Concluding the 18-goal final of the Duke of Sutherland Cup supported by Stephen’s Polo Division / Equine Management at Cowdray Park Polo Club, Four Quarters Orange and Altimira K met on Sunday 5th June on Lawns 2 to see which team would emerge from the competitive field of 13 teams. Battling for the second time in the tournament, Four Quarters Orange took the first meeting against Altimira K 10-6 to enter the final as the only undefeated team, while Altimira K rebounded from losses in their first two matches to secure their place.
Simon Arber played in the number 1 position for Four Quarters Orange, while three six-goalers in Gonzalo Ferrari, Ignacio Negri and Felipe Dabas rounded out the team at 2, 3 and Back. Rufino Laulhe wore the number 1 shirt for Altimira K (replacing Adriano Agosti), while Manuel Elizalde (6 goals) played at number 2, alongside Marcos Araya in the number 3 position (substituting for Rufino Bensadon) and Gaston Laulhe (5 goals) at Back.
Trading goals to begin play, Ignacio Negri hit the ball between the posts from the field to initiate the scoring for Four Quarters Orange, as Altimira K’s Manuel Elizalde answered by converting one of his two penalty attempts to keep the two teams deadlocked 1-all and set the tone for a close match. Continuing the back-and-forth battle in the second chukka, Altamira K continued to produce offence from the penalty line, receiving two 40-yard penalty conversions from Elizalde, however Four Quarters Orange were working effectively from the field as each of their three 6-goalers produced one field goal each to leave the contest tied at 3-all after the second chukka. Turning to a strong defensive effort, Four Quarters Orange held their opponents to just two shots from the field as Gonzalo Ferrari’s second goal of the match broke the stalemate for the first time to give them a slim 4-3 advantage by half time.
Building on their late third chukka momentum, Four Quarters Orange leading scorer Ferrari picked up right where he left off, scoring his team’s fifth goal of the match. With Four Quarters Orange seemingly on their way to the victory, Altamira K found the goal for the first time since the second chukka with Gaston Laulhe coming forward from the back to add his first tally and pull Altamira K within one goal. Limited to just one field goal the entire match, Altamira K struggled to keep pace with a Four Quarters Orange team that continued to control possession in open play. Applying pressure early in the fifth chukka, Negri contributed his second goal of the match, which was quickly followed by a goal from Ferrari to pull their team ahead 7-4. Facing a three-goal deficit with little time remaining, a late 40-yard penalty conversion by Araya for Altamira K was not enough to challenge Four Quarters Orange, who completed their successful run through the tournament to raise the prestigious Duke of Sutherland Cup with an 8-5 victory.
Simon Arber stepped down from the podium to receive the trophy from Stephen Biddlecombe of Stephen’s Polo / Equine Management, who also generously provided prizes to all of the players, including the Most Valuable Player prize, a set of bridles, which was awarded to Gonzalo Ferrari. The Best Playing Pony rug was given to Leyenda Negra, played and owned by Gonzalo Ferrari.
The Easebourne Cup
Six teams entered the 2022 8-goal Easebourne Cup tournament, with John Bunn’s Hickstead making it to the final for a second consecutive year to face Garrie Renucci’s Vendetta on Ambersham 2 on Saturday 4th June.
John Bunn positioned himself at number 1 for his Hickstead side with Sam Browne at 2, Evan Power at 3 and Niall Donnelly at Back. For Vendetta, Garrie Renucci wore the number 1 shirt, alongside Jimmy Wood at 2, young Beanie Bradley at 3 and Ollie Cork at Back.
Hickstead took control of the game during the first chukka, making several attempts to score, however with only one making it between the posts was from the end of Evan Power’s stick. A wide shot at goal from Beanie Bradley and no other opportunities to scoring arising, left Vendetta scoreless at the end of the first chukka with Hickstead leading 1-0.
Vendetta came back strong in attack as the second chukka got underway with a field goal from Ollie Cork, and despite two missed attempts, Jimmy Wood was able to convert a 30-yard penalty to put Vendetta ahead 2-1. However, John Bunn was able to score for Hickstead to level the game to 2 goals apiece by half time.
Vendetta kept up their persistent attack throughout the third chukka as Hickstead encountered foul trouble giving Wood the opportunity to score twice from 40-yard penalty opportunities, in addition to his first field goal. Hickstead were left unable to drive forwards to goal and remained scoreless by the end of the third chukka as the board read 5-2 in favour of Vendetta.
Hickstead weren’t giving up as play continued into the final chukka with another field goal from John Bunn and successful penalty conversions by Niall Donnelly from both the 60-yard and 40-yard lines. The score was an even 6-6 as the final bell sounded to take the game into extra time. It was Wood who was able to find the goalmouth first to score for Vendetta and secure the Easebourne Cup.
Garrie Renucci was delighted to receive the trophy from Mrs Susie Gould and the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Tommy, played and owned by Jimmy Wood.
The Tillington Trophy
In the 2-goal Tillington Trophy on Sunday 5th June, High Point Polo Stud were victorious against Tony Lorenz’s TLC Polo in a close game on Ambersham 2. The X-Zony Best Playing Pony was awarded to Emezeta Maia, played by Brigitte Boher, owned by JC Boher and bred by Martin Zubia.