Maiz amaze to lift polo silverware at Cowdray

PSI Trophy winners Maiz Dulce / Picture by Clive Bennett
PSI Trophy winners Maiz Dulce / Picture by Clive Bennett

A lively final and sub-final of the eight-goal PSI Trophy were enjoyed on another sunny Sunday by a good-sized crowd at Cowdray Park.

Peter Barfoot’s Maiz Dulce side made it through to the final, where they took on Christian Staubach’s Bamboleo/Madams Farm.

Millie Cooper, just 18, took the No1 position for Maiz Dulce, playing off minus one, with John Martin (two goals) at two, Jack Berner (three goals) at No3 and Pedro Harrison (four goals) at back. Christian Staubach was joined by Jack Taylor (one goal) at two, Nick Johnson (two goals) at three and Glenn Sherriff (five goals) at back.

Bamboleo/Madams Farm came away with the ball from the opening throw-in but Martin intervened and, with some ducking and diving, made the first mark on the scoreboard for Maiz Dulce. A 40-yard penalty enabled Harrison to advance Maiz Dulce’s score to 2-0, but Bamboleo went on the attack and achieved their first goal.

Johnson started the second chukka with a 60-yard penalty which went wide. Maiz Dulce brought the ball in and Harrison made another goal for the side in yellow. It was an entertaining chukka, with the two backs jostling and working hard.

Johnson gave great support to Bamboleo’s No4, Sherriff, for which he was rewarded with a smart field goal. But, as Johnson waited for the next ball to come from Sherriff, Martin for Maiz Dulce stepped in and passed swiftly to Berner who made a terrific goal, taking the side to 4-2. Sheriff reduced Maiz Dulce’s lead to 4-3.

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Within a minute of the third chukka opening, Berner scored again for Maiz Dulce. From the throw-in Taylor won the ball for Bamboleo and surged away, racing towards the goal and scoring. Bamboleo’s come-back was well under way as it wasn’t long before Johnson neatly backed the ball through the posts to equalise at 5-5.

Not long into the fourth chukka, the ball went over the boards and Harrison for Maiz Dulce took the free hit. But Johnson for Bamboleo was first on the ball and raced away with it, neatly passing it to Staubach to earn the goal that took Bamboleo into the lead for the first time in the match.

But the advantage was soon lost when the whistle blew and Maiz Dulce were awarded a 40-yard penalty which Harrison sent between the posts for 6-6.

The teams battled on until the final whistle blew and a fifth chukka was needed to decide the match.

The final chukka started with a roll-in and Harrison was straight on to the ball and passed to Martin. Sherriff stole the ball, there was a scuffle and the ball went out. Harrison took the free hit and swiftly Berner raced through to pick it up and score for Maiz Dulce taking the team to 7-6 and victory.

Cooper was delighted to receive the handsome silver cup from Jo James, who presented it on behalf of the donor of the trophy, former Cowdray patron Peter Pattenden. She also presented prizes of polo sticks to all players.

In the subsidiary final of the PSI Trophy, Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze team beat Garrie Renucci’s Vendetta 8-4.