Strategic Play Secures Top Barbadian Title
Peter O’Rorke and Matt Evetts from O’Rorke’s UK based Strategic team, most often seen on the 6 Goal Victor Ludorum circuit, took a trip to Barbados to participate in the Archers Hall Barbados Open, playing on Bruce Bayley’s CGI Clifton team along with Christian Chaves who is based in the UK and Barbados. Other Brits in the competition included Nick Pepper, also a Strategic team regular, who played for an Apes Hill Team as did talented 16-year-old James ‘Jimbo’ Fewster, son of former 3 goaler Martin Fewster, who is now in his 22nd year of umpiring in Barbados. Cheshire based Ollie Taylor was the strong man of the local Rubis team and Jamie Dickson turned out for another Apes Hill team.
Archers Hall Barbados Open winner Peter O’Rorke spoke to Polo Times about the action from the Final and the league games leading up to their big win, “Plenty of rainfall, just prior to the tournament, had refreshed the playing fields at both Apes Hill and Holders and the early rounds revealed closely fought battles between all teams, with little to reveal an obvious winner. Bayley’s CGI Clifton team, however, won all three preliminary rounds as well as the Semi Final to go through to the Final against Stewart Gill’s Rubis.
“Despite four straight wins, CGI looked uneasy in the first chukka as Taylor used his strong angles to keep the ball away from Evetts and Chaves, usually highly dangerous in attack. The Atwell brothers tried to run onto those balls, but characteristic solid defence from Bayley kept the scores reasonably level. CGI Clifton settled in the final chukka as Evetts’ long angled shots and Chaves’ exceptional ball carrying skills led to two goals, putting Rubis on the back foot. With less than a minute to go and with scores tied, a loose ball was picked up by hard charging Bayley coming through from the back and sent towards the Rubis goal to be followed by a desperate ‘killing snakes’ thrash that ended with Chaves just getting enough stick to the ball to get it over the line before time.
“Barbados locals know their polo and as usual, an enthusiastic and stylish crowd had shown up on Sunday afternoon for the Final. While visiting Brits presented with sand between their toes and over-done beach tans, the atmosphere of Barbados polo is anything but casual. All the local players are tough, experienced and sporting, with an enthusiasm and zest for the game that should be the envy of many UK Clubs.”
Photograph: CGI Clifton, winners of the Archers Hall Barbados Open. Courtesy of Matt Evetts