Barbados Players Help Expendables to 2nd in Euros
Three local players represented Barbados well in the recently concluded ISPA Euro-Cup held in Denia, Spain, making it all the way to the finals. Brett de Gale, Daniel Hatch and Nevin Roach (Captain) teamed up with German Lutz Dombdera and Michael O’Connor of the USA, to play as ‘Expendables’ in the competition.
The trio departed Barbados on October 4th and travelled in excess of 20 hours before landing in the province of Alicante the following day. They subsequently met up with their teammates and endured a 1.5-hour drive before finally arriving in the beautiful city of Denia, located halfway between Alicante and Valencia.
A quick outing on the town and a delicious dinner at Mr. Fisher’s helped the seasoned polo players to somewhat acclimatize, before getting some rest.
After settling in, an air of non-stop chatter, festive laughter and bright smiles swept Sounders the following evening as old friends reunited and new friendships were born, at the opening ceremony. The Expendables enjoyed a tasty dinner and eagerly awaited the start of formal proceedings, which would culminate in the draw. As fate would have it, the guys were grouped with the Hemmer Butterflies, Balver Cavemen, Vineyard Devils, Hannover Hotwheels and 2012 World Champions Balver Mammuts by the end of the night.
Expendables got their campaign started against the Hemmer Butterflies of Germany. As expected, the quintet did not gel fully immediately but to the team’s benefit, it did not show much. The raw and deadly attacking combo of Hatch, Roach and Dombera complemented by a total team defense including de Gale and shot blocker O’Connor, proved enough to garner a 4-1 victory.
In more preliminary round action, the guys continued undefeated, running rout on the Vinyeard Devils (Austria) 7-2, easing past Hannover Hotwheels (Germany) 2-0 and dispatching the Balver Cavemen (Germany) 4-1. They closed off their preliminary account with a 4-2 victory over the Balver Mammuts (Germany) in a heated encounter to set up a quarterfinal matchup against Cornwall (UK).
It seemed like another routine match versus Cornwall as Hatch hit the target twice early on after both teams fought for possession. Cornwall subsequently showed some resilience before capitalizing on a defensive error to get a foot back into the match before striking again shortly afterwards, to equalize 2-2. Not to be ousted before the finals the Expendables regrouped and increased intensity. Hatch refocused and was able to grab 2 more goals to put the Cornwall issue to rest and safely advance to the semifinals.
The Expendables had less of a scare in the semis against the Stockholm Vikings (Sweden), easing to a 3-1 victory to set up a highly anticipated final with the Balver Mammuts final.
Unfortunately for the Expendables, the alignment of the stars shifted in the final. Despite dominating throughout the tournament and playing undefeated, they could not find a response to the sheer brilliance of the Mammuts’ custodian and all round team strategy. The Mammuts were able to score 2 early goals and play a bit more conservative on attack to see out the match and win the title.
The Expendables got some consolation at the end of the tournament however, as Hatch received a special award for Most Goals.
1. Balver Mammuts (Germany) 2. The Expendables (Germany, USA, Barbados) 3. Vineyard Devils Segway Polo Club (Austria) 4. Sthlm Vikings Segwaypolo Team Sweden (Sweden) 5. Funky-Move Turtles (Germany) 6. Balver Cavemen (Germany) 7. X-Turtles (Germany, UK) 8. Cornwall Segway Polo (UK) 9. Segway Trip Polo Team (Spain) 10. Hannover Hot Wheels (Germany) 11. Hemer Butterflies (Germany) 12. Team GB (UK)
Most Valuable Player: Peter Sudermann (Balver Mammuts) Most Goals Scored: Daniel Hatch (The Expendables) Best Goalkeeper: Sonja Funke (Funky Move Turtles)