The 4 goal Park House Cup, presented to the club in 1962 by the late Ione O’Brien, founder of the beautiful Park House Hotel at Bepton, attracted a large entry of 12 teams with Sea Breeze and Alcedo making it to the Final. Wilf Fine played at number 1 for his Sea Breeze side with Will Harper at 2, Nick Pepper at 3 and Charles Seavill at Back. Terence Lent joined Andrew Swaffield’s Alcedo at number 2 with Jack Berner at 3 and Nick Clague at Back. With players aged 14, 17 and 18, the match represented all that Ione O’Brien hoped to achieve in promoting an entry level tournament.
A 40 yard penalty sent through by Nick Pepper opened the scoring for Sea Breeze, answered by a hat-trick from Jack Berner to give Alcedo a 3-1 lead at the close of the first chukka. Nick Pepper pulled one back for Sea Breeze in chukka two, the half time score being 3-2 to Alecdo. Despite plenty of attacking play by Sea Breeze, Wilf Fine’s side failed to score in the second half. A busy Jack Berner impoved his tally of goals by scoring twice more for Alcedo in the third chukka, and an equally on-form Nick Clague scored in the final chukka to give Andrew Swaffield his second trophy within six days. Mrs Stella O’Brien presented the Park House Cup and team prizes. Nick Pepper’s Rufo was awarded Best Playing Pony and 18 year old Terence Lent was voted Most Valuable Player.
The subsidiary Final was a 10-4 win for Jo Stuart’s Los Hamblinos against GCN.
Fast and exciting polo was the hall mark of the Final of the 8 goal PSI Trophy played between Shane Finemore’s Gardenvale and Jeremy Pemberton’s Conosco from an entry of nine teams. Jack Kiely played at number 2 for Gardenvale with Nick Clague at 3 and Ed Hitchman at Back. Jeremy Pemberton favoured the number 3 position for himself with Will Emerson playing at the front door, Will Harper at 2 and Tommy Beresford at Back.
Ed Hitchman made a swift goal to open Gardenvale’s scoreline but it wasn’t long before Beresford pounced onto the ball and sent through a neat shot to even the scores at 1-1. Chukka 2 saw lovely confident play from 14 year old Will Harper who backed the ball between the posts to make a perfect finish for Pemberton’s run to Gardenvale’s goal mouth, Beresford raising Conosco’s score to 3-1 before chukka’s end.
A minute into the second half, a foul enabled Ed Hitchman to score swiftly from a safety. Conosco won the throw-in and Beresford tore away; Pemberton got his stick to the ball and then left it for Emerson who was fouled. An easy tap through the posts by Beresford saw Conosco 4-2 ahead. Beresford continued to play a strong game, despite a few missed chances and even a broken stick!
A super solo goal by Emerson took Conosco into a healthy lead in the fourth chukka but a foul against Hitchman gave him the chance to send a 30 yard penalty shot between the posts to pull Gardenvale up to 3-5. The throw-in saw Gardenvale come away with the ball. Another foul gave them a 60 yard penalty and Hitchman scored again. All of a sudden Gardenvale were only a goal behind. The fight for possession was intense with Conosco doing all they could to prevent Gardenvale scoring. With Hitchman and Kiely intent on finding an opportunity, Beresford managed to hook the ball and send away a mighty shot gaining precious seconds until the bell sounded for the end of the match and victory for Conosco on 5-4.
Terry Hanlon presented the PSI Trophy on behalf of Peter Pattenden, founder of People Skills International and a former well-known patron at Cowdray Park. The Best Playing Pony was judged to be Tommy Beresford’s Serpantyna.
The subsidiary Final was another pacey match with The Import House beating DJ Cats 6-5.