Snake Bite lethal to lift polo's Cicero Cup

A fast and exciting match of great end-to-end polo marked the final of the 15-goal Spink & Son Cicero Cup played between Max Kirchoff's Armis Snake Bite and Chris Mathias's Clarita Black at Cowdray Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

Monday, 5th June 2017, 7:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:05 am
Action from the Cicero final / Picture by Clive Bennett - see more at

Max Kirchoff (0 goals) playing at No1 was joined by Tom Beim (3 goals) at two, James Beim (6 goals) at three and James Harper (6 goals) at back.  Clarita Black comprised Chris Mathias at the front door, Michel Del Carril (6 goals) at two, George Meyrick (6 goals) at three, and 3-goal player Freddie Horne at back.

Within a minute Armis gave away a penalty which George Meyrick converted for an early lead for Clarita Black. Something may have been said to upset the umpires who awarded a penalty 5b shot to Armis. 

James Beim tapped the ball forward and it was picked up by his brother Tom. Del Carril tried to intervene but swiftly James Beim saw  him off and the ball was through the posts and the scores equal. 

Snake Bite won the ball from the throw-in but Del Carril boldly seized it and sent a huge shot forward for an excellent goal and 2-1 on the board in favour of Clarita Black. 

Armis took the ball from the throw-in, there was an infringement and a penalty awarded.  A fine 60- yard ball from James Beim made it level again. Armis won the ball from the throw-in and surged towards Clarita’s goal. A finely-angled shot from James Harper brought the score at the end of an exciting first chukka to 3-2.

Tom Beim for Armis came away with the first goal of the second chukka. Horne’s attacking play saw him almost make a goal but the ball was saved on the line by James Beim.  A penalty safety 60 awarded to Clarita Black was put between the posts by the hard-hitting George Meyrick and again there was just a goal between them. However, a 40-yard penalty gave James Beim the chance to increase Armis’ lead to 5-3.

Clarita Black won the ball and Meyrick led the charge to the goal.  With Snake Bite on his shoulder he took the ball all the way and pulled Clarita Black back to 5-4.  Armis’ two six-goalers combined and James Beim sent the ball between the posts for a lead of 6-4 by the close of chukka two.

Both sides battled hard in a pacy third chukka, Del Carril breaking through to whip a fast ball between the posts and make it 6-5. Del Carril and Meyrick worked hard for another goal but James Beim found the next opportunity with a super shot to make it 7-5 for Armis by half time.

A good tread-in was much appreciated and there was no lessening of the pace. A free hit from Del Carril was intercepted by England captain Beim, who was unstoppable, expertly carrying the ball down the pitch for his sixth goal and a score of 8-5 to Armis. 

In the final chukka, James Beim was again out in front but ridden off by Freddie Horne. Tom Beim was in the frame, snatching the ball and scoring a super goal to increase Armis’ lead to 9-5. 

Clarita Black won the ball from the throw in, and in the scramble that followed were awarded a penalty. Del Carril shot an accurate ball from 40 yards to pull a goal back. 

When Clarita Black brought the ball in from the back line, Meyrick seized it and raced all the way to the opposite end for a superb goal.  But time ran out them and an excellent match concluded with Armis Snake Bite having won the Cicero Cup with a 9-7 win.

At the presentations Edward Hilary Davis and Thomasina Smith represented Spink & Son, specialist auctioneers and military medal specialists, who have entered a three-year partnership with Cowdray Park Polo Club to supply membership badges.

The trophy was presented to Max Kirchoff of Armis Snake Bite by Hilary Davis and commemorative medals were presented to both teams. In the final of the six-goal Jubilee Cup, Andrew Swaffield’s Alcedo beat Andre Fattal’s River 6-3, Swaffield’s second trophy of the season.


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