Black Bears Victorious Once More in The Apsley Cup Final
The crowds were lined thick along Peddington for the Apsley Cup and were treated to a fast and furious final which saw the Bears claim the silver again, to add to the Warwickshire Cup from just the week before.
The first three chukkas were close, with end to end polo, finishing at half time with Black Bears just ahead 4 – 3. Ferne Park came level at the start of the fourth but it was short lived with a goal from Max Charlton and their lead further extended with a sneaky steal from Juan Cruz Merlos in front of the goal, scoring to bring Black Bears into a 6 - 4 lead.
Paco O’Dwyer took a crashing fall down at the far end but both pony and player were unhurt. A foul by Ferne Park gave Charlton the chance to bring the score to 7 – 4, accompanied by roars from the Black Bears tent. A sky high penalty shot from O’Dwyer may have nearly hit the clubhouse as it soared over the trees but was bang on target, securing the Bears’ lead 8 – 4.
As the clock counted down, Ferne Park attacked hard, with a goal by Joaquin Pittaluga trying to close the gap but there was too much to do; the magnificent Apsley Cup was going back to Shiplake with the Bears.
Lady Rosie Bathurst kindly presented the prizes with help from local artist Refna. Most Valuable Player was awarded to Juan Cruz Merlos and Best Playing Pony went to his pony, Kenash.
Earlier on in the day on Soushi, Marchfield Polo made an excellent comeback to beat Trewsbury 11 - 6 1/2 to take The Mansion Cup.
Trewsbury came out all guns blazing, adding two goals to their half a goal handicap start by the end of the first chukka.
The second started with a great goal from Justo Mourino making it 4 ½ - 1. Trewsbury remained unrattled by an amazing cut shot from Marchfield Polo with Mourino scoring yet another impressive goal. By the end of the second, Trewsbury were sitting comfortably in the lead 6 ½ - 3.
However, Marchfield Polo gained devastating momentum in the final three chukkas, scoring no less than 8 goals, with no reply from Trewsbury, to win the Mansion Cup 11 – 6 ½.