The Autumn Cup, the final 12-goal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club concluded on Sunday 18th September on Ambersham 1 with Four Quarters Orange and Bamboleo/Madams Farm the last two teams standing from a field of twelve.
The only undefeated team left in the tournament, Four Quarters Orange, lined up with Simon Arber in the number 1 position, Evan Power at 2, 6-goaler Ignacio Negri in the number 3 shirt and Santos Merlos (4 goals) at Back. For Bamboleo/Madams Farm, Christian Staubach was positioned at 1, alongside John Martin (3 goals) at 2, James Beim (6 goals) at 3 and Ben Crowe (2 goals) at Back.
Seconds into the match, Santos Merlos sent a long shot through the posts for Four Quarters Orange to open the scoring, but the remainder of the opening chukka proved to be evenly matched with Bamboleo/Madam Farm’s James Beim converting a 30-yard penalty and Ignacio Negri restoring the one-goal lead with a successful 40-yard penalty hit. Organised defence on both sides of the ball highlighted the competitive first half as no further field goals were scored, despite seven shot attempts between the two teams. As play moved back and forth, pressure from Four Quarters Orange led to a second penalty goal for Negri from the 30-yard line, leaving his team ahead 3-1 entering halftime.
The pace instantly picked up after the break with end-to-end play resulting in a high-scoring third chukka. Ignacio Negri extended Four Quarters Orange’s lead to three, but on the following throw-in, Christian Staubach completed a nice run to goal with a shot on the nearside to bring Bamboleo/Madams Farm back within two. Taking advantage of each opportunity in the chukka, Four Quarters Orange turned to Merlos, who added two consecutive field goals to leave Bamboleo/Madams Farm with some work to do to make up the deficit as they trailed 6-3 with just one chukka remaining. An early foul sent Negri to the 30-yard line, where he converted his third penalty of the match, keeping the momentum with Four Quarters Orange. Sending a pass through traffic, Merlos found Evan Power in front of goal for his first goal of the contest which sealed the outcome, as Four Quarters Orange completed their undefeated run through the tournament, claiming the 9-4 victory to raise The Autumn Cup.
Simon Arber stepped down from the podium to receive the trophy from Mrs Jane Robinson. The Most Valuable Player prize was awarded to Santos Merlos. Merlos’s pony ‘Zeus’ was awarded Best Playing Pony and was presented with the No.3 Gin Pursuit of Perfection Best Playing Pony rug.
Thirteen teams entered the last 6-goal tournament of the season for the Farewell Cup, with Emma MacRae’s Ice Craft taking on the Van Delden’s Bad Boys Polo Team in a close game on Ambersham 1 on Sunday 18th September.
Emma MacRae wore the number 1 shirt for Ice Craft with young Will Drewitt at 2, Angus Rowan-Hamilton at 3 and 3-goaler John Martin at Back. For Bad Boys Polo Team, Mathieu Van Delden Jr played at 1 alongside his father Mathieu Van Delden at 2. 4-goaler Terence Lent took the number 3 position, with James Mann (for whom Evan Power subbed during the first chukka) positioned at Back. As a 5-goal team, Ice Craft were given a half goal head start.
In the first chukka, Bad Boys Polo Team were the only side to concede a goal as Evan Power scored to open the game. Ice Craft, unable to create an opportunity against the Bad Boys defence were unable to score as the first chukka ended with the board reading 1 – 0.5 in favour of Bad Boys Polo Team.
Replacing Evan Power from the start of the second chukka, James Mann was quick to score for Bad Boys Polo Team and push them ahead. However, foul trouble for Bad Boys gave John Martin the chance to successfully convert a 30-yard penalty. Despite several other opportunities for Ice Craft they were unable to concede further goals and trailed by half at halftime.
Further foul trouble for Bad Boys Polo Team gave Martin another chance to score from a 30-yard penalty hit which he followed up neatly with a field goal to push Ice Craft ahead for the first time. Bad Boys Polo Team were unable to push through the Ice Craft defence and remained goal-less for the third chukka as Ice Craft led 3.5 – 2.
Bad Boys Polo Team were awarded a 30-yard penalty hit at the start of the fourth and final chukka which was successfully converted by Terence Lent to put them back within half a goal, however a foul by Bad Boys gave Martin the chance to convert from the 40-yard line and secure the game for Ice Craft with a final score of 4.5 – 3.
Emma MacRae was delighted to receive the trophy from Rosie Robinson and Star, played and owned by Angus Rowan-Hamilton, was awarded the X-Zony Best Playing Pony rug.