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USA vs. Poland Match Report

Date:    Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Poland outlasted USA in a close match on Opening Day of the NBC10 Newport International Polo Series XXVII, presented by BMW, which began on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 at 5pm. The exhilarating match ended with a score of 7-6, and Poland took home the trophy in their debut match of the Newport International Polo Series.

A ceremonial raising of the flag of Poland and national anthems followed the introduction of players.  Wearing red for Poland in the #1 position was Mariana Olbrych, with Jakub Czekaj at #2, Maciej Olbrych at #3, and Pawel Olbrych at #4.

Representing USA was Minnie Keating in the #1 position, with Sam Clemens at #2, Rory Torrey at #3, and Peter Friedman at #4.  

USA led the charge to open the match with the first goal scored by Torrey in the first chukka. Czekaj replied with a goal for Poland, and the first chukka ended tied at 1-1. The second chukka began with a similar pattern, as Clemens scored next for USA, followed by a goal from Mariana Olbrych to even the score at 2-2.  Team Poland pulled ahead by the end of the second chukka with another goal scored by Maciej Olbrych, and took the lead for the first time,  3-2.  Torrey and Maciej Olbrych individually posted their second goals of the match in the third chukka, to end the first half with Poland leading by a score of 4-3.

Torrey scored three consecutive goals to put USA in a two-goal lead at the beginning of the fourth chukka.  Czekaj responded with a goal for Poland, and closed the gap to a one-goal lead by team USA at the end of the fourth chukka. The fifth chukka was a draw, as neither team was able to score.  Mariana Olbrych tied the match with a goal at the beginning of the sixth chukka. Although the match was tied 6-6 during the sixth chukka, Czekaj secured a win for Poland by scoring the final goal of the match, and Poland outlasted USA with a final score of 7-6.

During the match, a lucky lady from Franklin Massachusetts won a magnum of Veuve Clicquot Champagne in the weekly door prize drawing.  An extravagant tailgate party in spaces 27 & 28, wowed the judges with the National Flag of Poland, and red and white decorations throughout their tailgate spaces to claim the Stella Artois Best Tailgate Prize Package.  The festive party goers even dressed in red and white to show their support for team Poland. Specialty vendors and concessionaires were present in the Hospitality village at the polo grounds, and included the Twisted Pony Cocktail Bar, Horseshoe Wine Bar, Newport Polo Pro Shop, Brahmin, Flint & Flame and gourmet food trucks.

After 6 chukkas, the match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, as well as an autograph signing to meet the players.  The USA vs. Poland Perpetual Trophy was presented by Mark Fischer, the General Manager of Hotel Viking, Official Headquarters of Team Poland.  The evening concluded with an Après Polo Bialowieza Forest Boar Roast to celebrate Poland's win with traditional and savory foods native to Poland.

While in Newport, the Poland Team enjoyed many of the best attractions and highlights in the City by the Sea, including hospitality by Hotel Viking, team lodging sponsor;  ROCKSTAR LIMO for ground transportation; Newport Helicopter Tours for aerial tours; Newport Mansion tours; America's Cup Charters for a glorious sunset sail;  Sightseeing courtesy of Scooter World;  Tennis on the legendary grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame;  Paddle boarding with Island Surf and Sport; cocktails & dancing at the Season Kickoff Bash on the eve of the match at the one and only Clarke Cooke House, and all the great goings on in the City by the Sea.

The origins of polo in Poland date back to the late 19th century when a family of Polish aristocrats established a team at their Lancut estate and traveled Central Europe competing against teams in Austria, Hungary, and Germany. In the early 1920's, the game was adopted by the Polish cavalry. The World Wars left a long wake of struggle for the nation and its sports and leisure. Polo re-emerged in 2002 and today there are seven hubs for the sport around the country, including arena polo, snow polo, and traditional grass polo! The Polish national team participated in the FIP European Championship in 2016, and used their experiences to plan their strategy for 2018.

This is the 27th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from over 30 nations including, Ireland, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina, France, Egypt, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Canada, Chile, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, New Zealand, Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, Morocco, Peru and Poland making its debut.

Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of what was once a 700-acre manorial farm whose settlement dates back to the 1600's. Its classical stone barns from the Gilded Age and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by polo series founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.

The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2018 sponsors including Gallo Thomas InsuranceNBC - 10BMW Centers of Rhode IslandGrace HotelsGurney's Newport Resort & MarinaHotel VikingVanderbilt International PropertiesThe Chanler at CliffwalkVeuve Clicquot ChampagneBrahminClarke Cooke HouseFlint & Flame, Rockstar LimoStella ArtoisNewport Daily NewsWhere BostonAtria Senior LivingGoslings RumThe Hermitage Club and promotional partners including International Tennis Hall of FameAmerica's Cup ChartersNewport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport MansionsIsland Surf and SportMcGrath Clambakes and Scooter World. “Our sponsors have been with us since the beginning. Without their support, the Series would not be as extensive as it is,” explains Dan Keating, Polo Series founder.

There's no sport like polo. Be a part of it! Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series XXVII, and is the home of America's first polo club, est. in 1876, offering public exhibition matches, polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round; founding member of the United States Polo Association.