An impressive fourteen teams entered the final 12 goal tournament of the season, the Autumn Cup, also part of the HPA Victor Ludorum series. Christian Staubach’s Bamboleo/Madams Farm and Ana Escobedo’s Ojo Caliente met in the final. Having won the Cup in both 2019 and 2020, Ojo Caliente were in pursuit of the hattrick.
Conceding half a goal on handicap due to Glenn Sherriff substituting for injured Chris MacKenzie, Ojo Caliente quickly took control of the game, outshooting Bamboleo/Madams Farm six to zero in the opening chukka. Jonny Good opened the scoring on an uncontested run to goal with all three teammates effectively keeping the defence away from him as he ran the ball in. John Paul Clarkin led the early attack for Ojo Caliente, contributing one goal and an assist, while helping Ojo Caliente carry their momentum through the rest of the first half. Unable to convert on their only field shot and penalty shot attempt, Bamboleo/Madams Farm saw their deficit grow as a relentless Ojo Caliente team continued to push forward. Clarkin added two more tallies, while Zac Beim completed the impressive first half, leaving Ojo Caliente with a commanding 5-0.5 advantage.
With two chukkas standing between them and victory, Ojo Caliente’s defence kept Bamboleo/Madams Farm away from goal, creating turnovers to begin their counterattack. Clarkin and Jonny Good extended their team’s consecutive goal streak to seven for the seemingly unstoppable Ojo Caliente team. Nick Johnson finally put an end to the run in the third chukka, receiving a long pass and sending it through the posts for Bamboleo/Madams Farm’s first goal of the match. However, it was a brief reprieve from an outstanding Ojo Caliente performance as Good completed the victory with two goals in the final chukka to secure the 9-2.5 win.
The X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug was presented to Centrickle, owned and played by John Paul Clarkin, who was also awarded the Most Valuable Player prize.
Earlier in the day, Ferne Park narrowly defeated Vendetta 5-4 in the subsidiary final, led by two goals each from Joaquin Pittaluga and Louis Hine. Taking an early 3-0 advantage in the first chukka, Ferne Park struggled with their shooting accuracy in the remainder of the game, converting just one of their final eight shot attempts. Vendetta’s comeback attempt was led by two goals from Matt Perry, but they ultimately fell one goal short in the 5-4 defeat.
Ten teams entered the final 6 goal competition of the season, the Farewell Cup. In a competitive tournament, it was the women who reigned supreme with Emma MacRae’s Ice Craft and Lisa Knight’s Pink Panthers securing places in the Final, which took place on Ambersham 2 on Sunday 20th September.
In an open first half, Nick Johnson was first to score for Ice Craft, however Angus Rowan-Hamilton was quick to respond for Pink Panthers with two consecutive field goals to put his team ahead momentarily. Alfie Hyde, finding is rhythm early on, found his opponent’s goalmouth to put the score at two goals apiece as the first chukka came to a close.
Nicholas Rogerson was first to score at the start of the second chukka, giving Ice Craft the upper-hand. Although it wasn’t to be held for long, as a foul by Ice Craft gave Pink Panthers the chance to equalise with a 60-yard penalty opportunity which Angus Rowan-Hamilton successfully converted. Harry Muddle then ran to goal to score his first goal for Pink Panthers, putting them ahead by one but Rogerson managed the place the ball between the posts to put the score at an even 4-4 by the end of the first half.
Pink Panthers had a tougher second half, committing a number of fouls and so conceding several penalty opportunities to Ice Craft, two of which were successfully converted by Hyde; one from the 40-yard line and the other from a spot hit, to give Ice Craft the advantage. A determined Rowan-Hamilton was not retaliating and fought to find the goalmouth to keep Pink Panthers within one. The chukka ended on a score of 6-5 to Ice Craft.
Harry Muddle was first to score of Pink Panthers in the fourth and final chukka to put the score at evens again, with the board reading 6-6. However, Pink Panthers continued to foul, giving possession to Ice Craft as well as an opportunity to convert a 30-yard penalty hit which was scored by Hyde, producing a final score of 7-6 to Ice Craft who lifted the Farewell Cup. Following a strong performance, Alfie Hyde was awarded the Most Valuable Player prize, and the Jackie Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to Athena, played by Nick Johnson and owned by Alan Kent.