Six teams entered the Club’s third 8-goal contest of the season, The Benson Cup, which saw Lila Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings and Maya Staubach’s Bamboleo meeting in a close final on Ambersham 1 on Saturday 25th June. Lila Pearson wore the number 1 shirt for Cowdray Vikings with James Mann (2) at 2, Ed Hitchman (4) at 3 and Ben Turner (2) at Back. Maya Staubach positioned herself at number 1 for her team with Ben Crowe (2) at 2, Nick Johnson (3) at 3 and Josh Cork (3) at Back.
Bamboleo quickly gained the upper hand in the opening chukka as three attempts for Cowdray Vikings by Ed Hitchman went wide. Nick Johnson successfully converted a 30-yard penalty, closely followed by a field goal from Ben Crowe, to put Bamboleo ahead 2-0 by the end of the first chukka. Hitchman found his rhythm as the second chukka got underway scoring to put Cowdray Vikings within one and strong Cowdray Vikings defence kept Bamboleo from scoring.
As the second half of the game began, foul trouble for Bamboleo meant Cowdray Vikings were awarded a 60-yard penalty opportunity which, despite the wind, was successfully converted by Hitchman to put the score at 2 goals apiece. However, the even score was short lived as Nick Johnson found the goalmouth to put Bamboleo back in the lead. Despite Bamboleo heading into the final chukka with the advantage, strong defending by Cowdray Vikings kept Bamboleo at bay and they were unable to concede another goal. Hitchman, finding momentum, successfully converted a 40-yard penalty to even the score to 4-all. With just seconds to go Hitchman found himself with the ball and ran to goal to score and win the game for Cowdray Vikings with the scoreboard reading 4-3. Lila Pearson was delighted to receive The Benson Cup and the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to 6-year-old bay mare, Annie, played and owned by Ed Hitchman.
In the Sub Final, John Bunn’s Hickstead were victorious against Garrie Renucci’s Vendetta with a final score of 5-3.
Pip Hitchman, Cowdray Park Polo Club