Snakebite cannot kill off Gaston in Cowdray Park's Cicero Cup

Cicero Cup winners Gaston / Picture by Mark Beaumont
Cicero Cup winners Gaston / Picture by Mark Beaumont

From an entry of nine teams, the 15-goal Spink & Son Cicero Cup ended with Siri Bazzoni’s Gaston team face Max Kirchhoff’s Snakebite in the final at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

Gaston, a team new to Cowdray Park, comprised Siri Bazzoni (0 goals) in the No1 position, Ollie Cork (3 goals) at No2, George Meyrick (6 goals) at three and Ollie Cudmore (6 goals) at back.

For Snakebite, Max Kirchhoff (0 goals) took the No1 position, with David Ashby (3 goals) at No2, Richard Tyrone (5 goals) at No3 and England captain James Beim (7 goals) at back.

Cudmore raced away two minutes into the first chukka to make the opening goal for Gaston. Shots from both sides went wide in the second chukka until an open backhand shot from Beim found Tyrone, whose excellent long drive saw Snakebite equalise.

Despite enthusiastic work by Cork for Gaston and Ashby for Snakebite, goals were slow to come and the third chukka ended on the same score.

The teams came back on to the field after half-time and a good steal from Cork by Ashby enabled the Snakebite No2 to pass to Tyrone.

Kirchhoff was ready and heading towards the goal but a neat intervention by Bazzoni led to a clearance that put the ball out. A safety 60-yard shot taken by Beim missed the goal posts.

Cudmore increased Gaston’s score with a 40-yard penalty to make it 2-1 but several more attempts by both sides went out until Meyrick, bringing the ball from the back line, fired a big shot forward, caught up with it, tapped it on and cleverly slipped past Tyrone to take Gaston on to 3-1.

The match came alive in the final chukka with Snakebite winning the ball from the first throw-in, Beim backing to Kirchhoff, but Tyrone taking it through to pull up to 3-2.

Jockeys swap saddle for saucepan
Trophy wins show polo season is in full swing
Again, Snakebite won the throw-in with Beim taking control and sending the ball to Ashby. Cork seized it but Beim wasn’t letting go; he passed to Tyrone, who left it for Ashby to equalise at 3-3.

Cork came away with the ball from the throw-in but Cudmore intervened to seize back control for Gaston; moments later Meyrick regained the lead with a neat shot at goal for 4-3.

Cudmore raced away from the throw-in but Beim grabbed the ball from him and Kirchhoff was in place to send a massive shot forward. The ball went just wide.

With Gaston back in charge, Cudmore passed to Meyrick who made a lovely shot towards goal which rolled through for 5-3 and a victory for newcomers Siri Bazzoni and her Gaston side.

In front of a large group of Spink guests, the Spink & Son Cicero Cup was presented by Edward Hilary Davis to Siri Bazzoni. The Best Playing Pony award went to Monkey Puzzle owned and played by Richard Tyrone.

The six-goal Jubilee Cup featured Hugo Baldwin, John Bunn, Niall Donnelly and John Martin making up the Hickstead Lions five-goal team.

Britt Shaw, Clare Milford Haven, Dorian Bulteau and Bautista Sorzana formed the six-goal Sea Island Coffee team giving Hickstead Lions a half goal advantage to start the match, which was narrowly won by Hickstead Lions in a 5½-5 victory.

John Bunn scored two of Hickstead Lions’ goals, with four-goaler Niall Donnelly, playing in the No3 position, scoring three. Sea Island Coffee’s patron, Britt Shaw, scored from two penalty shots, with Bauti Sorsana making three good field goals.