing its calibre, the tournament welcomed two 10-handicap players – Jannie Steenkamp and Graham MacLarty – to the field.