9-7 win against Emlor
On Saturday 18 July, The Indian Empire Shield Final was played for at Guards Polo Club. The impressive trophy dates back to the 1920s and forms part of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA’s) 18 goal Victor Ludorum series. This year, seven teams were split across two leagues, with each team determined to reach the Finals. Following some closely fought Semi Finals, which saw Emlor narrowly defeat Hurlingham 1875 10 goals to 9 and Kildare secure a close 11-10 win over Black Bears, both teams had all to play for in the Final. The first match of the day saw Siri Bazzoni’s MT Vikings defeat Garcha Hotels 8-5 in the Subsidiary Final at Flemish Farm Castle Ground, although Siri Bazzoni was replaced due to injury by Will Drewitt. A few hours later, Kildare faced Emlor on the green, green grass of The Queen’s Ground. Kildare dominated the match from the start and by the fifth chukka led by 8-3, with Emlor struggling to contain Kildare’s teamwork. Emlor managed to find their form in the last chukka, fighting right until the final whistle. In the end, it was Kildare who secured themselves the title as well as the imposing trophy with a 9-7 win. Irenita Porfiada, played by Juanchi Ambroggio, was the Best Playing Pony. Charlie Hanbury, who was playing a string of homebreds, received the Most Valuable Player award. 

The Indian Empire Shield Final Teams:Kildare (18): Andrew Dechet (1), Charlie Hanbury (4), Tommy Beresford (6) & Jack Richardson (7)Emlor (18): Spencer McCarthy (0), Max Charlton (5) Richard Tyrone (6) & Juan Ambroggio (7)  

Photograph: A jubilant Kildare’s Andrew Dechet with The Indian Empire Shield. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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