Irish Polocrosse Awards Culminate a Remarkable Season of Success

THE Irish Polocrosse Association awards marked the culmination of a remarkable season of success in a glittering affair attended by more than 120 guests at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Wexford, Ireland recently.

Irish Polocrosse Association Junior Award winner Ellah Stokes from the Carrickmines, Dublin club was presented with her award by IPA Vice-Chairperson Tom O’Malley at the awards night in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Wexford


The Irish Polocrosse Association awards organising committee, Matt Byrne (l-r), Michael Kavanagh, Abbey Hamill, Ellie Myler, Tony O’Donnell, Ann Kavanagh, Niamh Byrne, Hilary Barnes, Conor Callahan and Stephen Nuzum

As much inspired in Ireland as ‘hurling on horseback’ as its much older and more traditionally viewed cousin, polocrosse launched in Australia for the first time in the late 1930s following the Hirst family’s observations of indoor polo played with squash racquet heads in place of a wooden mallet.

Irish Polocrosse Association awards C Grade Best Number 2 Jill Murphy with Richie Crockett, Jnr accepting (l-r), presenter IPA Vice-Chairman Tom O’Malley, Best Number 1 Jack Ellis and Best Number 3 Neil Bleakley


Irish Polocrosse Association awards D Grade Best Number 2 Mark Whelan (l-r), Best Number 1 Bill Lawlor and Best Number 3 John Dwyer

Since arriving in Ireland in the 1960s, polocrosse has grown to include clubs in Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin and Limerick and as in traditional polo, is played across the country and at international venues.

Irish Polocrosse Association awards A Grade Best Number 3 Dara Mangan (l-r), presenter IPA Vice-Chairman Tom O’Malley, Best Number 2 Eoin O’Donnell and Best Number 1 Debbie Harris, who also won the Best Horse nomination for Bo


IPA awards B Grade Best Number 2 Cathy Mathews, who also accepted the Best Number 3 award for Cillian Boland (l-r); Best Number 1 Theo Boland, who also accepted the Best Horse award for Cillian Boland and presenter IPA Vice-Chairman Tom O’Malley

The awards recently held recognised four categories where top players competitively demonstrated the best skills in each of three positions while chalking up an Irish win in the 2019 season at the European Championship Challenge Tour in France last August in the final against England and in addition, earning Sixth Place in the Polocrosse World Cup.

Eleanor Flagg, Cillian Boland and Rosemary McKeane of the Carrickmines, Dublin club at the IPA awards


Hilary Barnes of the Wicklow Bay club was presented with the Ivor and David Young Perpetual Cup by Irish Polocrosse Association Vice-Chairman Tom O’Malley for her commitment to the sport at the awards night in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Wexford

“We are after coming through a good year for polocrosse,” said IPA Vice-Chairman Tom O’Malley, who presented the awards. “We are looking forward to next year and plenty of good polocrosse.”

IPA Junior award nominee Ian Hanley and his parents, Sabrina and Tommy Hanley


Polocrosse lady players Nimah Harding, Cassie Bolster, Lauren Browne and Sarah Flynn at the IPA awards in Wexford

The awards sponsored by Irish firms Glanbia, Redmills, Powerscourt Golf Club, Gardner Grain and Lookout Equestrian marked excellence in an Irish horse sport that can be played at all age levels and by anyone who can master the art of catching a ball in mid-air while on horseback, which for some is easier than it sounds.

IPA Junior Award nominee Emily Bray (right) and her parents Louisa and Allen Bray at the IPA awards


Limerick Polocrosse Club ladies Alannah McNamara, Caoimhe Hartnett and Victoria Nowak at the IPA awards night

As for the award winners and attending guests, it was the perfect excuse to get out of the boots and helmets and put on the glam.

Polocrosse players Paddy Flavin and Luke Brandon at the IPA awards night in Wexford


MJ Morrissey and Joanne McDonagh from the IPA’s oldest club in Courtown, Wexford

“It was great to see everyone in polocrosse together,” said the evening’s MC Ben D’Arcy. “I would like to thank all our sponsors for making the night possible and for everyone who was at the awards night, thank you.”

It’s sticks up in polocrosse when the umpire throws the ball and the first player to catch it in the netted head of the stick starts the match


Krystina Stange and Aimee Lee from Tyrella Polocrosse Club in Tyrella, County Down, Northern Ireland, at the IPA awards night in Wexford


Eddie Goggins, Luke Brandon, Thomas Kileff from Carrickmines Polocrosse Club in Dublin, and Ben D’Arcy from Wicklow Bay Club

Find out more about polocrosse in Ireland by post at the Irish Polocrosse Association, Paul Scott, Whitechurch, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland or phone +353 87 9805113 or email . The IPA is online at

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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