The red and gold goalposts have been towering for five months. Once mighty and illusive they will spend their last thirty minutes under a sentence of removal. The boundary flags fly as even but they too will soon be silenced. The white lines ,once proudly marking the difference between winner and loser will fade in the autumn sun.
It is the end of another season at the Oldford polo grounds. Only the old guard, including yours truly American Idol, Freight Train `Butler and then a complete novice, Oldford Kid, Nico von Raab, can claim charter status from those formative days over fifteen years ago. Three ponies remain from the early string, Blackie, Pato and Ace. Black and Pato are still in the fight but Ace has been eating grass yearlong for years.
The 2016 season was bedeviled by the rain gods who fairly took over the ground in June. August was hot as Hades but September has been idyllic.
Today’s match was no different. We played in the 75 degree weather with a lovely mild breeze keeping us cool. The question on every player’s mind was no doubt whether we would make it through another season without injury to pony or man. That would make some eight or nine years injury free for man and more than ten for ponies.
The teams poured onto the ground at noon plus. Punctuality has not been a trademark of the Oldford games. The Red team of `Canadian Gent Michael Watt, Sean from Potomac and Juliet was led by Coach Gillespie. The Gold squad of Celtic Chick, Steve Walsh, yours truly, American Idol, was led by the notorious Argie, Freight Train Butler.
The first chukker turned into a scoring feast for the Golds. The shots of the game, however, were executed by Celtic Chic when she hammered a line drive from the sixty and converted it with another from the twenty. The Golds proudly led by one when Butler fire three of his classic line drives to raise the ante to two. The Reds failed to post any score.
The second period saw Butler air mail two more goals for Gold. Red finally woke up as Canadian Gent drilled a perfect shot through the sticks to give Red something on the scoreboard.
In the third period Coach showed a bit of class with an expertly fashioned converted number four penalty from the sixty yard line. Try as they could, the Golds could not get their sticks on his drive. Sadly for the Reds, their goal was shortly matched by a Gold player.
Coach Gillespie and Canadian Gent scored early in the last period but this seemed to awaken the sleeping giant, Steve Walsh. Walsh deftly directed the ball through the posts twice during the fifth minute of the period to put the score at 7 – 4. Not satisfied with an odd number of goals, Freight Train put another on the board for Gold to close the score out at Gold 8 Red 4.
That closes another season at Oldford. Final result : no pony injuries, no player injuries. Polo matches full of fun and spirit. A perfect season.