Following the tantalizing games courtesy of the Ladies the previous weekend, contenders for the Babdown Cup had a tough act to follow.
Tuesday 7th August would see the start of proceedings with Senzaltro versus Lodge Services on the Swinhay No. 1 ground. Senzaltro would stamp their authority on the game from the off, establishing a strong lead of 5 goals to 2 at half time, before an emphatic win by 9 goals to 5. Shibumi and Three Oceans would stage a scintillating, but much closer contest. Following a dominant start by Three Oceans – who went into the second half leading by 2 goals – Shibumi would efficiently play catch-up to force the game into a fifth and deciding extra chukka. The seventh goal would seal a hard-fought victory for Three Oceans.
Senzaltro added to their initial triumph on Thursday, this time over Shibumi. It was level pegging at half time, but three goals in the third chukka to just one in response from Shibumi secured the win. Another closely fought game followed, pitching Lodge Services against Three Oceans. Lodge Services would lead the way in the first half, but Three Oceans had them measure-for-measure at the tread-in before pulling ahead to 6 goals. A rallying retaliation from Lodge Services would prove too little too late as they fell short by 6 goals to Three Ocean’s 7.
A drizzly start to the day did not dampen the spirits of either the competitors or the spectators, with a good turnout to witness the finals of The Babdown Cup. It was Tomlinson against Tomlinson as Senzaltro – featuring Mark Tomlinson – and Three Oceans – with Emma Wood (neé Tomlinson) and Luke Tomlinson within the ranks – took to Three Cornered Ground. Three Oceans would get off to a strong start; Luke Tomlinson’s penalty would at first be blocked, but the retake struck gold as Olly Tuthill’s defensive effort could only send the ball higher and through the uprights. Charlie Walton notched up a second goal for Three Oceans by the close of the first chukka. The Tomlinson tide would turn in the second as Senzaltro would score end-to-end goals; the first was courtesy of a skilful steal by Luke Wiles to score and followed up by a team effort for Mark Tomlinson to finish the job. Following the tread-in Senzaltro continued to extend their lead, with Luke Wiles claiming the fifth and sixth goals. A penalty went Three Ocean’s way for Luke Tomlinson to add to their tally, but their fate was sealed as Olly Tuthill scored a seventh for Senzaltro to claim an emphatic victory.
The subsidiary final would prove a tale of two halves, as at first the teams seemed evenly matched and the odds only slightly favouring Lodge Services for the lead by 3 goals to Shibumi’s 2 at half time. However, the big hits of Satnam Dhillon – as well as Ben Resma proving to be a worthy substitute for Peter Baldwin who was forced to retire early on due to back issues – would prove the undoing of Lodge Services. Shibumi proceeded to level with and then overtake their opponents in the penultimate chukka, before claiming a further four goals by the close of play to claim a landslide triumph of 9 goals to 5.
Prizes were kindly provided by Whatley Manor and Plusbac, presented by Sarah Frost, Nicky Randall and Louise Randall; daughters of Yvonne Randall who was the driving force behind Social Membership at the Beaufort and was instrumental in ensuring inclusion of all social members.