Seven teams entered the first 12-goal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park with Creighton Boyd’s Confido and George Pearson and Vere Harmsworth’s Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings both making their way to the Final which took place at sunny Ambersham on Sunday 8th May.
Vere Harmsworth wore the number 1 shirt for Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings with James Mann at number 2, George Pearson at 3 and 7-goaler Joaquin Pittaluga at Back. For Confido, Ed Hitchman was positioned at number 1, with Creighton Boyd at 2, Rosendo Torreguita at 3 and Shuan Brokensha at Back.
Creighton Boyd was first to score 3 ½ minutes into the first chukka, putting Confido ahead 1-0. The teams headed back to the middle for the throw in, however the whistle quickly sounded and spot hit was awarded to Confido. Shaun Brokensha launched the ball up to Ed Hitchman who scored with a neat cut shot putting Confido ahead by two goals. Several melees ensued with the ball pinging back and forth around the Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings goalmouth, however Confido were able to gain control with Brokensha picking up a quick pass from Rosendo Torreguita and scoring, giving Confido a three-goal lead at the end of the first chukka with the scoreboard reading 3-0.
A few minutes into the second chukka Vere Harmsworth was able to tee up the ball for Joaquin Pittaluga who scored to put Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings on the board. Confido continued to hustle for possession with Hitchman finding the ball and attempting a big under the neck shot but it went wide. Possession continued to switch back and forth in the middle of the field however, it was Pittaluga who was able to maintain possession and run the ball to goal to put Ferne Park/Cowdray within one goal with the score at 3-2 to Confido in the last two minutes of the chukka. A whistle followed the next throw in, awarding a spot hit to Confido. The ball was hit up to Torreguita who put the ball between the posts to give Confido a 4-2 lead at half time.
The third chukka began with a throw in close to Confido’s goalmouth, however the umpires were quick to blow to whistle as a Confido player fouled. Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings were awarded a 30-yard penalty which was hit neatly between the post by Pittaluga to put his team back within one. From here Pittaluga found his 7-goal form, working his way around the Confido defence and scoring two break-away goals in concession to put the score momentarily at evens and then giving Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings the advantage for the first time. The chukka ended on a score of 5-4 to Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings.
The fourth and final chukka started with a hit in from the back line by Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings, however they fouled to concede a penalty to Confido. Confido were unable to convert, and the ball was quickly back on the end of Pittaluga’s stick. He passed the ball up to Pearson who was able to find the goalmouth and give Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings a two-goal lead with the score at 6-4. However, Confido were unrelenting and Torreguita took the ball out the line out with Pearson in hot pursuit. A foul by Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings meant Confido were awarded a 30-yard penalty hit which was successfully converted by Hitchman to put Confido back within one-goal on a score of 6-5. Creighton Boyd took the ball out of the following line out but was hooked out of it by Pittaluga. A determined Torreguita hustled for possession and took the ball to goal to score for Confido and put the game at an even 6-6. A tussle in the Confido goalmouth ensued with Confido desperate to clear the ball to safety, however it was James Mann who found the ball and nudged it between the posts giving Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings the advantage once again with less than a minute on the clock. Confido fought to even the score into the remaining seconds of the game but it wasn’t to be as the whistle sounded and the game concluded with a score of 7-6 to Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings.
Prize giving took place at the Ambersham Clubhouse and George Pearson and Vere Harmsworth stepped down from the podium to receive The Tyro Cup from Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Chairman, Andrew Swaffield. The X-Zony rug for the Best Playing Pony was presented to Coco, played and owned by Joaquin Pittaluga.