As the polo season draws to a close, we saw the start of Beaufort’s most anticipated tournament; the Justerini & Brooks Arthur Lucas Cup 15 Goal VL. Indubitable and Noon Giraffe were first to kick things off, from the throw in Noon Giraffe took the lead with Indubitable closely following behind. Noon Giraffe proceeded to dominate throughout the second and third chukka, while Indubitable continued to nip at their heels. However, Noon Giraffe showcased some excellent polo and with a final score of 8-5 they secured their first win in what would turn out to be a victorious run.
In the following week Tayto and Snakebite faced off in what proved to be a tense match. Both teams battled it out in the first chukka showing some very defensive play and not allowing their opposition to score. However, in the second chukka Tayto were the first to open their account with Snakebite replying in kind. Tayto took charge in the third chukka taking the score up to 2-1 and they continued to sail ahead with a 3 – 1 lead at the start of the fourth and final chukka. Snakebite attempted to catch up, however after one final goal from Tayto who claimed a 4 – 2 victory in the second league game.
With a win in hand, Tayto then went on to play Indubitable. The first chukka saw both teams levelling out the score board, going into the second chukka with a score of 1-1. To start out the second chukka Nina Clarkin takes the ball for a long run scoring for Indubitable, which was shortly countered with a goal from Tayto. On a roll and equipped with a very fast pony, Nina sent a cracking shot down the field and despite Mark Baldwin giving chase, she sent the ball through the posts. In the third chukka Mark Tomlinson charged down the field and with ease tapped the ball all the way taking the score to 3-3. Straight from the line-up Indubitable followed up with a goal of their own, only to have their lead stolen by a further two goals from Tayto to make it 5 – 4. The final chukka was end to end polo; Tayto scored again, but Indubitable responded immediately making it 5 – 6, a penalty to Tayto gave them a 7 – 5 lead but Harper sent a bit hit to goal for Nina to gently tap through the uprights to make it 7 – 6. With 44 seconds left on the clock Tayto were given a penalty, which was perfectly executed by Mark Tomlinson and the bell sounded, signalling another win for Tayto.
In the last league game before the Final, Noon Giraffe and Snakebite thrashed it out in a very tense and fast paced match. Snakebite was in complete control throughout the game and there was frustration in the Noon Giraffe camp as they continued to slither past their defences. Marcos Araya took a tumble, which stopped play momentarily, but after a quick check by the medics he hopped back on. To add insult to injury, Snakebite scored yet another goal. By the end of the second, they were ahead 2 – 6. However, Noon Giraffe stepped on the accelerator and sent through three consecutive goals within the space of a minute, putting them back in contention for the final. Whilst Snakebite ultimately took the win 6 – 5, Noon Giraffe had secured a spot in the Final against Tayto.
On Sunday 1st September, despite the bright sunshine, the air had a slight chill to it, signally that the end of summer and the polo season was just on the horizon. The Swinhay No1 Field was an impeccable green velvet stage for two exciting Finals matches, a testament to the hard work our Head Groundsman has put in all season. Within the first minute Noon Giraffe were the first to score with an undefended penalty. Tommy Severn backed this up with a fantastic under neck shot off a missed back hand from Luke Wiles making it 2 – 0. After a tough battle and a scramble for the ball both teams ferocious play broke the ball in half! With the clock counting down in the first chukka, Luke Wiles picks up the ball and makes a run for goal. The crowd held their breath as he sent the ball towards the uprights and watched as it sailed through just as the clock turns to zero. Going into the second chukka Noon Giraffe smash out two goals, putting distance between them and their opposition. With just a minute left of the second chukka, Chris Fagan runs the ball down their end and scores taking the score up to 5-1. Play got more heated and within seconds of starting the third chukka Tayto sent the ball through the uprights, shortly followed by a big pass from Mark Baldwin swiftly picked up by Mark Tomlinson, who ran the ball to the goal making the score 5-3. Keen not to give Tayto anymore ground, Marcos Araya pops through another goal for Noon Giraffe, meaning the score going into the final chukka was 6-3. Kicking off the final chukka Mark Tomlinson takes a 40-yard penalty for Tayto but was quickly saved, but they were given a reprieve with another 40-yard penalty meaning Tayto trailed 4 goals to 6. With moments left to spare Noon Giraffe take a last-minute penalty securing their victorious win with a final score of 7-4 and adding another 15 Goal trophy to their cabinet. Prizes were generously provided by Justerini & Brooks, and presented by James Lucas, Arthur Lucas’ grandson, with the help of Annalisa Tomlinson and Lola Lucas making it very much a family affair! Luke Wiles’ pony Zavaleta received the Polo Times Best Playing Pony and the Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player went to John Paul Clarkin.
As the sun began to tilt low in the sky, Indubitable and Snakebite took to the field for the Subsidiary Final for the Metropolitan Cup. Snakebite drew first blood with two consecutive goals in the first chukka, whilst Indubitable added to their tally with a penalty in their favour. An intense second chukka saw both teams lock heads, but James Beim broke the deadlock with a goal for Snakebite taking the score to 3-1. In the third chukka, following from a large lofted ball, David Ashby picked it up off the bounce superbly and followed through with a goal for Snakebite. Nina made an impressive play to shrink the gap to 4 – 2, followed by Chrisitan Badenhop setting up the ball for James Harper to score. Badenhop drew his team level 4 – 4 in the final chukka and Dave Allen pushed Indubitable into the lead for the first time in the game. With the clock clicking down, Max Kirchoff chased down Christian Badenhop attempting to hook him but Christian managed to secure Indubitable’s win with one last goal, finishing with a score of 6-4.
A huge thank you goes to our kind sponsors Justerini & Brooks, for continuing to support this tournament and providing prizes.