A very active day of polo at Cowdray Park on Bank Holiday Monday saw six matches played in total with the Final of the 15 goal Spink & Son Cicero Cup the highlight of the afternoon.
Seven teams entered the tournament with Creighton Boyd’s Confido team facing defending champions Max Kirchhoff’s Snake Bite. Playing alongside Creighton Boyd were 3 goal player Shaun Brokensha at number 2 and brothers Mark and Luke Tomlinson at 3 and Back respectively. Playing alongside Max Kirchhoff were David Ashby (3 goals) at number 2, Matt Perry (5 goals) at 3 and Jack Richardson (7 goals) at Back.
After a scrappy start, and two missed penalties from Mark Tomlinson, the number 3 found some space and ran with the ball to make the first goal for Confido. Confido won the throw-in but Richardson backhanded the ball away from Brokensha to Perry; on went the ball to Max Kirchhoff who neatly put the first mark on the scoreboard for his team. At the close of the first chukka, Jack Richardson had taken the side into a lead of 2-1. A foul in front of the goal marked the opening of the second chukka. Luke Tomlinson was quickly able to score and bring the scores level. A safety 60 yard penalty was awarded to Snake Bite, Richardson sent the ball forward but it was left to Perry to see it between the posts and Snake Bite were in the lead again. As the chukka drew to a close, Mark Tomlinson equalized 3-3 for Confido from a field goal.
At the beginning of the second chukka, a penalty 40 yard shot at goal was sent high and sure over the posts by Richardson and the score moved on to 4-3 in Snake Bite’s favour. As play opened up, the crowd saw plenty of shots at goal narrowly missed, until Perry suddenly swooped on the ball and carried it the length of the field for a super field goal and a lead of 5-3. Snake Bite won the throw-in. Brokensha entered the action and there was a whistle. A 60 yard penalty was awarded to Confido which Mark Tomlinson accurately sent through to pull a goal back. Very quickly he saw the opportunity for a super pass to Creighton Boyd, who popped the ball between the posts to equalize on 5-5. The chukka ended on a whistle and spectators were encouraged onto the pitch for the half-time tread-in.
The fourth chukka opened with a hit in front of the goal resulting in a goal from Perry which raised Snake Bite’s score to 6-5. Confido won the throw in, soon to be stopped by Richardson. Suddenly David Ashby had the ball and made a great run to the goal for 7-5. There was plenty of action but no further goals in the chukka. The final chukka saw two more goals from Richardson taking Snake Bite on to 9-5. Luke Tomlinson was able to put a final mark on the scoreboard for Confido but Snake Bite ran out the winners of the Spink & Son Cicero Cup for a second year on a score of 9-6.
Edward Hilary Davies of Spink & Son presented the Cicero Cup to Max Kirchhoff and bespoke medallions to all players. Jack Richardson’s Corneca was judged Best Playing Pony of the match, and Matt Perry was awarded Most Valuable Player. A new prize for Horsemanship, awarded by Polo Quarterly Magazine, was also awarded to Matt Perry. In the subsidiary final of the Spink & Son Cicero Cup, Golden Falcons narrowly beat DJ Cats 6⅟2-6
In the six goal Jubilee Cup played earlier in the day, Maya Staubach’s Bamboleo team beat J P Daeschler Gunmakers 6-2.