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  • Writer's pictureDale Webster

Future of polocrosse in the Top End is looking bright


ABOVE: Action from the Howard Springs carnival. Picture: DAVID BRADLEY

HOWARD Springs Polocrosse Club in Australia’s far north has held its annual carnival, marked by strong contingent of new junior players.


Coaching director of the NT Polocrosse Association Matt Deveraux said with numbers decline for the past 10 years, this was a great sign for the future of the sport in the Northern Territory.


“With an influx of juniors coming through the ranks we will see our highest number of teams in years,” he said.


The junior riders played in mixed teams instead of for their clubs on the weekend.


Each team had their own senior A Grade coach – Matt Deveraux (Blue), Peter Maley (Red) and Bomber Owen (Yellow) – and they all wore tracks pacing up and down the sidelines the competition was so fierce.


The red team won by goal on count back and best players were number one Nelly Ramage (Humpty Doo), number two Cloudie Callow (Humpty Doo) and number three Ben Andrews (Noonamah).


Three new junior awards were presented. Best horse was Wendy ridden by Ben Andrews (Noonamah), the most improved junior was Brice Germein (Palmerston) and best junior in any grade was Owen Hamilton (Noonamah).


Picture: DAVID BRADLEY

In C grade, Humpty Doo Polocrosse Club defeated Litchfield. Best number one was Jim Carey (Palmerston), best number two was Ellen Walshe (Humpty Doo) and best number three was Eric Metcalfe (Palmerston). Best horse was Roger ridden by Eric Metcalfe (Palmerston).


In B grade, Howard Springs defeated Noonamah Club. Rob Wait (Howard Springs) was best number one, Mick Riley (Litchfield) was best number two and Allan Wiley (Howard Springs) was best number three. Best horse was Harry ridden by Allan Wiley.


In A grade, Litchfield defeated Noonamah. Best number one was Kenny Grimmond (Litchfield), best number two was Patrick Coleman (Litchfield) and best number three was Gerard Maley (Litchfield). Best horse was Peter Maley’s Carrots.


In the senior section, Allan Wyllie was named best male player and Romy Carey the best female.


The NT State Championships will be held on August 28 following the “Starry Night” presentation dinner, bringing the season to a close.


It is the highlight of the NT polocrosse calendar and players will be travelling from Katherine, Alice Springs and as far as NSW to take part.


There are five clubs currently competing in the NT and all will be fighting for the championship bragging rights in all divisions, from junior right through to A grade.


Mr Deveraux said holding the role of coaching director allowed him to support players and drive the growth of the sport in the NT through coaching opportunities and building contacts throughout Australia.


“Polocrosse in Australia is getting really behind the coaching opportunities and it’s great to be able to call on the bigger southern states knowledge,” he said.


“While we are small in the NT we have a very different climate to contend with during this period of competition, so good horsemanship and horse health is paramount for our sport.


“Unlike polo we play one horse for the entire competition so looking after our pride and joys is everything – passing that onto our up-and-coming kids is pretty special.”


GALLERY

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