It's no Duke fluke as Cortium claim the Sutherland Cup

The Duke of Sutherland winners / Picture by Mark Beaumont
The Duke of Sutherland winners / Picture by Mark Beaumont

With an entry of nine teams, action in the 18-goal Duke of Sutherland Cup extended over a period of three weeks culminating in the final between Andras Tombor’s Bardon and locally-based Adrian Kirby’s team Cortium.

Playing for Andras Tombor were Matias Machado (five goals) at No2, Alfredo Bigatti (seven goals) at No3 and Santiago Laborde (six goals) at back.

The Easebourne Cup winners / Picture by Mark Beaumont

The Easebourne Cup winners / Picture by Mark Beaumont

For Cortium Martin Podesta (six goals) took the No1 position, with Manuel Elizalde (five goals) at two, Juan Ambroggio (six goals) at three and the one-goal patron at back.

Bigatti for Bardon put the first goal on the scoreboard but Kirby blocked their next attempt. Soon a well-angled under-the-neck shot from Podesta equalised.

Cortium won the ball from the throw-in but Laborde was soon in possession and his pass to Machado saw goal two from Bardon and a 2-1 lead at the end of the first chukka.

Confido need a dollar - and they get one with cup triumph
A free hit to Cortium started the second and Ambroggio controlled the ball all the way to Bardon’s goal to make it 2-2. A 30-yard penalty awarded to Cortium saw them take the lead on 3-2 to close the chukka.

Play in the third saw plenty of action but a disappointing lack of goals for Bardon, with two 60-yard penalties failing to find their mark.

Cortium went on the attack, their attempt at goal was impeded and the whistle blew. Elizalde’s 30-yard penalty took their lead to 4-2.

In the second half, Bigatti was unlucky when a fine under-the-neck shot failed to go through. Kirby picked up the ball and carried it all the way to the Bardon goal to take the score to 5-2.

Another goal for Cortium came from a 30-yard penalty and chukka four ended with Bardon having failed to score over three chukkas.

In the final chukka, once more a 60-yard penalty awarded to Bardon went wide. A huge shot from Podesta was picked up by Elizalde, who was challenged in a massive ride-off by Bigatti, but Cortium retained the ball with Elizalde flying away to move their score on to 7-2.

Finally Bardon replied, Laborde grabbing the ball and a scramble in front of Cortium’s goal enabling Machado to get it over the line.

Cortium won the throw-in but Bardon were soon in control, Machado sending a huge hit to Bigatti who scored. But Cortium still weren’t finished. With a last push, a great team effort brought a cheeky little goal resulting in a final scoreline of 8-4.

Stephen Biddlecombe of Stephen’s Polo Division presented the Duke of Sutherland Cup to Kirby and superb prizes to all players. He presented a saddle to a delighted Min Podesta, judged to be most valuable player of the match and the best playing pony award went to Iranita Porfia owned and played by Juan Ambroggio.

* Out of an entry of nine teams, Jeremy Pemberton’s Conosco side made it to the final of the eight-goal Easebourne Cup to face John Bunn’s Hickstead in the final.

Conosco comprised Antonio Heguy (no goals) at No1, patron Jeremy Pemberton (no goals) at two, Lachie Gilmore (two goals) at three and Will Emerson (five goals) at back.

John Bunn (no goals) played at No1 for his team with Harry Muddle (two goals) at two, Dorian Bulteau (two goals) at three and Niall Donnelly (four goals) at back.

With Conosco’s combined handicaps totalling seven, they received a half-goal advantage on the scoreboard.

Bulteau won the ball from the first throw-in and went racing off but his shot at goal went wide under pressure from Emerson, but great teamwork by the Hickstead players enabled John Bunn to send a lovely under-the-neck shot between the goalposts to score the opening goal. An on-fire Bulteau was the next to score for Hickstead and it was 2-½. Bunn saved a 60-yard penalty taken by Conosco’s Emerson, Bulteau picked up the ball, ran with it and a lovely little tap saw it through the posts for 3-½ to end the first chukka.

Conosco’s comeback started in the second chukka with a lovely field goal from Lachie Gilmore and two fine goals from Emerson to narrowly take the lead on 3½-3.

After half-time, Bulteau stole the ball from Emerson and smartly backed it through to take Hickstead ahead once more. Gilmore played a super lofted shot at goal which regained the lead for Conosco, then an excellent piece of play saw the team hold off the opposition and enable Emerson to take the side further ahead at 5½-4 to close chukka three.

Within moments of chukka four opening, Emerson drove the ball between the posts to take Conosco on to 6½-4. Hickstead failed to score from a 60-yard penalty and another good attempt at goal was cleared by Emerson.

Gilmore came back in the action taking the ball all the way for 7½-4. With no let-up in the pace, Hickstead went on the attack again but once more Emerson was brilliant in defence.

Finally the team’s efforts were rewarded with a goal from Harry Muddle but too late to make a difference and Conosco ran out the winners on 7½-5.

Lila Pearson presented the Easebourne Cup to Jeremy Pemberton and prizes to all players. Will Emerson’s pony Brittany won the best playing pony award.