The Final of the 15-goal Bryan Bethell Cup took place on Saturday 11th June on the Ambersham 1 and pitted the remaining two undefeated teams in Valhalla/Madams Farm and Jolly Roger King of Polo to decide the title. Both advancing into the final with narrow one-goal victories in the semi-finals, the second of three 15-goal titles of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club was decided in a competitive match.
Justin MacRae entered the number 1 position for Valhalla/Madams Farm, with Nick Johnson (3 goals) at number two. Lucas Monteverde Jr (6 goals) played in place of Michel Del Carril, while Jack Richardson (6 goals) was at Back. For Jolly Roger King of Polo, four-goaler Ollie Cork wore the number 1 shirt, while Chris Mackenzie (6 goals) and Glenn Sherriff (5 goals) played the number two and three positions respectively. Rounding out the team, Niclas Johansson (0 goals) played in the Back position.
Striking first in the match, Valhalla/Madams Farm’s Jack Richardson sent a 30-yard penalty hit through the posts for the opening goal, with young Monteverde Jr. doubling the lead to two just moments later. Withstanding the early pressure from Valhalla/Madams Farm, Jolly Roger King of Polo responded thanks to the efforts of Glenn Sherriff, who ended the first chukka with back-to-back goals to bring the game even at 2-all. After the fast-paced first chukka, both teams dug in defensively and limited open runs to goal. Richardson broke through for his second goal, but it would be the only offense of the second chukka, leaving Valhalla/Madams Farm narrowly ahead by one. Carrying the momentum into the third chukka, Richardson’s third goal pushed his team further ahead, but as they did in the first chukka, Jolly Roger King of Polo turned to Sherriff to close the gap. Adding two more goals in the chukka, Sheriff provided a consistent source of offence, but foul trouble ultimately prevented Jolly Roger King of Polo from pulling even as they conceded two 30-yard penalty conversions to Monteverde Jr to trail 6-4 at the half-time break.
The back-and-forth game continued into the second half with Nick Johnson’s first goal matched by a field goal from Ollie Cork. Asserting himself from both the field and the penalty line, Monteverde Jr. continued to be a difference maker on the field, contributing two more goals to suddenly put Valhalla/Madams Farm ahead by four. However, before the end of the fourth chukka, Chris Mackenzie converted an important 60-yard penalty to keep Jolly Roger King of Polo within three entering the final chukka. The case throughout much of the game, the duo of Richardson and Monteverde Jr. drove the Valhalla/Madams Farm attack as they combined for one more goal each, scoring 10 of their team’s 11 goals. Despite two late goals from Mackenzie, Valhalla/Madams Farm completed the impressive 11-8 victory and were crowned the 15-goal Bryan Bethell Cup champions.
Justin MacRae stepped down from the podium to receive the Bryan Bethell Cup from Polo Manager and son of the late Bryan Bethell, Chris Bethell, whilst the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Zeta played by Lucus Monteverde Jnr. And owned by Michel del Carril.
The Petworth 12-Goal Cup
The final of the Petworth 12-Goal Cup featured a competitive match on Ambersham 1 on the morning of Sunday 12th June between undefeated Cotton House and Bamboleo/Madams Farm. Playing each other just five days earlier, Cotton House claimed a narrow two-goal victory and set their sights on an unbeaten run through the tournament.
José Maria Trenor played in the number 1 position for Cotton House, while three-goalers John Martin and Alfie Hyde played the second and third positions respectively. At back, Malcolm Borwick (5 goals) rounded out the Cotton House Team. Christian Staubach donned the number 1 shirt for Bamboleo/Madams Farm, while Ben Crowe (2 goals) played at number 2, Nick Johnson (3 goals) at number 3 and Manual Elizalde (6 goals) at Back.
Displaying a closely matched contest, Cotton House and Bamboleo/Madams Farm battled over the opening chukka in an attempt to gain the upper hand in the early stages. Cotton House’s Alfie Hyde found the mark for the first goal of the game, as defence ruled the remainder of the first chukka to leave Cotton House ahead by one. Elizalde answered with a 60-yard penalty conversion to restore the tie, but it was short-lived as Cotton House reorganised and produced a three-goal unanswered run before the end of the first half. A 30-yard penalty conversion for Malcolm Borwick was quickly followed by consecutive field goals from John Martin with Cotton House beginning to separate themselves in the match. However, just before the half-time bell, Elizalde’s second goal cut the deficit to two, leaving the score at 4-2 in favour of Cotton House.
Following the break, Bamboleo/Madams Farm turned to their defence to spark a comeback in the third chukka. Keeping Cotton House off the scoreboard, Bamboleo/Madams Farm pulled even after two more tallies from Elizalde, one on a 40-yard penalty conversion and a second from the field as he accounted for all four of his team’s goals in the 4-4 tie. With just seven minutes left to decide the champion and the teams back at even. Finding an opportune moment to take their first lead, Elizalde converted from the 40-yard line to push Bamboleo/Madams Farm ahead by one, but a resilient Cotton House team found a response. Hyde brought the game even at 5-all and with the game on the line, John Martin came through with his third goal to seal the 6-5 victory and secure the Petworth 12-Goal Cup.
Jose Maria Trenor gladly received the Petworth Cup from Mrs Maya Staubach and the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Nyx, played by Nick Johnson and owned by Alan Kent.
The Jersey Lilies Cup
In the Jersey Lilies Cup on Saturday 11th June, Emma MacRae’s Ice Craft were victorious against Peter O’Rourke’s Strategic Shipping in a very close contest on Ambersham 2. The X-Zony Best Playing Pony was awarded to Bear, played and owned by Matt Evetts.