Challenge Cup – 18 goal: Match Report
An exciting conclusion to the final 18-goal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club saw Murus Sanctus and Ferne Park battle on Lawns 1, with just one goal separating the two teams.
A foul-ridden opening chukka resulted in Ferne Park’s Joaquin Pittaluga opening the scoring on a penalty 2 conversion, but Murus Sanctus’ Guillermo (Sapo) Caset responded with a penalty 2 of his own to tie the score at the end of the first chukka.
Striving to capture their second consecutive 18-goal title after winning the Duke of Sutherland Cup, Murus Sanctus produced a strong second chukka, dominating possession to outshoot Ferne Park 6-1. Trusting his teammates in the front two positions, Caset hit an impressive neck shot pass to find Corinne Ricard for her first goal, while quickly following up with a backhand pass to Lucas Nottin to complete a three-goal run for Murus Sanctus and give them the 3-1 lead. Ferne Park inched closer on Pittaluga’s second goal of the game but remained trailing by one. Foul trouble kept Ferne Park from tying the score after the conceded another penalty to Caset, but a strong finish to the half saw Marcos Araya find the scoresheet to pull Ferne Park back within one and set up a thrilling second half.
The two evenly matched teams provided consistent pressure to begin the second half, with neither team given an inch in what turned into a back and forth match. Trading penalty conversions, Murus Sanctus maintained their one-goal lead, relying on the duo of Caset and Facundo Sola. A determined Ferne Park attack to end the fourth chukka marched downfield, keeping possession until a Murus Sanctus miscue in front of goal allowed Pittaluga to jump into the play and score his third goal, setting the scene for the fifth chukka.
An impressive defensive play from Caset turned the ball over in front of the Ferne Park goal, giving Murus Sanctus the opportunity they needed to extend their lead. On the receiving end of a backhand pass, Facundo Sola executed a perfect nearside neckshot to give Murus Sanctus the two-goal advantage with minutes remaining. Pittaluga converted another penalty 2 to give Ferne Park a chance to tie the score but Murus Sanctus held off the late charge to capture the 7-6 victory and be crowned Challenge Cup champions.
Winners – Murus Sanctus
Final Score: –
Murus Sanctus 7
Ferne Park 6
The Vickers Trophy awarded for the Best Playing Pony went to Senora Melosa by Open Padrino out of M Honey, owned and ridden by Sapo Caset
Cicero 15 Goal
Winners DJ Cats
Final Score: –
DJ Cats 7
Four Quarters Black 6
Best Playing Pony was awarded to: – Ghetto, homebred and owned and ridden by Ollie Cudmore.
Brecknock 8 Goal
Final Score: –
Best Playing Pony was awarded to: – Salda, owned and ridden by Bautista Sorzana.
Photography credited to Mark Beaumont