Playnation are Masters victors for the second time

The Playnation team won the Inspired Arena Polo Masters tournament for the second time in four years 

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The weekend of 10-12 January saw the All England Polo Club host the fourth annual Inspired Arena Polo Masters tournament. 

Play got underway on Saturday, when Simon Arber’s 'Astra' team, including son Emil Arber and professional player Tom Morley, faced Ana Escabado’s 'Bull Dog Games', with Ana joined by Nell Jacobs and Jonny Good.

Bull Dog Games went 5-0 down in the first chukka, but managed to pull back to win 14-9 to put them through to the final on Sunday.

John Bunn's Playnation team, comprising himself, Niall Donnelly and Charlie Wooldridge, then played Hugo Baldwin's Bell Fruit Games, with Harry Muddle and Maurice Ormerod.

It was a hard-fought match, with John Bunn's team taking the lead in the second chukka and holding on to go through to the final.

The sun was shining for the first match of Sunday, the subsidiary final between Astra and Bell Fruit Games. Astra was trailing 9-4 in the second chukka, but a few two-point goals from Tom Morley put them back in the lead 12-10.

Tom's fantastic bay pony Turtle helped make all the difference in the final chukka, just having the edge over Muddle's chestnut pony Olive to allow team Astra to hang on to the lead and take the subsidiary final prize.

After a brief pause to reset the arena, Playnation and Bulldog Games headed into the arena to fight it out for the weekend’s trophy. 

John Bunn started the first chukka with a great goal in the first 20 seconds, which was closely-matched by Johnny Good with a two-pointer. 

The scores stayed even throughout the game until the final chukka, where a great two-point goal from Niall Donnelly put Playnation up by three points. It was almost matched by Johnny Good but for an outstanding in-the-air save by Wooldridge to allow Playnation to take the win 16-9.

Niall's fantastic pony Pumba and John Bunn's best pony Flake gave the Playnation team the extra edge to score an impressive six goals in the final chukka.

The All England Polo Club would like to thank the tournament sponsors Inspired, the patrons and players, and everyone involved in making the weekend such a huge success.

Dates for 2021 will be announced shortly.

 

 

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