‘Fast, entertaining polo played to a really high standard’ was the verdict of polo manager Chris Bethell following the final and subsidiary finals of the June four-goal tournament played for the Lodsworth Cup at Cowdray Park on Sunday.
From an entry of seven teams, Emma MacRae’s Ice Craft met Andrew Swaffield’s Alcedo in the final.
Playing alongside MacRae for Ice Craft were Ollie Cork (one goal) at No2, Alan Kent (two goals) in the number three position and New Zealander Byron Watson (two goals) at back.
Andrew Swaffield (-1 goal) in the No1 position for Alcedo was joined by Terence Lent (one goal) at two and two-goal players Jack Berner and Nick Clague at three and back.
Alcedo won the ball from the first throw-in but Watson for Ice Craft was soon on to it, dashing away for his first shot at goal but sending the ball wide.
It wasn’t long before the team’s perseverance paid off with the opening goal sent through by Cork, but it only took 30 seconds for Berner to score an equalizer for Alcedo.
There were several missed attempts at goal by both sides including two missed penalties by Berner so the score at the close of the first chukka remained at 1-1.
Alcedo won the throw-in at the start of chukka two, but despite a lovely approach Lent’s shot went wide.
Cork was soon back in the action, responding perfectly to a pass from Kent which enabled him to score his second goal for Ice Craft.
Kent helped to clear the path for Cork’s third goal and the experienced former England player was himself well-placed to tap through the fourth goal for the team. Clague’s defensive play prevented any further goals from Ice Craft, who finished the second chukka 4-1 ahead.
Early in the third chukka Lent hooked the ball away from Cork but his shot at goal went wide. Watson brought the ball in from the back line and sent it forward to Kent who set off down the pitch.
MacRae was well positioned to pick it up and send through a great shot to make it 5-1 for her side.
Berner and Lent for Alcedo continued the pace for Alcedo but both missed attempts at goals and the match went into the final chukka with Ice Craft resoundingly ahead.
A foul on Ice Craft’s Watson gave him the opportunity to send a big 60-yard penalty shot lofting over the goal posts and 6-1 for his team.
The throw-in gave Lent the chance to dash off with the ball and both Berner and Clague moved it forward before Lent finally pushed it between the posts to pull a goal back for Alcedo.
Cork dashed away and left it for MacRae to send through a super goal for 7-2. Lent once again grabbed the ball from the throw-in but was ridden off by Kent.
Kent sent the ball out to the boards where Berner gained possession and sent it to Lent, who didn’t miss.
The score remained 7-3 in Ice Craft’s favour until the final bell and, although most of the luck had gone Ice Craft’s way, Swaffield’s Alcedo had contributed to an entertaining match.
The June Four-Goal Cup and prizes were presented by Fiona Kent.
In the subsidiary final, Todham, with 12-year old Alfie Hyde (-2) playing his socks off alongside one-goalers Harry Revell and Boyd Allen and Martin Podesta (four goals) had a 4-2 win over the Dubliner Irish Whiskey side of Jamie Scott (no goals), Dorian Bulteau (two goals), Jack Taylor (two goals) and Robbie Denman (no goals).
Again spectators were treated to an exciting display of polo from the young players.
Bethell handed out the prizes.
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