Yet again Peter Barfoot’s Maiz Dulce found themselves in an 8 goal Final at Cowdray Park, this time for the PSI Trophy, where they faced Garrie Renucci’s Vendetta side.
Seven teams entered this year’s PSI Trophy with Maiz Dulce fielding their multiple-winning side of Millie Barfoot (0 goals) at number 1, Will Harper(2 goals) at 2, John Martin (2 goals) at 3 and Pedro Harrison (4 goals) at Back. Vendetta comprised Garrie Renucci (-1) at the front door, Ollie Cork (3 goals) at 2, Terence Lent (2 goals) at 3 and Jimmy Wood (4 goals) at Back.
A swift goal from Will Harper for Maiz Dulce put the first mark on the scoreboard. On the attack again, the next goal came within a minute from John Martin. Lent blazed away from the throw-in towards the Maiz Dulce goal, but Harper raced in and cleared the ball to be picked up by Pedro Harrison. Great teamwork saw Maiz Dulce’s Harper put the ball between the posts for a 3-0 lead. However, a foul by Maiz Dulce gave Vendetta a 30 yard penalty which Wood saw through and the chukka ended with Maiz Dulce ahead 3-1.
Vendetta came into chukka 2 with a much improved sense of purpose and Lent and Cork combining well. Cork took the ball all the way to the Maiz Dulce goal and, although challenged en route, made a beautifully angled shot to pull back a goal for Vendetta. Vendetta went on the attack from the throw-in, a foul against Cork giving them another 30 yard penalty which Wood sent through to even the scores on 3-3. It wasn’t long before Harrison seized his chance to grab the ball and take Maiz Dulce into the lead again. Harrison’s next attempt went wide, while a whistle gave another chance to Vendetta and Wood was able to send through a penalty 40 yard shot to even the scores on 4-4 as the match went into half time.
A blistering third chukka actually saw zero goals, but the crowd hardly noticed as the action was full of pace and vitality. They weren’t disappointed by the fourth chukka either, Martin flying away in the opening piece of play, the ball stolen by Ollie Cork, but Harper finally snatching it and sending it through the posts for 5-4 to Maiz Dulce. The signature yellow shirts of Maiz Dulce were all over the ball from the throw-in and this time Martin saw it through for 6-4. In the midst of a tough piece of play, Cork received an injury to his face but was patched up by the paramedics and got back into the saddle. A 30 yard penalty was awarded to Vendetta and Wood lost no time in making it 6-5. Maiz Dulce desperately looked for another goal but a good try from Harris went wide. Next up it was Martin who tried a shot at goal, also seeing the ball go wide. Wood for Vendetta brought the ball in but Martin fouled and a penalty 5b was given to Vendetta. Jimmy Wood sent a massive shot forward but Harrison stopped it and started to race away to the opposite end with Vendetta in pursuit. Luckily for Maiz Dulce, the whistle blew to signal the end of the match and they had hung on to their 6-5 lead.
Maiz Dulce’s fifth 8-goal triumph in 2019 was sadly also their last victory together as two of the players have had their handicaps raised for next season. Jo James presented the ornate PSI Cup to a delighted Millie Barfoot with patron Peter Barfoot looking on. Jo also presented prizes to all players. John Martin’s Pin-Up took the Best Playing Pony award.
In the subsidiary Final Martina Lowe’s Yaguara beat Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze 7-4.