Cowdray Park’s first Tournament of the 2017 polo season saw Gardenvale face Emlor in the Final of the 12 goal Tyro Cup. Playing alongside Shane Finemore for Gardenvale were English 6 goalers James Beim and James Harper
and 1 goal player Jimbo Fewster. Laura Ormerod’s Emlor team was made up of talented young 2 goal Argentine player Jose Ramon Araya and English players Jack Richardson (6 goals) and Henry Fisher (4 goals).
Finemore made a great start to the match by scoring the opening goal within 30 seconds. His number 2, Fewster, new to Cowdray Park, made his presence felt with good passing and several useful interventions. His opposite number, Araya, ably assisted the senior players in the Emlor side and was first on the ball when Beim sent forward a penalty hit. However, Beim soon regained possession and raced away only to be fouled again. Awarded a 30 yard penalty, he sent a mighty shot through the goal posts to give Gardenvale a 2-0 lead at the end of the first chukka.
Harper was onto the ball from the throw-in which started chukka 2 but a foul gave Gardenvale a safety 60, accurately put through the posts by Beim to take the score on to 3-0. Harper and Beim reacted confidently to each other’s moves thereby closing down much of Emlor’s attack. An attempt at goal by Araya was saved on the doorstep and swiftly Beim was racing away with the ball. However, Emlor’s interception saw Beim lose possession but Fewster made a grab for the ball and with plenty of space in front of him angled a super shot to make goal number 4 for Gardenvale.
From the first throw-in of the second half, Araya and Fisher made a determined effort to turn the tide. Although hassled by Harper, Araya suddenly seized an opportunity for a swift long shot towards the goal and was rewarded with Emlor’s first mark on the scoreboard. Fewster won the ball from the throw-in, passed to Beim who sent it forward to Finemore. Gardenvale’s patron lost no time in deftly achieving his second goal and the score moved on to 5-1. With the pace increasing, Henry Fisher made most of the running for the next goal leaving it to Araya to send the ball between the posts for Emlor’s second goal. The action moved back in favour of Gardenvale with Harper well on the way to a goal. He was impeded and the whistle blew for a penalty. A spot hit was given and Beim moved Gardenvale on to a lead of 6-2. The action continued to race along, Beim stealing the ball from Jack Richardson but sending it wide of the goalposts. Richardson swiftly brought the ball in sending a long shot to Fisher. A foul resulted in a 5b being awarded to Emlor and Richardson sent a huge shot forward. Laura Ormerod seized the chance and made a lovely goal to finish the chukka on 3-6.
The final chukka saw Gardenvale continue to dominate the match, James Beim making goal scoring look easy with his fourth of the match and 7-3 to Gardenvale. Fisher tried but failed to score for Emlor. The ball came in from the back line with four players fighting for it, but with a lovely turn of speed Araya claimed it and made a beautiful goal to bring Emlor up to 4-7. Try as they might, Emlor could not break through Gardenvale’s defence and the final score remained on 4-7.
Shane Finemore was delighted to receive the Tyro Cup from Nicci Bethell at the start of his first year as a full playing member of Cowdray Park, making a very satisfactory start to his season.