First up to contend the Eduardo Rojas Lanusse Cup 6 Goal VL were Smiths Polo verses Cote d’Azur. Tamara Fox was the first to take the ball across the line for Cote d’Azur. The second chukka featured lots of back and forth with the teams, with the well-established combo of Nina Clarkin, Tamara Fox and Emma Wood competing against the speedy duo of Seb Chialvo and Nico Antinori. By the end of the third, Smiths were barely a goal ahead, 4 – 3. They scored again in the fourth, to which Cote d’Azur hit back with a goal of their own. With the score at 5 – 4, play was fast and furious, but the clock ran out, declaring Smiths Polo the winners.
Cote d’Azur’s next opponents were Silvertown Properties. Silvertown started out strong, meaning it was not until the second chukka when they had already scored three goals that Cote d’Azur responded with a goal of their own. By the end of the second the score was 3 – 2 ½. Silvertown further extended their lead 4 – 2 ½, but then the all ladies team decided to strike and overtook 4 ½ – 4. With only a chukka left to decide the winner, Silvertown snuck past the Cote d’Azur defences and scored 5 – 4 ½. It seemed like they had victory in the bag, but Cote d’Azur managed to gain ground with a goal and the game ended 5 ½ – 5 in their favour.
Tafia Mafia faced off against CANI for their first league game of the tournament. Rosanna Turk executed a cheeky steal from the hit out and scored, while the rest of the field looked on in disbelief. Chagrined, CANI pushed back hard, scoring three goals, with the final goal being a great team goal finished by Alex Cooper. The second chukka was without goals, as both teams held firm. A penalty to CANI, perfectly executed by Matias, saw them extend their lead to 4 – 1. A penalty, this time in favour of Tafia Mafia brought the score to 4 – 2, but their progress was halted with a goal by Will Westwood. Dave Allen sent through two textbook penalties to put Tafia Mafia closer, 4 – 5 but a further goal by Matias kept them at bay heading into the fourth chukka. With only a chukka to decide the winner, Charlie Hitchman made a great run to goal to score, 5 – 6. All hopes were dashed, however, when CANI were given another penalty, which Matias scored with ease to end the game 7 – 5.
Tafia Mafia’s game against Smiths Polo was an exciting and competitive fight. Tafia Mafia were the first to score, but with a half goal handicap start, a goal by Smiths quickly allowed them to overtake. A penalty allowed them to further extend their lead but a goal by Dave Allen kept Tafia Mafia nipping at their heels. A further penalty to Smiths followed by a goal by Dom David ended the first half 3 – 3 ½. Tafia Mafia started to pull ahead following three expert penalties by Dave, bringing the score to 6 – 3 ½. Smiths were not about to back down, and a goal and penalty meant there was just half a goal in the game. However, time ran out and Tafia Mafia claimed the win.
Up next were Silvertown Properties and CANI. Marcus Speed sent through a penalty in the first chukka, which CANI quickly responded to with a goal of their own. Silvertown kept a nose ahead in the second but CANI equalised once again with a penalty in the third. Will Westwood put CANI ahead in the final chukka, 3 – 2 and Matias Amaya extended the lead 4 – 2. With 20 seconds to go, Silvertown managed to orchestrate another goal, but it was too late and CANI won 4 – 3.
On the 24th September we hosted the Semi Finals of the Eduardo Rojas Lanusse Cup. First up to battle it out for a place in the Final were Tafia Mafia and Smiths Polo. Both teams set a punishing pace from the start, with Smiths Polo being the first to break the deadlock with a goal in the second chukka. Lisa Smith followed this up by taking the ball to goal, leaving the final tap to Seb Chialvo. Tafia Mafia waited until the third chukka to add to their score but Smiths sped ahead 3 ½ – 1. However, Tafia Mafia burst forward with two consecutive goals 3 – 3 ½ in the fourth chukka. Eager to head to the Final, Smiths put up a strong defence and the game ended in their favour.
CANI, who had had a strong campaign throughout this tournament, only had Cote d’Azur in their way to get to the Final. The first chukka was in their control, scoring two goals with no response from the opposition. However, as CANI pushed ahead, Cote d’Azur were hot on their heels and they just took the lead 4 ½ – 4 at the end of the second chukka. However, the dazzling brilliance of Matias Amaya was no match, as he sped past and put CANI 7 – 5 ½ ahead. In the fourth, CANI made sure their victory was secure with an 8th and final goal.
On Saturday 26th September, Smiths Polo rode out onto the No1 ground to face CANI for the Eduardo Rojas Lanusse Cup Final. Will Westwood was the first to try and score, only to have the ball scoot wide of the posts. Smiths Polo were handed a penalty, but this was expertly stopped by Matias Amaya, who flew up the field. However, as he accelerated the ball slipped from his grasp and despite Alex Cooper following up behind the ball went wide of the posts. The final bell signalled the end of the first chukka. Smiths managed to overcome the stalemate with a penalty by Seb Chialvo but Louise Jebson quickly hit back with a goal for her team 1 – 1 ½. The third chukka featured lots of back and forth, a penalty to Smiths gave them an opportunity to go further ahead, but it fell on the other side of the posts. It was Alex who managed to put CANI a nose ahead with a goal, 2 – 1 ½. In the fourth, Seb went for an under the neck shot at an acute angle to try and bring Smiths back into the game but it rolled wide. Will made another charge at goal, which was neatly finished by Alex 3 – 1 ½. In the final 5 seconds, Smiths scored 4 – 2 ½ but it was too late and CANI claimed their victory.
A harsh, icy wind blew across the field for the Subsidiary Final between Tafia Mafia and Silvertown Properties. Silvertown had a distinctly altered line up, with Talan Dudd, Freddie Jodrell and Marcus Collie replacing Olivia Clowes, Marcus Speed and Max Hutchinson, meaning they started with a 1 ½ goal handicap start. Determined to prove themselves, Silvertown went out on the attack, scoring in the first chukka 2 ½ – 1. An unfortunate fall for Rosanna saw her taken out of play with a dislocated shoulder, despite having the nerves of steel to have it relocated on the field. Marcus Speed was swapped in from his umpiring roll to replace her. The teams set out once again, with Tafia Mafia scoring three goals in a row over the second and third chukka. The expert duo of Marcus and Tom Collie put Silvertown back in the lead 3 ½ – 3 and it was a horse race to the finish line. A fourth and final goal cinched the win for Tafia Mafia.
Thanks go to Hurlingham 1875 for generously providing prizes for the winners.