With the UK Season underway, once again the Badminton Cup 8 Goal was the first exciting tournament at the Club. All teams responded enthusiastically to the format of shortened chukkas as it allows for the teams to play more ponies that may not be fit enough to play the longer chukkas.
As strong winds blasted across the Swinhay No1 Ground, the first match of the season was played between Irongate and AW Jenkinson. AW Jenkinson stormed ahead and finished with a strong win of 7 goals to 4. The next league game was between AW Jenkinson and Shibumi, it was a very close match finishing the 6th chukka with 7 goals to 7 resulting in an extra chukka being played. After a tense and definitive 7th chukka AW Jenkinson took the win with 8 goals to 7.
After a glorious bank holiday weekend, the sun was still shining, and the league picked back up on Tuesday 7th with Senzaltro against Strategic Help for Heroes. Throughout the start both teams were very close, however, Strategic Help for Heroes were a step ahead and won the match with a final score of 7 goals to 5. Tomlinson Equine had a successful first match against Strategic Help for Heroes, finishing the 6th chukka with a win of 5 goals to 4, which would prove to be the first of many wins for Tomlinson Equine.
Next up, Irongate faced Shibumi with a somewhat quiet start with Irongate starting to take the lead in the second chukka, however, Shibumi caught up and a definitive 7th chukka was required with Shibumi taking the win with 6 goals to 5. The last league game before the semi-final was played by Senzaltro and Tomlinson Equine. Although Senzaltro started out ahead Tomlinson Equine quickly took the lead and finished with a win of 5 goals to 3.
The first Badminton Cup Semi Final took place between Strategic Help for Heroes and Shibumi. The match started out in Shibumi’s favour but Strategic Help for Heroes scored a goal in the last moment. Through the second and third chukkas Strategic Help for Heroes made their play and finished the last three chukkas in the lead with an end score of 5 goals to 4 taking them through to the final.
Tomlinson Equine had another undefeated match in the second Semi-Final against AW Jenkinson. Tomlinson Equine started out in the lead and maintained a strong position throughout the match. AW Jenkinson scored in the second chukka putting their foot in the door. However, Tomlinson Equine were always a few strides ahead and finished the Semi-Final with a 3 goal lead meaning they went through to the finals to play against Strategic Help for Heroes.
It was a dramatic start to the Badminton Cup Final with Emma Boers being thrown from her horse before the teams had even lined up for the throw-in. She quickly recovered and headed out on to the field where Ed Walker plucked the ball straight from the line up and dashed straight to the goal making a positive start for Strategic Help for Heroes. Emma Boers proved she was none worse for wear after her unplanned dismount and scored a wonderful neck shot to even the score. In the second chukka, Tamara Fox made it 2 -1 in Tomlinson Equine’s favour but despite another impressive attempt at goal and ferocious play in the Strategic half, the score remained the same by tread in. The ground had held up incredibly well thanks to our Head Groundsman’s dedicated preparations and the large crowd made quick work of treading in the divots ahead of the second half. It was Tom Beim who sent through the next goal with a nearside shot for Strategic but Emma Wood was not about to let her team fall behind and sent a graceful flying shot through the uprights to make it 3 – 2. As if that was not enough, as the bell signalling 30 seconds left rang, Emma Wood repeated the feat to make it 4 – 2. In the 5th Strategic were given a chance to add another to their tally and bring them closer to Tomlinson Equine with the first foul of the game so far, Beim sent the ball towards the Tomlinson Equine half but an attempt by Matt Evetts went wide. Strategic gained another opportunity in the 6th with a ‘safety 60’ but too much spin on the ball from Beim sees it soar the wrong side of the goal posts. Mikey Henderson appeared to commit a foul and it seemed like Strategic would have yet another chance at adding to their score, but further discussion from the umpires determined no foul and play continued. With 42 seconds left, yet another penalty was awarded in Strategic’s favour, but it was too late for a comeback and Tomlinson Equine won 4 – 2.
The Subsidiary saw a dominating performance from Senzaltro, with Matias Amaya notching up goal after goal against Irongate. Despite excellent interplay between Olivia Lamphee and Ben Wilson, Irongate were overpowered and Senzaltro claimed a decisive victory of 9 – 3 ½.
We would like to extend a thank you to Baldwin Construction who kindly provided prizes.