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Fong-Yee triple guides Road Eagles to victory
Orville Clarke, Freelance Reporter
Three goals by Jamaica's Lesley Fong-Yee spearheaded the Road Eagles to an exciting come-from-behind 5-4 victory over defending champions Road Angels in the 19th annual ICWI international ladies polo tournament at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates, on Sunday.
Road Eagles actually trailed 0-3 midway the second chukka, before getting on the scoresheet through a 40-yard penalty taken by Fong-Yee.
Prior to that the Argentinean veteran Maria 'Mumy' Bellande had opened the scoring for Road Angels before Sherri-Lyn Hensman from Zimbabwe, in combination with Catalina Manzorro and Karen Reese, flicked in two quick goals - the first a 30-yard penalty - all in the second chukka.
But as the match progressed the blue-clad Eagles came into their own with the quartet of Fong-Yee, Britain's Emma Tomlinson along with the Americans Dana Aschinger and Erica Gandomcar coming back strongly in the third chukka.
Tomlinson made it 3-2 from a melee, then Fong-Yee levelled the scores at 3-3 with a 40-yard penalty, the ball trickling past the post.
Eventually, with the scores locked at 4-4 in the fourth and final ckukka and the game delicately poised, Fong-Yee found the winner, flicking an under-the-neck shot with just 35 seconds remaining to seal the issue.
"I thought it was a good match," said Fong-Yee. "We started very disorganised and it took us some time to settle down. We soon jelled as a team and gradually pulled ourselves back into contention. In the end it was anybody's game, but I am happy we won," added Jamaica's most celebrated women's polo player whose mother, Paddy Masterton, looked on proudly.
The championship trophy was presented by ICWI chairman Dennis Lalor and his wife Diane to Emma Tomlinson, who picked up the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award as well. The best playing pony award went to Soca, owned by Paul Dawkins.
In the first match involving a mixed teams from Jamaica and Singapore, Eagles clipped Angels 2-1/2 to two, owing to the difference in handicaps between the two teams.
The participating Jamaicans were Susan Wates, Rachel Turner, Anna Dougall and Michele Subaran, while the Singapore players comprised Lynly Fong, Kerry-Anne Lucas, Summer Beinhorn and Elaine Parnell.
Argentinean Ambassador to Jamaica, Mario Pino, threw out the first ball. Among the fair-sized crowd was Industry and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda.