Lodsworth Cup polo final is a family affair
Twelve teams entered the popular August 12-goal Lodsworth Village Cup with Ray Fine's Las Estrellas and his son Wilf Fine's Sea Breeze making it through to the final.
Making his first appearance on a UK polo field for many years, in the Las Estrellas side was the legendary manager of Ellerston, Australian Jim Gilmore, now playing off one goal, taking the No2 position.
Emma Boers (0 goal) played at No1, Tomas Beresford (four goals) at No3 and Ray Fine took his usual position at back. Wilf Fine (-1) played at one for Sea Breeze, with 14-year-old Will Harper (-1) at No2, Nick Pepper (four goals) at No3 and Charles Seavill (two goals) at back.
A super goal from Seavill just before the end of the first chukka took Sea Breeze into the lead. Pepper for Sea Breeze won the ball from the throw-in which opened the second chukka and passed it to Wilf Fine. He made a great run down the pitch but his shot went wide.
Pepper soon re-captured the ball and sent it between the posts for the team’s second. The next throw-in saw Seavill win the ball and take it the length of the pitch to move Sea Breeze’s score on to 3-0.
Soon after, a roll-in from the boards saw Pepper in possession of the ball again; he was challenged by Beresford but a well-placed Harper made a grab for it and the youngster’s super shot at goal gave Sea Breeze a 4-0 lead.
Beresford for Las Estrellas was on his metal when Pepper attempted a 60-yard penalty shot at goal. Having successfully blocked the goal, Beresford tore off to the opposite end to open Las Estrellas’ scoring and the first half ended 4-1.
Following the half-time treading-in, Sea Breeze continued their attack with Harper racing away from the first throw-in. Despite being hassled by Boers, he delivered a lovely cut shot between the posts for 5-1.
Beresford went on the attack, the whistle blew and Las Estrellas were awarded a safety 60 enabling him to score again for Fine senior’s side.
Sea Breeze won the next throw-in but an attempt at goal by Seavill went wide. In came the ball from the back line and Gilmore and Boers helped move it forward, leaving Beresford to produce a lovely finish with a huge shot at goal moving Las Estrellas’ on to 5-3.
A tail backhand from Pepper saw Wilf Fine move the ball on but Seavill again scored for Sea Breeze. When the ball went out over the boards, Beresford secured it and sent it to a perfectly-placed Boers, who neatly completed the teamwork needed to move Las Estrellas up to a 6-4 lead.
The next throw-in saw Beresford outwit Pepper to claim the ball and race away but his lovely under-the-neck shot at goal went wide.
Pepper hit the ball in, Beresford took on each member of the Sea Breeze side and finally achieved the goal which brought Las Estrellas to within a goal of their opponents at 6-5.
Sea Breeze remained focussed and Pepper raced away to score the clinching goal.
Ray Fine would have been happy to see the result go either way. “I’m delighted with the result,” he said. “It was a great victory for two young boys and they should share the cup.”
His wife Kerry Fine presented the Lodsworth Village Cup to Wilf Fine and Will Harper.
In the subsidiary final, Los Hamblinos/Burningfold beat Cowdray Vikings/GCN 4-3.
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