Poulton Balvanera proved indestructible to beat Tayto 7-3, to add the coveted Queen Mother Trophy to their 12 Goal collection and to consolidate their top spot for the 12 Goal Victor Ludorum 2015. Jj de Alba’s and The Ephson’s combined team was always going to be one to beat, but a goal average 23.5 goals clear of the second place team in their league was a strong start even for the Dollar Cup winners. The team had then beaten Snakebite 10-4 in the semi-finals to comfortably secure their place on Ivy Lodge in the final against Stephen Hutchinson’s Tayto.
The confidence and momentum of the team was tangible from the first roll in where Tomy Iriarte stormed away and took the ball all the way to goal. He over-cooked a cut shot and sent the ball wide of the right hand post, but it was not even a minute later before he did the same thing, this time finding the middle of the posts. Jj de Alba, who had been extremely strong on his 2 goal handicap throughout the tournament, showed his flair and skill with the ball to get a quick second goal for the whites.
Tomy Iriarte took a safety 60 which was high and seemed to be deceptively on target from the stands, but was ruled out by umpire Tony Keyte. The crowd were on the edge of their seats and thrilled with the fast-paced high scoring game. Some strong interplay between Tomy Iriarte and JJ de Alba made it 3-0 to Poulton Balvanera. Jj de Alba then made a spectacular recovery from his pony tripping to send a bullet like pass up to Lochie, who got to the goal within one shot, he looked as though it was going wide of the left hand post but pulled an octopus like move for a spectacular open backhand through the posts just after the first bell. Tayto were left with an uphill struggle, 4-0 down at the end of the first chukka.
The scoreline did not completely reflect the game though and the crowd were treated to end to end polo throughout. The Irish contingent supporting Tayto on the far side still had plenty of opportunities to cheer and Tayto were unlucky on a few occasions not to find the posts. Lochie managed to extend the lead further however with the only goal in the second chukka, carrying and juggling the ball from far before the half way he managed to mitigate strong defending from Stephen Hutchinson and a few awkward bounces to go the whole way on a very quick pony.
JJ and Ludo Ephson made it 6-0 in the third. Jj scooped a ball up at half way which went extremely high but did not get the distance he was looking for. Ludo pounced on it though and took it all the way to goal where a strong hook came in from Martin Rodriguez right infront of the goal, the ball continued to trickle towards the goal and Jj ensured it made the distance making it a staggering 6-0 at the end of the third.
Tayto never looked as though the game was going to be a walkover however and continued to fight hard, but it certainly looked as though they would not be able to stage a comeback going into the fourth and final chukka six goals down. A penalty early in the chukka though allowed Max Hutchinson to convert and finally open their account. Mikey Henderson then stole away from the following two line outs to go the whole way and with incredible momentum put Tayto back in the hunt sending the red’s supporters wild!
Martin almost managed to make it a 4th but sent the ball just wide and time was running against them. The final score as the bell went stayed at 7-3 to the delight of the Poulton Balvanera entourage.
The unique wooden carved mug trophy which was presented to Cirencester by HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Jj de Alba won the Gourlay Bowl silver bowl for The Most Valuable Player.
Aryana then went on to beat Tempest 8-4 in the subsidiary to take the Corinium Bowl.