Twelve teams entered the popular August 12 goal Lodsworth Village Cup with Ray Fine’s Las Estrellas and his son Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze making it through to the Final on 14th August
Making his first appearance on a UK polo field for many years, in the Las Estrellas side was the legendary manager of Ellerston, Australian Jim Gilmore, now playing off 1 goal who took the number 2 position, Emma Boers (0 goal) played at number 1, Tomas Beresford (4 goals) at 3 and Ray Fine took his usual position at Back. Wilf Fine (-1) played at number 1 for Sea Breeze, with 14 year old Will Harper (-1) at 2, Nick Pepper (4 goals) at 3 and Charles Seavill (2 goals) at Back.
A super goal from Charles Seavill just before the bell sounded to end the first chukka took Sea Breeze into the lead. Nick Pepper for Sea Breeze won the ball from the throw-in which opened the second chukka and passed it to Wilf Fine. Wilf made a great run down the pitch but his shot at goal went wide. Pepper soon re-captured the ball and sent it between the posts for the team’s second goal. The next throw-in saw Charles Seavill win the ball and take it the length of the pitch to move Sea Breeze’s score onto 3-0. Soon after, a roll-in from the boards saw Pepper in possession of the ball again; he was challenged by Beresford but a well-placed Will Harper made a grab for it and the youngster’s super shot at goal gave Sea Breeze a lead of 4-0. Beresford for Las Estrellas was on his metal when Pepper attempted a 60 yard penalty shot at goal. Having successfully blocked the goal, Tommy Beresford tore off with the ball to the opposite end to finally open Las Estrellas’ scoring and the first half ended with Sea Breeze ahead 4-1.
Following the half time treading-in, Sea Breeze continued their attack with Will Harper racing away from the first throw-in. Despite being hassled by Emma Boers, he delivered a lovely cut shot between the posts for 5-1. Tommy Beresford went on the attack, the whistle blew and Las Estrellas were awarded a safety 60 enabling Tommy to score again for Fine Senior’s side. Sea Breeze won the next throw-in but an attempt at goal by Seavill went wide. In came the ball from the back line and both Gilmore and Boers helped to move it forward leaving Beresford to make a lovely finish with a huge shot at goal moving Las Estrellas’ onto 3-5. Lively, clean play continued in the fourth chukka of this all-action match. A tail backhand from Pepper saw Wilf Fine move the ball on but it was Charles Seavill who once again scored for Sea Breeze. When the ball went out over the boards, Beresford secured it and sent it to a perfectly placed Emma Boers who neatly completed the teamwork needed to move Las Estrellas up to 4-6. The next throw-in saw Beresford outwit Pepper to claim the ball and race away but his lovely under the neck shot shot at goal went wide. Pepper hit the ball in, Beresford took on each member of the Sea Breeze side and finally achieved the goal which brought Las Estrellas to within a goal of their opponents on 5-6! However, Sea Breeze remained focussed and whilst Gilmore was bringing the ball round, Pepper poached it and raced all the way to score the winning goal for his side on a final score of 7-5.
This was a match which Ray Fine would have been happy to see go either way. “I’m delighted with the result,” he said. “It was a great victory for two young boys and they should share the Cup.” His wife, Mrs Kerry Fine, duly presented the Lodsworth Village Cup to Wilf Fine and Will Harper and both teams lined up for a great family photo.
In the subsidiary Final, Los Hamblinos/Burningfold beat Cowdray Vikings/GCN 4-3.