Capturing the 12-goal Tyro Cup just weeks earlier, Vere Harmsworth and George Pearson’s Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings found themselves in a second consecutive final, this time at the 15-goal level, competing against Ana Escobedo’s Ojo Caliente for the Cicero Cup on Sunday 22nd May on Ambersham 1. Ojo Caliente, who were the only undefeated team in the tournament with a 3-0 record, had narrowly defeated Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings just ten days earlier.
Vere Harmsworth wore the number 1 shirt for Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings, with George Pearson at number 2, Tom Brodie (5 goals) at 3 and 7-goaler Joaquin Pittaluga at Back. Ana Escobedo positioned herself at number 1 for her Ojo Caliente side with Jimbo Fewster (4 goals) at 2, Simon Prado (5 goals) at 3 and 6-goaler Pite Merlos playing at Back.
Under sunny skies, Ojo Caliente demonstrated why they were the team to beat, charging out of the gate with a 40-yard penalty conversion for Merlos as part of a four-goal first chukka. Jimbo Fewster highlighted the final few minutes of the opening chukka by completing a breakaway to goal and then deftly intercepting the ball on the following play to score with a neck shot from distance, giving Ojo Caliente a 4-1 lead.
Turning to their defence, Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings held the strong Ojo Caliente attack goal-less in the second chukka, allowing them to close the deficit and inch closer on the scoreboard. Brodie tapped in a 30-yard penalty, while Pittaluga confidently ran the ball through the goal on the opposite end to swing the momentum in Ferne Park/Cowdray Viking’s favour and leave them trailing 4-3 at the end of the second chukka.
A second goal for Brodie from a 30-yard penalty completed a run of three consecutive goals and brought the game even at 4-all. The fast-paced third chukka featured few whistles as the teams ran end-to-end. A perfectly executed centre hit resulted in Ojo Caliente’s Prado weaving through the defence to push Ojo Caliente ahead, but it was short-lived as Harmsworth and George Pearson scored two goals in quick succession. A final tally from Fewster ended the thrilling opening half at 6-6.
In the fourth chukka a 60-yard penalty conversion by Pittaluga was quickly answered by a field goal from Merlos leaving the teams deadlocked until a crucial defensive backhand from Brodie in front of the Ferne Park/Cowdray Viking’s goal sprung Pittaluga on a breakaway that ran almost the length of the field to push them ahead on the scoreboard. Pittaluga’s third goal of the chukka gave Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings their first lead at the end of a chukka as the scoreboard read 9-7.
As the fifth chukka got underway, Ferne Park/Cowdray Viking’s determined defence stood strong against the pressure from Ojo Caliente, preventing any open runs to goal. Two fouls to Ojo Caliente turned into penalty conversions for Pittaluga and Brodie, who proved to be a formidable duo for Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings, finishing with a combined nine goals on the day. Remaining focused, Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings kept Ojo Caliente off the scoreboard to complete the 11-7 victory, handing Ojo Caliente their only loss of the tournament and raising their second consecutive cup on the season.
The Hon. Mrs Lila Pearson presented the trophy to her son George Pearson and Vere Harmsworth. Juan Roman, played and owned by Joaquin Pittaluga, was awarded the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug.
ICE CRAFT WIN THE JUBILEE CUP
Eight teams entered the first 6 goal of the season, The Jubilee Cup, with Emma MacRae’s Ice Craft and Peter O’Rourke’s Strategic Help for Heroes securing places in the Final which took place on Sunday 22nd May on Ambersham 1 following the Cicero Cup Final. Emma MacRae wore the number 1 shirt for Ice Craft with Will Drewitt at 2, Angus Rowan Hamilton at 3 and Nick Johnson at Back. For Strategic Help For Heroes, Peter O’Rourke was positioned at 1 alongside Rufus Uloth at 2, Will Brasher at 3 and Matt Evetts at Back. With a combined handicap of 5 goals, Ice Craft started the match with a half goal advantage.
Strategic Help For Heroes were first onto the score board with a field goal from Matt Evetts. Despite several attempts by Ice Craft to find the goalmouth, which included a Safety 60 penalty opportunity taken by Angus Rowan Hamilton, they were unable to score in the first chukka. Strategic Help For Heroes lead 1-0.5 as the chukka ended.
Evetts was able to score again for Strategic Help For Heroes at the start of the second, however Nick Johnson responded with a goal for Ice Craft. As possession switched between the two sides, neither team were able to break through to score and no further goals were conceded as the first half the game came to end on a score of just 2-1.5 in favour of Strategic Help For Heroes.
Following the half time break, Ice Craft upped the pressure and Strategic Help For Heroes conceded a foul which Rowan Hamilton was able to capitalise on as he scored from the resulting spot hit. This was closely followed by another field goal from Johnson to edge Ice Craft ahead by 2.5 goals. Will Brasher was able to counter the attack, scoring for Strategic Help For Heroes, however they no longer held the advantage with the scoreboard reading 4.5 – 3 in favour of Ice Craft by the end of the third chukka.
Unrelenting, Evetts attempted to make up the goal deficit for Strategic Help For Heroes, scoring to put his team within half a goal of Ice Craft, however a consequent placing of the ball wide of the goalmouth by Evetts and a missed 60-yard penalty attempt by Brasher were all Strategic Help For Heroes could produce to try and gain the upper hand. Under pressure, Strategic Help For Heroes conceded a 30-yard penalty which was successfully converted by Rowan Hamilton for Ice Craft to secure the win as the game came to a close on a score of 5.5 – 4.
Emma MacRae was delighted to receive the trophy for Ice Craft from her father Nick Holmes and the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Nix played by Nick Johnson and owned by Alan Kent.