After a bit of a set back in weekend 2 at Watford, the team knew they still had work to do in weekend 3 - the scenario being having to pick up at least one point from the two games in Swansea to be assured of qualification into Championship 1. Not as easy a feat as it seemed, given a team missing a few regulars, our Saturday game being against the undefeated Team Northumbria, and Poly's recent history of making life extremely difficult for themselves.
Poly 12 - 4 Team Northumbria
Both teams had endured a long journey to get to Swansea, which explained a rather lethargic first quarter which ended 1-0 to the Poly. We had highlighted the importance of not letting opponents score in the first quarter - sluggish starts being one of very few criticisms of the team this season - and this gave us a good platform to produce a great team performance. With our defence proving very difficult to penetrate for the previously free-scoring Team Northumbria, we pushed ahead our advantage through smart goals from Sergio Schiaffino, Fede Carucci, Captain Chris and Joan Seca. Poly continued to be rampant in front of goal, and stingy at the back, and our very own social media czar, Lyndon Cranley, seized the moment to shine via a mesmerising mixture of sharp-shooting and pirouettes, to score 4 goals. The twittersphere erupted. Not to be outdone, Sergio Schiaffino bravely overcame a particularly nasty bout of "posterior vascular inflammation" (note: Anusol is a confirmed TUE), to notch a further 4 goals to his name. The feisty Italian can't seem to stop scoring at the moment...............
Poly 9 - 12 Exeter
The previously day's victory had ensured our progress to Championship 1, and we had thereby taken the opportunity to indulge in what Swansea had to offer on Saturday evening. Exeter had to win this game for any slim chance of qualifying for the next round, and so were not going to hand us the easy game our booze-sodden brains desired. A long warm-up ensured we weren't as fuzzy as we may have been, and we began the game in the same vein as the previous day - only allowing one lucky deflected lob to squeeze in to the net. However, it came at a cost, with Sergio suffering a bad cut on his eye after a wild, albeit accidental, arm caught him in the face. Coupled with our depleted squad, it meant we only had 3 subs left on the bench - not an ideal situation when the previous night's exuberance had already taken it's toll on the team. That said, Exeter were playing for their polo-lives, and produced some fantastic polo to score 5 goals in the second quarter. Our previous day's M-Zone defence was being undone by some great shooting from the top, and so in the 3rd quarter we switched to a press, with instant results. We began to catch them on the break, but whilst Exeter were pinging their shots in off the cross bar and posts, ours were flying back out at us. The spirit in the team ensured we came back from 10-4 to 11-9, and we could have easily pulled off an unlikely victory; but the polo Gods were on Exeter's side, and another wasted opportunity from the Poly resulted in a very fortunate break and goal, which put the result, and the boys, to bed.
- Luke Jones