Ten teams entered the first HPA tournament of the season, the 12-goal Dollar Cup, with Creighton Boyd’s Confido and Henry Lunn’s Bel Polo securing places in the Final which took place on Sunday 29th May on Ambersham 1.
Ed Hitchman (4 goals) wore the number 1 shirt for Confido with Creighton Boyd positioning himself at 2, Matias Mac Donough Jrn (4 goals), subbing for Rosendo Torreguitar, at 3 and South African 3-goaler Shaun Brokensha at Back. For Bel Polo, Henry Lunn was positioned at 1 alongside Charles Cooney (3 goals) at 2, 5-goaler Ed Banner-Eve at 3 and Tommy Severn (4 goals) at Back. With both teams undefeated on route to the final, it was a close contest which resulted in a nail-biting extra chukka.
On the opening play of the game, Bel Polo’s Charles Cooney jumped on a loose ball, hitting a cut shot to goal and fought to come back to the line, bumping the defender and eventually running the ball through the posts for the first goal of the match. A successful 30-yard penalty conversion from Matias Mac Donough Jr. ended a competitive opening chukka, as it was evident the two teams were evenly matched, and a close game would ensue. In one of the best plays of the match, Confido took a knock-in from their own end, going the length of the field with Creighton Boyd hitting a booming shot from outside 60 yards to tie the game at 2-all at the end of the first half.
Continuing to exchange goals, Bel Polo’s Tommy Severn added his second 30-yard penalty conversion, while on the following throw-in, a backhand from Shaun Brokensha sprung Mac Donough Jr. on a breakaway. Leaving the ball behind, teammate Ed Hitchman found his way through the defenders to tie the game for a third time. Distributing the ball from the back position, Brokensha found Mac Donough Jr. around midfield and after juggling the ball in the air, Mac Donough Jr. raced past the last defender and scoring on a memorable nearside neck-shot to give Confido their first lead of the match at 4-3. The high-scoring third chukka ended with Confido clinging onto the one-goal advantage entering the final chukka.
Stepping into the line-up seamlessly, Mac Donough Jr. provided a clutch 60-yard penalty conversion to extend Confido’s lead to two, but foul trouble allowed Bel Polo to battle back into contention. A spot hit for Ed Banner-Eve and 30-yard penalty conversion for Severn with just one minute remaining suddenly brought the game back into a tie at 6-all. In one final charge downfield, Confido had a chance to win the game, but the shot rolled wide, sending the final into overtime. As was the case throughout the entire match, little was conceded to either team as time ticked on and the game-winning goal was still looming. Gaining possession on the side boards, Mac Donough Jr. faked a backshot and turned into the middle of the field. Weaving back to the right, Mac Donough Jr. hit a lofted shot from 60 yards out that sailed through the goal with Confido celebrating the 7-6 overtime victory and Dollar Cup title.
Creighton Boyd was delighted to receive the trophy for Confido from Mr Julian Dollar. Matias Mac Donough Jnr was awarded the Most Valuable Player prize and the No.3 Pursuit of Perfection Best Playing Pony rug was presented to Camdombera played by Matias Mac Donough Jnr and owned by his uncle Pablo Mac Donough.
In the Subsidiary Final of the Dollar Cup, played for the Robert Fraser Cup, Cotton House/Gaston were victorious against Gallagher on Ambersham 2. José María Trenor and Jean Paul Luksic received the Cup together from Mrs Annabel Lloyd.