The Somerville Livingstone-Learmonth

First up to contest The Somerville Livingstone Learmonth Trophy for 2018 were Balaclava and Walker Construction on Wednesday 8th August. Walker Construction would have the upper hand throughout and started strongly to lead by 4 goals to 1 at the tread in. An attempt to retaliate by Balaclava would fall short as Walker Construction continued to pull ahead to finish the final chukka on a score of 7 to 5.

A quick start out of the blocks for Silvertown Properties, to lead by 2 goals within the first chukka, would tell the fate of Virgo Stone; despite levelling in the third chukka, they would fail to keep up in the fourth. The scoreboard showed 5 – 3 in Silvertown properties’ favour at the final bell.

Silvertown Properties would swiftly follow up their success in a closely fought match with Shibumi. The latter would get proceedings underway with the opening goal, but Silvertown responded to take the lead. It was level pegging at half time and in the fourth chukka, before Silvertown claimed a fifth goal to claim a narrow victory.

Another tight contest followed on Monday 13th August between Walker Construction and Noon Giraffe. Noon Giraffe would seize the initiative to have a narrow lead at the tread in and continued this into the third chukka; but Walker Construction fought back to level and then take the lead in the fourth and final chukka. The final score was 4 -3.

Chester would claim an emphatic victory over Virgo Stone as they dominated play throughout. Their strong hold of 4 goals to 1 ½ at half time would be maintained throughout the second half to finish on 8 – 4 ½. This would be followed by a fast-paced and electric game between Balaclava and Noon Giraffe. The teams could barely be split, with explosive runs to goal and skilful steals from the mouth of the goal when the opposition seemed certain of scoring.  As the bell of the fourth chukka sounded out, the game was forced into a fifth and decisive chukka; Noon Giraffe would eventually triumph with a fourth goal over Balaclava’s 3.

Thursday was to be Semi Finals day and saw a game of two halves as Chester dominated the first half, but failed to seal the deal after the tread in. Chester appeared to have Shibumi at their mercy, claiming the first goal and then an unstoppable rally of end-to-end goals in the second chukka to go into half time on 5 goals to 1 ½. However, Shibumi then mounted a scintillating attack in response, reeling them in to within half a goal in the third and then inching ahead to 6 ½ goals to 5 to claim a hard-fought win of perseverance.

An early lead for Noon Giraffe would be short lived, as Silvertown Properties drew level and then overtook by the half time whistle. Silvertown would stretch their lead to 4 goals as Noon Giraffe failed to respond in the third chukka, before a goalless fourth maintained the standings of 4 – 3. Balaclava would face defeat again, but this time at the hands of Virgo Stone who would seize the initiative from the off to dominate play and romp home with 7 goals to 2 for a landslide victory to set up a rematch with Shibumi on the Swinhay No.1 ground.

On Sunday 19th, spectators were treated to an enthralling game as Shibumi and Silvertown properties battled it out to lift the Somerville Livingstone-Learmonth trophy on the hallowed turf of Swinhay No.1 Ground. Luke Wiles added to the Shibumi score with a neat goal to start proceedings, followed by an epic goal from Mark Baldwin that saw the ball soar from a distance through the uprights. Silvertown lost a valuable player in Mikey Henderson when a hand injury ruled him out of play but Olly Tuthill switched shirts from umpire to player to take his place. Silvertown drew level in the third and fierce battle ensued. Ultimately, Silvertown Properties would emerge victorious as Henry Jodrell sent a long shot firmly between the uprights to triumph by 4 goals to 3.

The Somerville Livingstone-Learmonth Trophy was presented by Peg Livingstone – Learmonth in memory of her late husband Somerville, along with prizes kindly provided by British Polo Gin. The Polo Times Most Valuable Player was awarded to Shibumi’s Mark Baldwin and Best Playing Pony went to Max Hutchinson’s Regal.

The Subsidiary would see another rematch between Chester and Virgo Stone; an opportunity for redemption. A quick start by Virgo Stone would be matched by Chester, who would have a narrow lead at the tread in. They would then appear to have the upper hand as they extended their lead, but Virgo Stone were not yet finished as they fought back to 5 all and forced the game into a fifth and decisive chukka. However, their retaliation was in vain as Chester claimed the sixth and deciding goal.

Beth Howlett kindly presented the British Polo Gin prizes to the Subsidiary Finalists.