An extremely busy weekend of polo at Cowdray saw the conclusion of three tournaments, the Petworth 12 goal Cup, the 6 goal Jersey Lilies and the 15 goal Bryan Bethell Cup.
The Petworth 12 goal Final was played between Shane Finemore’s Gardenvale and John Bunn’s Hickstead teams. Joining Shane FInemore were Boyd Allen (1 goal) playing at 2, 5 goaler matt Perry at 3, and England captain James Beim (7 goals) at Back. For Hickstead, Ollie Cork (2 goals) played at 2, Niall Donnelly (4 goals) at 3 and Glenn Sherriff (5 goals) at Back making an 11 goal side and a half goal on the scoreboard for Hickstead to start the match.
In a fast game of open polo, Gardenvale made the most impact throughout and went two goals in two minutes. By the close of the first chukka Finemore’s side was 3-1½ ahead. Their domination continued into the second chukka with a great steal by Perry enabling a super goal by Beim, closely followed by Perry himself running with the ball the length of the field to score his second goal. Within a minute, off he went again and at half time the score was 6-1½ in Gardenvale’s favour.
Chukka 3 saw a neat goal from Cork with no answer from Gardenvale. The final chukka saw Hickstead pull back two goals but Gardenvale had remained ahead throughout the match with the final score 6-4½ in their favour. Hannah Johnson presented the Cup to Shane Finemore and prizes to both teams. The Best Playing Pony prize, sponsored by Mrs Lila Pearson, went to Cincuenta owned and played by Matt Perry.
Six teams entered the 6 goal Jersey Lilies Cup and Sunday’s Final was a fast-paced open game between Zoe Bucknell’s JP Daeschler Gunmakers and Jella Herzer’s Los Schatzies. Playing at 2 for JP Daeschler Gunmakers was 2 goal player Terence Lent at 2, young French player Dorian Bulteau (2 goals) at 3 and Nick Clague (3 goals) at Back. Los Schatzies (German for “The Sweethearts”) saw Dylan Jones (0 goals) at 1, with the Patron at 2, Harry Muddle (2 goals) at 3 and Santiago Stirling (5 goals) at Back. Los Schatzies went ahead 2-0 during the first chukka and by half time had drawn ahead 3-1. Nice work on the part of Terence Lent and Dorian Bulteau saw J P Daeschler Gunmakers pull up to 3-4 during the third chukka, but determined play by the 5 goal Uruguyan Santi Stirling dominated much of the action through the match. Harry Muddle scored his second goal for Los Shatzies in the fourth chukka and the final score remained in their favour at 5-4. Mrs Sallie-Anne Lent presented the Cup and prizes.
The Final of the 15 goal Bryan Bethell Cup was played on the River Ground bewtween El Remanso/El Pariaiso and DJ Cats. Jean Paul Luksic (1 goal) played at 1 for El Remanso, Cruz Heguy (1 goal) at 2, Ollie Cudmore (6 goals) at 3 and Eduardo Heguy (7 goals) at back. On David Turner’s DJ Cats side, Charlie Hanbury (4 goals) played at 2, with Jake Daniels (4 goals) at 3, and James Harper (7 goals) at Back.
Ollie Cudmore opened the account for El Remanso/El Paraiso with Jake Daniels answering for DJ Cats with two goals in the first chukka. Good defence prevented any goals for El Remanso/El Pariaiso in the second chukka whilst the patron made a superb run to goal to take his side ahead 3-1. The tables turned in the third with Cruz Heguy scoring for El Remanso/El Pariaiso and Ollie Cudmore plucking the ball out of the air and scoring a super goal to equalizise on 3-3 by half time. James Harper made the first goal of the second half, and was answered by Ollie Cudmore with the scores on 4-4, but once again the Patron found a space, took off and scored to take DJ Cats ahead 5-4. In the final chukka, DJ Cats gave away a penalty to enable Ollie Cudmore to equalize from 30 yards on 5-5. James Harper retaliated with a super goal to 6-5. A 50 yard penalty awarded to El Remanso/El Pariaiso went wide. The ball came in, Charlie Hanbury swooped on it and took it all the way to increase DJ Cats’ lead to 7-5. Once more a penalty was given away enabling El Remanso to pull back a goal but too late to prevent victory for DJ Cats on a final score of 7-6. David Turner said: “The tournament started slowly for us, but we moved Harps to Back and everything fell into place and we started winning. It’s my first season at 15 goal and I’ve loved every second!”
Mrs Annette Bethell presented the trophy in memory of her husband, Bryan Bethell, to a delighted David Turner and prizes to all the players. The Best Playing Pony award sponsored by Saracen Horse Feeds went to Twitter played by Jake Daniels and owned by Jim Gilmore.