It was a busy weekend at Cowdray Park Polo Club, that featured finals of the Harrison Cup (15 goal), on August 1; Cowdray Challenge Cup (18 goal); and Holden White Cup (8), these last two on August 2.
Three tournaments and two winners: Cowdray Vikings and Black Bears.
HARRISON CUP (SATURDAY, AUGUST 1)
The 15 goal Harrison Cup, entered by 10 teams, with George Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings, making their fourth appearance in a Harrison Cup Final, facing Charlie Hanbury’s Halcyon Gallery. Playing alongside George Pearson were the talented 16 year old Jose Ramon Araya, team regular Will Emerson (5 goals) at number 3, and at Back, Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8 goals). Halcyon Gallery fielded Tommy Severn (0 goals) at number 1, England 6 goaler Mark Tomlinson at number 3, and Ollie Cudmore (5 goals) at Back.
Following a 5-5 tie by half time, Halcyon Gallery took the lead in the next chukka. But led by the skills of Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Cowdray Vikings could wide their advantage to 8-6. However, Ollie Cudmore cut the margin to one goal, and both teams fought hard for the final result. Cowdray Vikings held on to the one goal lead and victory in the Harrison was finally theirs. The trophy was presented by Mrs Lila Pearson to her son George.
The Subsidiary went to Black Bears, Emlor Black won the Aotea Cup.
MVP: Alejandro Novillo Astrada
BPP: Silk (Mark Tomlinson)
COWDRAY CHALLENGE CUP (SUNDAY, AUGUST 2)
The Black Bears team of Guy Schwarzenbach met Charlie Hanbury’s Church House side in the 18 goal Cowdray Challenge Cup at Cowdray Park on 2nd August.
Schwarzenbach fielded the same team as he had for the 15 goal Harrison Cup and received 2.5 goals on the scoreboard on handicap. His number 2 was Dirkie Van Reenan (4 goals), with 5 goalers Tom Hunt at number 3 and Patrick O’Dwyer at Back. The Church House side, with the Patron at 1, included James Wood (5 goals) at number 2, Alex White (4 goals) at number 3 and Ollie Cudmore (5 goals) at Back.
Black Bears went on an all-out attack from the start, controlling the match and leaving Church House standing. By the end of the second chukka Black Bears’ exciting young team, with an on-fire Paco O’Dwyer, had scored six goals to Church House’s single contribution. However, Black Bears failed to score in chukka 3, Ollie Cudmore pulled one back for Church House, and the half time score was 8,5 – 2 in Black Bears’ favour.
Despite Church Side’s efforts to get closer in the scoreboard, Black Bears dominated the match, and scored enough to get wide advantages. By the end of the fourth chukka, they had a commanding 10,5 – 4 lead. It was imposible for Church Side to break Black Bears’ solid attack; Guy Schwarzenbach and co. had everything under control and it was Guy himself who scored his third goal of the match to seal the 13,5 – 4 win and take the trophy home.
MVP: Patrick O’Dwyer
BPP: Lily (Guy Schwarzenbach)
HOLDEN WHITE CUP (SUNDAY, AUGUST 2)
The 2015 8 goal Holden White Cup, one of the HPA series of six tournaments played at Cowdray Park annually was entered by 15 teams with Cowdray Vikings and Renegade making it through to the Final.
For Cowdray Vikings, Lila Pearson (-1) was in the number 1 position, with Ralph Richardson (1) at number 2, George Pearson (2) at number 3 and 6 goal player Jack Richardson at Back.
The Renegade side included Rupert Lewis (2) at number 1, Shaun Brokensha (3) at number 2, Lochie Hunter (4 goals) at number 3 and Duncan Wales (-1) at Back.
The final proved to be a closely fought and pacey match with Lochie Hunter first to score for Renegade. A penalty enabled Jack Richardson for Cowdray Vikings to power through a big 60 yard shot to equalise and the first chukka ended at 1-1. A splendid field goal from Jack Richardson took Cowdray Vikings ahead for the first time in chukka 2, and his next two goals gave the orange shirts a lead of 4-2 by half time.
The match was very close and ended up in a 6-all in regulation time, and Ralph Richardson scored the winning goal through a penalty conversion. Therefore, Cowdray Vikings captured their second trophy of the weekend.
MVP: Jack Richardson
BPP: Conejo (Ralph Richardson)