The Duke of Sutherland Cup – Sunday 6th June
Eight teams entered the 2021 Duke of Sutherland Cup, supported by Equine Management, the tournament being one of six HPA competitions played at Cowdray Park and the first of the two 18 goal contests. Black Bears and Emlor, who had narrowly lost out to Murus Sanctus in the 2020 Final, met in this year’s final which was played in near perfect conditions on a pristine Lawns 1.
James McCarthy was quick out of the first line out with the ball for Emlor and headed straight to goal, however possession was quickly stolen away by Black Bear’s Paco O’Dwyer. Possession proceeded to switch between the two teams during the first half of the chukka, with a series of end-to-end runs, however no goals were scored. James McCarthy narrowly missed the goal mouth with a near-side under the neck shot giving a knock in to Black Bears. Paco O’Dwyer knocked the ball in up to Ollie Cudmore. Cudmore hit a big drive up the field to Jimbo Fewster who passed the ball onto Guy Schwarzenbach headed for goal. Ambroggio, in hot pursuit, got the hook but the ball was picked up again by Fewster to score the first goal of the match for Black Bears. Despite several runs to goal by Emlor, Black Bears defence was solid, and the chukka ended with a score of 1-0 in favour of Black Bears.
The second chukka started with a spot hit for Black Bears close to their back line. O’Dwyer sent the ball up to the halfway line but it was stolen back by Emlor. Ambroggio attempted to score with an under the neck shot from the 60-yard line, but the ball went wide the left. After a Black Bears knock in, Emlor regained possession again but fouled to give Black Bears a spot hit. A big drive up the field by Paco O’Dwyer was followed by a tussle around the goal mouth, with Black Bears fighting to keep possession, and Jimbo Fewster tapping the ball between the posts for Bear Bears once again, putting the score at 2-0. Persistent attacking by Emlor was finally rewarded when Juan Ambroggio scored with an under the neck shot from the right of the goal mouth to put Emlor on the board. Black Bears took possession out of the line out and Ollie Cudmore took the ball up the field. Emlor fouled to give Black Bears a 30-yard penalty hit which was successfully converted by Cudmore to put them ahead by 2 goals until the end of the chukka.
The third chukka opened with spot hit in favour of Emlor but Ambroggio’s attempt to convert was unsuccessful. After a determined drive to goal, Guy Schwarzenback narrowly missed scoring and the chance to widen his team’s lead. Following a knock in for Emlor, Black Bears took back possession, but the ball wound up on the end of Richard Tyrone’s stick who sent a huge drive up to goal for Emlor. The ball was tapped between the posts by Pedro Harrison to put the score at 3-2 in favour of Black Bears. Emlor, gaining momentum, took possession again. Ollie Cudmore fouled Tyrone and Emlor were awarded a 30-yard penalty which Ambroggio slotted neatly between the posts to put the score even at 3 all. Emlor took possession out of the line out again and were growing stronger in attack. Black Bears fouled again giving Emlor a spot hit a few yards from the goal. Ambroggio tapped the ball through to put Emlor ahead for the first time. The chukka ended 4-3 in favour of Emlor.
Tyrone scored his first goal for Emlor at the start of the fourth chukka. Ambroggio came out of the next line out with the ball and was fouled by Black Bears to give yet another penalty opportunity to Emlor. Ambroggio scored the 30-yard penalty to put them ahead by 3 goals. Emlor took possession again out of the line out but Paco O’Dwyer was strong in defence at the back and Black Bears took back control of the ball. Emlor fouled in their defending half and the umpires awarded a 40-yard penalty hit to Black Bears which was hit high between the posts by Paco O’Dywer to put the score at 6-4 to Emlor. Black Bears took back possession but were unable to get any suitable opportunities to score. They then fouled again to give Emlor a 60-yard penalty hit which was hit through by Richard Tyrone to put Emlor ahead by 3 goals once again. The chukka ended 7-4.
Tyrone scored again for Emlor a couple of minutes into the fifth and final chukka. Despite a 4-goal deficit, Black Bears were not giving in. A huge shot up the field by Ollie Cudmore gave Jimbo Fewster a chance to take the ball to goal and score for Black Bears. Cudmore narrowly missed the goal putting a big under the neck shot wide to the left. Emlor took the knock in, but it was intercepted by Jimbo Fewster who scored again for Black Bears to put them within 2 goals of Emlor. However, time had run out for Black Bears as the bell sounded for the end of the game, with a final score of 8-6 to Emlor.
The Duke of Sutherland Cup and prizes were presented by Stephen Biddlecombe of Equine Management, who in addition to supplying the prizes, also generously gave a Gonzalito saddle to the Most Valuable Player, Juan Ambroggio. The Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Verra, played and owned by Paco O’Dwyer.
The Easebourne Cup Final – Saturday 5th June
Four teams entered the 2021 Easebourne Cup tournament. John Bunn’s Hickstead came up against Stephanie Haverhals’s team, MJVH Polo in the Final which took place on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Ambersham 2.
Hickstead dominated in the first chukka and were quick to gain the upper hand by taking advantage of fouls made by MJVH Polo. Alfie Hyde successfully converted a 30-yard and a 40-yard penalty for Hickstead. MJVH Polo missed two opportunities to score, and the chukka ended 2-0 in favour of Hickstead.
MJVH Polo were strong in attack in the second chukka and made several attempts at goal. Their persistence was rewarded when their number two, Diego Valeriani, scored the only goal of the chukka to put MJVH on the board. The chukka ended with a score of 2-1 to Hickstead.
Hickstead gained possession again in the third chukka with Niall Donnelly and Alfie Hyde both putting the ball wide of the goal and John Bunn scoring to put his team ahead by two goals.
MJVH were not giving in and fought hard to equalise the score in the fourth chukka. Hickstead fouled to give MJVH a spot hit which was converted by 5 goaler Glenn Sherriff who was then quick to score again with a field goal, putting the score at 3 goals apiece. Hickstead responded when Alfie Hyde managed to score to put them ahead once again. However, with the clock ticking, MJVH were not letting the game slip away from them and Valeriani scored again to equalise and put the game into extra time.
It was Sam Browne who scored the winning goal to bring the Easebourne Cup home for Hickstead with a final score of 5-4.
The X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to ‘Harry’ played and owned by Glenn Sherriff.
Photos by Mark Beaumont. Click here to view the full galleries.