We had an impressive 9 teams entered in our last 4 Goal of the season, the Solitaire Salver. First up were Smiths Polo verses Senzaltro. Senzaltro scored first and Smiths nearly equalised with a penalty by Mikey Howe, but it went wide. Seb Chialvo quickly responded to level 1 – 1. In the second, Jonny Coddington, with Lisa Smith hot on his tail, scored 2 – 1. Mikey helped Smiths to overtake with a penalty and a field goal, 3 – 2, but this was short lived as Jonny sent through a penalty for Senzaltro. With the score level in the fourth, both teams worked hard to overtake the other. Smiths were the first to break through the defences, but Jonny replied with another goal. At the final bell, the game concluded 4 – 4.
In the league game between SONA Polo and The Old Forge, Ed Walker sped ahead on a fast pony to score the first goal for The Old Forge. Max Hutchinson responded in the second chukka for SONA Polo, only to have Ed take back the lead once again, 2 – 1. Marcus Speed popped in an excellent back hand and a penalty, 3 – 2, but end to end polo saw the scores wrack up and a nearside forehand by Marcus concluded the third chukka 4 – 4. Two further goals by Max and Ed in the fourth saw this league game also end in a draw, 5 – 5.
The following day, Senzaltro took on Sirius for their second league game. The first chukka featured a spot penalty by Marcus Collie, followed by a field goal by brother Tom in the second. Senzaltro scored for the first time in the third chukka, scoring two goals to a penalty by Tom Collie. Jonny Coddington scored an equalizer in the fourth, 3 – 3, but Tom ensured victory for Sirius with a penalty.
Ed Walker once again opened proceedings for The Old Forge in their game against Ballinger. Goals by Oli Fanshawe, Rosanna Turk and Alex Cooper followed so that by the end of the second they were ahead 3 – 1, extending this further 4 – 1 in the third. A penalty by Rosanna at the start of the fourth meant Ballinger got a bit too comfortable with their healthy lead and nearly had it snatched away when consecutive penalties by Felipe Massu brought The Old Forge within a goal of the opposition. Fortunately for Ballinger the clock ran out before anymore damage could be done and they won 5 – 4.
Seb Chialvo was quick out of the gate to score in the first 30 seconds of Smiths Polo’s game against Shibumi. The score went back and forth, with the first chukka ending 2 – 2 with a goal by Lisa Smith. Jemima Walker made it 3 – 2 but the lead was short lived, and the score was 3 – 3 at half time. Lisa put her team ahead once again in the third but it was snatched away, 4 – 4 . In the fourth, Peter Baldwin took the ball to goal, only to have his horse kick it out of his possession before he could finish. Fortunately, Jemima was close behind and scored 5 – 4. With renewed vigour, Shibumi pressed on and Mark Baldwin ended the game 7 – 4 in their favour.
Los Chinos were the first to score in their league game against Sirius. In the second chukka, Marcus Speed sent through an impressive goal to level the score 1 – 1. Tom then made it 2 – 1 in the third with a long shot to goal and repeated the feat immediately after. Both teams battled hard in the fourth chukka, but Los Chinos ran out the winners 3 – 1.
In a stark contrast to a few days before, Summer gave its final florish and treated us to glorious sunshine and scorching temperatures on Monday 14th September. First up were DWF and Ballinger. Charlie Walton started proceedings with a penalty and followed up with a field goal, deftly dodging the Ballinger defences to make it 2 – 0. Ballinger managed to secure a goal before the final bell to finish the chukka 1 -2. DWF made it 3 – 1 in the second, but a great goal by Alex Cooper had Ballinger breathing down DWF’s necks. A penalty by Charlie made it 4 – 2, before Alex Cooper sent through a penalty that was completed by Charlie Hitchman. In the third, DWF extended the lead with three goals in quick succession 7 – 3. The fourth chukka saw Oli Fanshawe send the ball down the field, where it bounced off the post and into the goal, concluding the game 7 – 4.
The game between Los Chinos and Shibumi was a much closer affair. Both teams stormed up and down the field, flitting the ball back and forth. Zac Beim was the first to break through, with an expertly controlled goal as he tapped the ball in the air to score. Los Chinos made it 2 – 0 in the second, meaning it was not until the third chukka that Shibumi scored, with a penalty sent through by Mark Baldwin. With only a goal between the teams, Zac made it 3 – 1 but Mark Baldwin followed up with a well-controlled goal, bringing the score to 3 – 2. Fiercely competitive play followed but Los Chinos held back the Shibumi attacks to win.
The Indian Summer weather continued for the league game between DWF and SONA Polo. Henry Smith was the first to take the ball to goal, which was picked up and popped through the posts by Charlie Walton for DWF. They followed up with another field goal and a penalty by Charlie to end the first chukka 3 – 0. In the second, Marcus sent an impressive neck shot to goal, but it was declared wide. DWF managed to make it 4 – 0 before Max Hutchinson expertly steered the ball through the traffic to score 4 – 1. Henry Smith started the third chukka by taking a graceful swan dive off the front of his horse, but quickly remounted. Marcus then sent the ball through the uprights, 4 – 2. With plenty to do in the fourth chukka, SONA Polo increased the pressure, but DWF sneaked in another goal 5 – 2. Marcus then executed a textbook penalty to make it 5 – 3 but a final goal by DWF sealed their fate and the score ended 6 – 3.
The day of the Semi Finals started with SONA Polo verses Sirius. The first chukka was without goals, so it was not until the second that Sirius gained a goal with a penalty by Marcus Collie. SONA were given a chance to equalize with a penalty of their own, but the ball hit the post and fell into the hands of Tom Collie who eagerly picked it up. Sirius added to their score in the third with another Marcus penalty but then the tide turned in favour of SONA, when they scored 3 goals in a row thanks to Max Hutchinson driving the ball down the field. The chukka ended with a penalty in their favour, 3 – 2. Sirius fought back in the fourth and equalized with a penalty, followed by a goal by Tom. However, Max picked up the ball and scored immediately after to level again. SONA Polo made a play at goal, inching closer but the final bell went meaning a fifth chukka was required. The win went to SONA Polo when Marcus Speed sent through a powerful hit to score, 5 – 4.
Next up were Smiths Polo and The Old Forge. Seb Chialvo was quick to score in the first, followed by Millie Hughes bringing the ball to goal for Felipe Massu to score. Smiths responded with another goal to end the chukka 2 – 1. Mikey Howe and Lorna Broughton further added to the Smiths’ tally, with the score 5 – 1 at half time. The Old Forge pushed back in the third, with a great goal by Millie and penalty by Felipe, 3 – 5. However, a further three goals by Smiths pushed them further into the lead 8 – 3. Felipe and Ed Walker managed to bring the score up further for The Old Forge, but the score ended 5 – 8.
To contest a place in the Finals, DWF took on Shibumi. The game started well for Shibumi, scoring early in the game with Freddie Meade and Peter Baldwin adding to the scoreboard to finish the first half 4 – 2. However, DWF recovered well, with Charlie Walton and Henry Smith starting a brutal assault that left Shibumi unable to fight back. By the time the final bell rang the score was 8 – 4 in favour of DWF.
Ballinger were the first to score in their Semi Final against Los Chinos, with Oli Fanshawe driving the ball to goal. Two penalties excellently executed by Beim put Los Chinos in the lead, 2 – 1 by the end of the first chukka. Los Chinos pulled ahead in the second with a goal by Tom Beim, but a penalty followed by a great goal by Rosanna levelled the score 3 – 3 in the third. A penalty by Zac Beim gave Los Chinos a narrow lead heading into the fourth. Ballinger were given a chance to equalise again, but it went wide. As the clock counted down, Los Chinos held up their defences to win 4 – 3.
On Saturday 19th of September, Los Chinos and DWF took to the No1 Ground for the Final of the Solitaire Salver. It was a fast-paced game from the off; as soon as play was called Zac Beim took the ball up the field, but it was stolen by Charlie Walton who took it all the way to score. Charlie then made it a double but a penalty by Zac brought the score to 2 – 1. Charlie then took back possession and on a quick pony sped towards goal twice to score, giving DWF a healthy 4 – 1 lead at the end of the first chukka. Los Chinos started to push back in the second, with Zac passing to father Tom as he charged down the field to the goal. Henry Smith attempted to steal it, but Zac quickly brought the ball back into his possession and scored. A penalty in favour of Los Chinos, taken by Zac, further increased their score to 4 – 3. With Los Chinos getting closer and with seconds to spare, Charlie took the ball to goal for George Smith to finish, ending the second chukka 5 – 3. The second half was where father and son duo Tom and Zac really turned up the heat. Tom scored an excellent goal, carefully controlling the ball up the field before firing it towards the posts with pinpoint accuracy. Zac immediately followed up to equalise 5 -5. Another penalty to Los Chinos put them in the lead for the first time in the game, 5 – 6. With victory slipping from DWF’s grasp, Henry Smith zipped past the traffic to score, 6 – 6 in the fourth. Both teams raced up and down the field to claim victory, but the final bell went and a fifth and final chukka was required. Zac made a run to goal and sent the ball towards the posts, and there was an anxious moment when it hit the post but it shot through the posts to give Los Chinos the win, 7 – 6.
The Subsidiary Final was a round robin between Smiths, Senzaltro and SONA Polo. Smiths and Senzaltro were first up and Jemima was first to score 1 – 0. Seb Chialvo tried to make it a double but it went wide. Jack Aldridge then sent a back hand to score 1 – 1, but a penalty for Smiths taken by Christian Chaves put Smiths back in the lead 2 – 1. However, the score ended 2 – 2 when Jonny Coddington secured a penalty for Senzaltro to end the first two chukkas. Smiths found their rhythm in their second game against SONA Polo, scoring three consecutive goals in the first chukka. Max Hutchinson made a run to the goal to make it 3 – 1 but was denied by the final bell. However, he made up for it in the second but a further penalty by Christian made it 4 – 1 in favour of Smiths. SONA had a stronger start in their second game again Senzaltro, with Max and Jonny Pitman bringing the score to 3 – 0. A backhand goal by Jonny made it 1 – 3 and he followed up by stealing the ball off Marcus Speed to end the first chukka 2 – 3. Senzaltro then equalised in the second but a final penalty by Marcus ended the game 4 – 3. This meant that Smiths Polo were the winners, followed SONA Polo and Senzaltro.
Prizes were very kindly provided by SamiE Mandala Artist, with beautiful hand painted glasses for the winners and bags and cards for the runners up.