Thirteen teams entered the 2017 Dollar Cup, the first of Cowdray Park’s annual series of six HPA tournaments open to all-comers. Emma McCarthy’s Emlor C made it through to the Final, having won all their league matches, to face Darko Horvat’s Foxcote.
Horvat, playing off -1, was joined by 3 goal player Tom Beim at number 2 in the Foxcote team with England player Ollie Cudmore (5 goals) at number 3 and Argentine 5 goaler Jacinto Crotto at Back. Emma McCarthy’s 0 goal handicap was complemented by English players Jack Richardson (6 goals) at 3, Henry Fisher (4 goals) at Back and the talented young 2 goal Argentine player Jose Ramon Araya at 2.
Emlor C made a feisty start with Richardson and Fisher steering the ball away from Foxcote and setting up Emma McCarthy for a shot at goal. The whistle blew and a 30 yard penalty gave Jack Richardson the chance to put Emlor C in the lead. With the action flying along at a great pace, the first chukka concluded with the score remaining 1-0 in Emlor C’s favour.
The first score in chukka 2 saw another penalty awarded to Emlor C and Jack Richardson sending a lofty 60-yard shot between the posts to take the side on to 2-0. Crotto for Foxcote won the throw-in and raced away, riding through Richardson’s defense, Cudmore joined in the attack and the whistle blew again. Crotto lost little time in sending a 30 yard penalty shot in Foxcote’s favour between the posts. The pace continued with attacking play by both sides and each looking for that elusive route to goal. Finally, young Araya chased Cudmore long enough to grab the ball from him and pass to Richardson who, with sufficient space around him, carried the ball all the way through Foxcote’s goal posts to take his team on to 3-1. Richardson missed the next penalty awarded to Emlor C. Crotto brought the ball in, Cudmore latched onto it and although a brave defense was made by Emma McCarthy, Foxcote’s number 3 re-gained possession and was off, racing down the field to bring the side within one goal of Emlor C at half time.
A surprising chukka 3 saw the red shirts of Emlor C racing all over the pitch but unable to consolidate their position. A 30 yard penalty was given away enabling Foxcote to equalise at 3-3 with a shot from Crotto. Cudmore won the ball from the throw-in, Richardson tried to stop him but a bouncing ball enabled Cudmore to steal it back and gallop away to score a super field goal. Foxcote were ahead for the first time in the match on 4-3. Crotto won the next piece of play, grabbed the ball and helped Foxcote end the third chukka 5-3 ahead.
The yellow shirts of Foxcote dominated the match from the beginning of chukka 4. Once more a whistle stopped the match and a 60 yard penalty was awarded. Crotto sent an accurate ball high over the goal posts and Foxcote went 6-3 ahead. Emlor C were not so lucky. When Richardson tried to send a similarly lofted 60 yard penalty shot through the posts the tricky wind was against him. When the ball came back into play, Araya did his best to move it up the pitch but lost it over the boards. Cudmore raced away from the line-out with Fisher in pursuit. Into the frame once more came Crotto who raced off to score his fifth goal of the afternoon and 7-3 on the board for Foxcote. Cudmore made a shot at goal which went wide. The ball came in, Fisher passed to Emma McCarthy, Jack Richardson took over and passed to Araya who found the space to turn and with excellent control sent the ball between the posts to recoup a goal for Emlor C. But the red shirts had left it too late and the Foxcote side were able to claim victory in the 2017 Dollar Cup on a final score of 7-4.
Laura McCarthy was delighted to present the trophy to her sister Emma and prizes to all players. The Polo Times Best Playing Pony award went to Fiasco owned by Ollie Cudmore and Jacinto Crotto was awarded The Polo Magazine’s Most Valuable Player prize.
In the subsidiary final, Jeremy Pemberton’s Conosco beat John Gunn’s Inspirit/Kildare 8-6.