Foxcote Take The St. James's Place Cup in Fifth Chukka Showdown
Foxcote received The St. James’s Place Cup from St. James’s Place CEO David Bellamy to add to what must be a bulging trophy cabinet, as they continue their hugely successful 2017 season with a 6 – 5 victory over Tayto. It was always set to be a close and hard fought final with two very competitive sides going head to head, but you could not have asked for a more nail-biting finish to the tournament as Henry Fisher finished it off with a fantastic goal in an extra chukka for Foxcote to take the win.
The game was difficult to predict from the start with some last minute team alterations on both sides and continued to be unpredictable until the last second providing a wonderful spectacle for the 500 guests of St. James’s Place who joined us in the marquee to enjoy a wonderful lunch and raise funds for the St. James’s Place Foundation. The first half however belonged to Foxcote who were 4 – 2 in the lead at half time. The willowy figure of Jacinto Crotto - mainstay of the Foxcote 2017 team and a force to be reckoned with – was away from the off with his usual gusto and flair to see Foxcote three goals clear by the middle of the second chukka; two field goals and a converted penalty.
The game was never as one sided as the score would have one believe though and it was not long before Tayto were finding the posts as well. Rupert Lewis converted a 60 yard penalty first, following a foul on Stephen Hutchinson to make it 3-1. Crotto in turn slotted a penalty for Foxcote to make it 4-1, but just before the bell for half time Ollie Tuthill hit a long range, slightly speculative shot, but it was on target and despite being chased down by Henry Jones, it rolled through, to give Tayto a stronger footing moving in to the second half.
Mr Tayto, Stephen Hutchinson scored a cracking goal at the beginning of the 3rd Chukka, which really set the tone for Tayto in the second half and brought them right back into the game: 4-3. Tayto were on the attack and Ollie Tuthill was on a roll but couldn’t quite get through the long arms of Crotto. Foxcote eventually fouled however and Lewis converted a 60 yard penalty to make it 4-4 which sent the Irish Tayto massive into raptures and the Foxcote supporters to the edge of their seats. Lewis was playing well and despite the conditions and an earlier slip up, he powered through the traffic and scored again to put Tayto into the lead for the first time in the game; right at the crucial moment. Crotto though is never one to let a game slip away without a fight and in the last moments of the last chukka he levelled it up, running half the length of the field himself and pushed the game into an extra chukka.
It was Henry Fisher though who did the damage in the end and shattered the Tayto comeback scoring the winning goal with style. A great final to watch, despite the horrible conditions; we look forward to the next in this series of ten goal tournaments which are again and again proving excellent polo for players and spectators alike.
Confido won the subsidiary Town Plate beating Shibumi 7-5.