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Tight victory

This weekend an estimated 8,000 spectators came to watch the Veuve Clicquot Polo on the Beach at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. Highlight of the two-day polo event was the High Goal Polo Match on Sunday. The teams Joules with Tim Vaux (+4), Andrew Blake Thomas (+5) and Jamie Le Hardy (+7) and First Great Western with Andrew Burgess (+2), Chris Hyde (+9) and Richard Blake Thomas (+5) competed for the Watergate Bay Trophy. In the end Joules won by a single goal, beating the First Great Western team 13-12.
Tim Vaux scored for his Joules team within seconds of the first chukka. After more goals by Chris Hyde, Andrew Blake Thomas, Tim Vaux and Andrew’s brother Richard, playing for the generic team First Great Western, the first chukka ended with 3-2. Seven goals were scored in an action packed second chukka with a score of 7-6 to Joules at the end of the first half of the match.
The third chukka started with First Great Western taking the lead through two goals from Richard Blake Thomas, but nevertheless ended with 9-8 to Joules after goals from Andrew Blake Thomas and Jamie Le Hardy. The final chukka saw eight goals in the six minutes of play. Jamie Le Hardy scored for his team, but Richard Blake Thomas and Chris Hyde levelled again for First Great Western. Two more goals for Joules from Andrew Blake Thomas and Jamie Le Hardy gave their team an advantage, which First Great Westerns was not able to catch up with till the end of the match.
Andy Burgess, who captained the First Great Western team, said: “It couldn’t have got closer; for the first three chukkas there certainly wasn’t a goal between us. It was a brilliant game. The luck went with them, in the last chukka I missed a couple of vital hooks on my marking player. When you’re playing this level of polo if you miss a hook or you miss a ride off then they score. We got a bit unlucky, hit the post a couple of times, but Joules deserved to win. They played really well together and it was a great game all round.”
In addition to the fight for the Watergate Bay Trophy the audience was entertained with a spectacular display of stunt riding from The Devil’s Horsemen and a kitesurf versus polo pony challenge. Polo player Andy Burgess competed against world-record holding kitesurfer Andreya Bennett. Winner of the challenge was Andy Burgess (Team First Great Western) on Shrivar.
Elsa Corbineau, Marketing Director for Champagnes at Moet Hennessy UK commented: “It has been an amazing weekend. This is an unbelievable roster of high goal polo players to get in one place anywhere, let alone somewhere as unique as Watergate Bay. This year has been something very special and a glorious launch to the Veuve Clicquot Season 2013. Polo on the Beach is now firmly established on the British Season Calendar.”

The Teams:
Joules (+16)
Tim Vaux (+4)
Andrew Blake Thomas (+5)
Jamie Le Hardy (+7)
First Great Western (+16)
Andrew Burgess (+2)
Chris Hyde (+9)
Richard Blake Thomas (+5)

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