Hull Bicycle Polo was well represented in the
SoYo polo tourney held over the weekend at the Cliffhanger '14 Festival in
Sheffield. Bright and early Saturday morning The ECB Bruisers (Nick, Kol, Dean)
and The ECB Ducks of Wellingtone (Adam, Mr Roger and Young Jack) loaded the
Mystery Machine with bikes, mallards, bags and other bits and headed for
Teams and players from around the country were
in attendance and everyone was up for it. Introductions were made, pleasantries
exchanged, players briefed and then the barracking, brinksmanship, bluster and
bullshit began in earnest.
The ECB Ducks were first up in the icebreaker
game and, after a torrid ten minute introduction to the harder, faster,
stronger world of tournament polo, viewed a 5-0 defeat as something of a result
- especially as their opponents are heading off to compete in the European
championships next week! The Bruisers first game was very similar to the Ducks
The tournament progressed and throughout the day
we were able to enjoy some spectacular polo, some sublime bike skills, some
outrageous crashes, lots of goals and.. BLOODY HELL!!!…. HOW HARD DID HE HIT THAT?It was certainly eye opening (and
occasionally eye watering) to watch and to take part in games involving such
experienced and skilled players.
We also took the opportunity to check out, and
occasionally try out, other people’s bikes, mallards and kit, to get some ideas
and tips on improving our own gear …….mistake !!!.... Now we all want new bikes,
disc brakes, 26” wheels and Dean is even considering moving to freewheel.
Saturday drew to a close with the parkies
placing an embargo on beer, a few cases of over exposure to the sun and the ECB
Ducks and Bruisers zooming off back to Hull in high spirits with a win and
three losses each. A Grand Day Out.
* * * * * * * * * *
Sunday started well, with fine weather, heavy
metal Bee Gees, and a game of“That’s a
Yellow Car!” all combining to knock 17 minutes off the journey time.
Sunday got better, the beer embargo was lifted !
Saturday’s results placed The Bruisers and the
Ducks in the lower half of the double elimination knockout stage with the
possibility of playing each other.The
Ducks narrowly lost their closely matched first game and, following an exciting
game in which Dean dispatched an opponent out of the court and Nick paggered
the same bloke’s back wheel, the Bruisers were defeated, the results conspired
and the inevitable match up happened. In front of a boisterous crowd, the Ducks
edged out the Bruisers to move into the next round.
As the Ducks continued their winning streak, the
Bruisers gamely roused the crowd in support and even Jack losing a pedal and Mr
Roger elegantly (not) dismounting at high speed and completely wrecking his
front wheel (and left leg) failed to stop them reaching the semi final. A close
fought semi final on botched up and borrowed bikes ended in defeat for the
Ducks with the last shot of the game.
Sunshine continued, the tournament was played
out and prizes awarded: the Ducks taking 3rd place in the “Reet
Good” category. Really not too shabby for a first tournament.
A debrief and celebratory beverage at Pave saw
Jack’s balloon dog raise the biggest cheer of the day when rescued from the
zebra crossing by a passer–by after it slipped its lead in front of a fire
Great End to a Great Weekend - Thanks to all involved.
What a difference a week makes. The week before last Adam cam 8th and was possibly the grumpiest person in the whole wide world. Last week he made a complete U-turn, came first and was the happiest person in the whole wide world. The question we have to ask ourselves is did Adam win last week because he was happy or was it the winning that made him happy? We may never know. Preparations for making Adam grumpy again this week have already started and will continue throughout today’s session. Please feel free to join in.
Dean “Double Dean” Dent master of last week’s spectacular j-turn will not be with us today as he is tough mud wrestling with his boy chums up in Scotland. (I think that’s what he said although I may have misheard).
Last week also saw some excellent performances from Mr Roger, Andy, Will and PC Paul and once again everyone scored a goal. (Even if Adam did try to score all of them himself).
This week sees the return of Nick “The Shouty One” and Young Jack “The River Horse”.
After a week off will they will need to quickly get back up to speed ready for next weeks Cliffhanger ‘14 tournament.
Mallards at the ready ..... Let’s Play Polo!!!!!!!
Last week saw the return of Kol (the statsman) who after a few weeks off didn’t know if his shoulder would stay on. It did and he came back to the court with a Zen like calm which allowed him to play some very clever and considered moves with his team mates. The only thing that did feel his wrath was his mallard which was almost wrapped around his front wheel on several occasions thanks to some over exuberant shot attempts..
Overall any of the six attendees could have won the day. The standard was extremely high and the passing and positioning was top notch. There were also some amazing goals from all players who quite frankly were showing off. In fact the 9th game had more big hits than Sir Cliff.
But the well deserved win went to Andy “Gandhi” who showed that he had better consistency than a well whisked angel delight. You’ve got to be bloody good to win these days!
In other news, Will found his mega shot thanks to having “Poobike” (which actually works), Andy “Gandhi” proved the existence of the much talked about ‘90°=death’ rule by falling off in almost every game (all his own doing), and Dean tried annoying everyone by diddling behind them for extended periods of time. Oh and Mr Roger kept his composure - again!
Nick returns this week after a week off. Let’s see if the break helps or hinders. Let’s Polo.