The Final of the Petworth 12 goal Cup saw a tough encounter between two local rivals, Cowdray Vikings and Emlor C. Playing alongside Lila Pearson in her Cowdray Viking side were Byron Watson (3 goals) at 2, Gaston Laulhe (6 goals) at 3 and Ed Hitchman (4 goals) at Back. Laura Ormerod’s Emlor C featured the patron at 1, Jose Ramon Araya (2 goals) at 2, Jack Richardson (6 goals) at 3 and Henry Fisher (4 goals) at Back, making two very evenly matched teams.
In a busy first chukka, Cowdray Vikings were first to score with a 60 yard penalty accurately taken by Ed Hitchman. Jack Richardson followed up with two good field goals and Byron Watson equalized at 2-2 before the hooter blew for chukka’s end. In chukka 2, Laulhe was judged to have been impeded by Richardson on the way to the goal. A spot hit was given and Hitchman took an easy swing for 3-2 to Cowdray Vikings. As the action soared up and down the field in intense heat, Emlor C failed to increase their scoreline while Cowdray Vikings capitalised on a 60 yard penalty which again Hitchman shot through to give his side a lead of 4-2 at half time.
The frantic pace of the third chukka saw plenty of end to end play with Laulhe searching for every opportunity and Fisher playing an excellent game in defence. He was rewarded by being in the right place at the right time with a well-earned field goal to bring Emlor C up to 3-4. In the fourth chukka Richardson for Emlor C missed a 40 yard penalty, with Cowdray Vikings also missing a 30 yard penalty shot at goal, but when Watson spun round and impeded a shot from Fisher another 40 yard was given and Fisher lost no time in sending it through to equalize. Emlor C prevented a Cowdray Vikings attack with Fisher hooking out Laulhe. Araya and Ormerod raced away to try and score but the ball was cleared by Watson and the hooter sounded the end of chukka 4 with the score on 4-4. The match went into an extra chukka but with no quick-fire solution. The teams battled on for a further five minutes, the pace so intense that Watson made a poor defensive move and was given a yellow card and a penalty 30 yard awarded to Emlor C. Fisher sent the ball between the posts and Emlor C had won the Petworth 12 goal on a score of 5-4.
From an entry of six teams, Peter Barfoot’s Maiz Dulce and Andrew Swaffield’s Alcedo met in the Final of the 6 goal Jersey Lilies Cup. Millie Cooper has taken the place of Peter Barfoot, still out through injury, in the 2017 season and was joined by Mtt Pitts (2 goals) playing at number 2, Jack Berner (3 goals) at 3 and Derreck Bratley (3 goals) at Back. With Andrew Swaffield at number 1, Daniel Batchelor (-1) played at 2, Nick Clague (3 goals) at 3 and Bauti Sorzana (5 goals) at Back.
Young Daniel Batchelor was first to score for Alcedo and by half time the team was 4-0 ahead. Maiz Dulce pulled up with three goals in chukka 3, answered by a 60 yard penalty from Sorzana giving Alcedo a lead of 5-3 . A determined effort by Maiz Dulce in the final chukka saw two good goals from Matt Pitts and a 60 yard penalty by Derreck Bratley nail a victory for Barfoot’s side on a final score of 6-5.
The 15 goal Bryan Bethell Cup, open to Cowdray and non-Cowdray teams, saw an entry of six teams including King Power and El Remanso but it was Dr Badr-El-Din ‘s Golden Falcons and Alejandro Peñafiel’s Rosario which made it through to the Final. Golden Falcons fielded Ned Hine at the front door in place of Khalid Badr-El-Din, Tom Beim (2 goals) at 2, and 6 goalers James Harper and James Beim at 3 and Back respectively. Peñafiel played at 1 for Rosario with Hernan Muzzio (3 goals) at 2, Matt Perry (5 goals) at 3 and Alejandro Muzzio (7 goals) at Back.
In temperatures which necessitated plenty of pony changes, a blistering start saw five goals see-saw onto the scoreboard in four minutes, a last minute goal by Hernan Muzzio ending the chukka at 3 goals apiece. England players James Beim and James Harper played their usual instinctive game to give Golden Falcons a 6-4 lead to close chukka 2. Chukka 3 saw excellent play by Hernan Muzzio, his first goal coming within seconds of the start. His brother Alejandro contributed another and Hernan’s next was the third goal of the chukka before the first whistle of the match was blown. Awarded a 60 yard penalty, James Beim lofted a straight ball between the posts to even the score at 7-7. Rosario were onto the ball from the throw-in, the Falcons snatched it back, but suddenly Alejandro Muzzio re-claimed it and sent it forward to his brother who made another goal look easy. The score moved on to 8-7 in Rosario’s favour.
At the opening of the second half, James Beim demonstrated both class and accuracy with a lovely run to make goal number 16. Rosario won the ball from the throw and Hernan Muzzio was racing away to take the lead once more on 9-8. A cheeky steal by Beim saw the number 4 carry the ball all the way to the goal posts to equalize at 9-9. With everything to play for in the final chukka, there was no let-up in the pace. Matt Perry made his fourth goal of the match. Young Ned Hine won the ball from the throw in and made a wonderful measured run all the way to the goal to equalise for Golden Falcons on 10-10. But suddenly the goals all went in favour of Rosario with Alejandro and Hernan Muzzio tying up the match between them making three goals and ending with a victory for Rosario on 13-10.
Mrs Annette Bethell presented the Bryan Bethell Cup, donated to the club in memory of her husband Bryan, father of Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Polo Manager Chris Bethell, to a delighted Alejandro Peñafiel.