With an entry of nine teams, action in the 18 goal Duke of Sutherland Cup extended over a period of three weeks culminating in the Final on Sunday 9th June between Andras Tombor’s Bardon and locally-based Adrian Kirby’s team Cortium.
Playing for Andras Tombor were Matias Machado (5 goals) at 2, Alfredo Bigatti (7 goals) at 3 and Santiago Laborde (6 goals) at Back. For Cortium Martin Podesta (6 goals) took the number 1 position, with Manuel Elizalde (5 goals) at 2, Juan Ambroggio (6 goals) at 3, and the 1 goal patron at Back.
Bigatti for Bardon rapidly put the first goal on the scoreboard but Kirby soundly blocked their next attempt. Soon a well-angled under-the-neck shot from Podesta equalized. Cortium won the ball from the throw-in but Laborde was soon in possession and his pass to Machado saw goal number 2 from Bardon and a 2-1 lead at the end of the first chukka. A free hit to Cortium started the second, and Ambroggio controlled the ball the whole way to Bardon’s goal to make it 2-2. A 30 yard penalty awarded to Cortium saw them take the lead on 3-2 to close the chukka.
Play in the third saw plenty of action but a disappointing lack of goals for Bardon, with two 60 yard penalties failing to find their mark. Cortium went on the attack, their attempt at goal was impeded and the whistle blew. Elizalde’s 30 yard penalty took their score on to 4-2.
The pace continued in the second half, again Bigatti unlucky when a fine under-the-neck shot failed to go through. Kirby picked up the ball and carried it all the way to the Bardon goal to take his team’s score on to 5-2. Another goal for Cortium came from a 30 yard penalty and chukka 4 ended with Bardon having failed to score over three chukkas.
In the final chukka, once more a 60 yard penalty awarded to Bardon went wide. A huge shot from Podesta was picked up by Elizalde, who was challenged in a massive ride-off by Bigatti but Cortium retained the ball with Elizalde flying away to move their score on to 7-2. Finally Bardon replied, Laborde grabbing the ball and a scramble in front of Cortium’s goal enabling Machado to get it over the line. Cortium won the throw-in but Bardon were soon in control, Machado sending a huge hit to Bigatti who scored. But Cortium still weren’t finished. With a last push, a great team effort brought a cheeky little goal resulting in a final scoreline of 8-4.
Stephen Biddlecombe of Stephen’s Polo Division presented the Duke of Sutherland Cup to Adrian Kirby and superb prizes to all players. He presented a saddle to a delighted Min Podesta, judged to be The Most Valuable Player of the match and the Best Playing Pony award went to Iranita Porfia owned and played by Juan Ambroggio.