The sun shone down on Cowdray Park’s beautiful Brooksfield for the Final of the Dollar Cup, the first of the Club’s six HPA tournaments, which saw a rematch of the 2019 Final with Ana Escobedo’s team Ojo Caliente meeting Creighton Boyd’s side, Confido. Twelve teams entered the tournament.
Not only had the teams met in the 2019 Final, with Confido taking the win, they had also come up against each other during the league stage with Ojo Caliente winning by a goal in extra time. Was the same about to happen again?
Ed Hitchman (3 goals) wore the number 1 shirt for Confido with Creighton Boyd (1 goal) in the number 2 position, Richard Tyrone (5 goals) at 3 and South African, Shaun Brokensha (3 goals), at Back. Ana Escobedo (0 goals) played at number 1 for her side with Jonny Good (4 goals) at number 2, Zac Beim (2 goals) at 3 and New Zealand’s, John Paul (JP) Clarkin playing off 6 goals at Back.
An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the game from the Brooksfield bank which got off to a relatively slow start in terms of goals scored. Both teams were strong on the attack, however neither had made it onto the scoreboard by the end of the first chukka which saw several missed opportunities by both teams.
The second chukka saw a little more goal post action with Zac Beim scoring first for Ojo Caliente with a big under the neck shot from a great pass by Jonny Good. This was shortly answered by Confido’s Shaun Brokensha scoring to put them even. Ojo Caliente took the lead again with a goal from JP Clarkin followed by a miss to the right of the goal mouth by Ana Escobedo to end the chukka 2-1 at half time.
After a swift regroup the teams were back on the field and JP Clarkin was quick to score to again for Ojo Caliente giving them a momentary two goal lead. However, Confido came back strong on the attack with Richard Tyrone scoring Confido’s second goal of the match. Ed Hitchman backed the ball to Tyrone which was then picked up by Creighton Boyd to score again for Confido, bringing the score to an even 3-3. Ojo Caliente missed two opportunities to gain the upper hand and a foul by Jonny Good resulted in the umpires awarding a 30-yard penalty to Confido which was put between the posts by Richard Tyrone, putting them ahead by one for the first time. Ojo Caliente fouled again as the whistle blew to finish the third chukka 4-3 in favour of Confido.
Confido started the fourth and final chukka with a 40-yard penalty taken by Tyrone but it was stopped and cleared by JP Clarkin. Confido regained possession and Ojo Caliente fouled again to give away another penalty opportunity, however the 60-yard penalty hit was put wide to the left by Tyrone keeping the score at 4-3 to Confido. A foul hook by Confido resulted in a 60-yard spot hit being awarded to Ojo Caliente. JP Clarkin struck the ball along the ground which was stopped by Creighton Boyd but it was picked up by Jonny Good who scored to put the game even at four goals apiece.
With the clock ticking, further pressured attempts at goal by both teams ensued. Ana Escobedo was able to back the ball off the boards towards the goal mouth to be picked up by Jonny Good but he nudged it wide. Brokensha knocked the ball in for Confido but Ojo Caliente regained possession. A foul by Confido gave another 60-yard penalty to Ojo Caliente but it was hit wide to the left by JP Clarkin. Brokensha tapped the ball in again for Confido who were able to get the ball up to Ed Hitchman. Congestion in front of the goal mouth meant he was forced to take a shot at goal, putting it just wide to the right. Ojo Caliente then hit the ball in from the back line up to their end but another shot at goal was put wide by JP Clarkin. The final whistle blew with the score unchanged at 4-4, putting the match into extra time.
The extra chukka began with a roll in 10 yards off Confido’s back line. After a tussle around the goal mouth and an attempt at goal by Ana Escobedo, Confido fouled giving Ojo Caliente a spot hit directly in front of goal. JP Clarkin tapped it in to win the Dollar Cup for Ojo Caliente with a final score of 5-4.
The X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Celtic Tiger, played and owned by JP Clarkin, and Zac Beim was awarded the Most Valuable Player prize.
In the Subsidiary Final, played for the Robert Fraser Cup, Hickstead won 9-7 against Gallagher.
Photos by Mark Beaumont. Click here to view the full galleries.