After Halcyon Gallery reigned supreme for three years running, we have a new winner of The Bledisloe Warwickshire Cup 2015; Apes Hill Club beat HB Polo, 8-6 the final score.
Manolo Fernandez Llorente replaced Tom Morley in the Apes Hill line up. HB Polo fielded a 20 goal team so started with a 2 goal handicap start on the board, but Apes Hill, confident from a comfortable win over Thai Polo in the semi finals, made a very strong start and had closed this gap to be level at 2-2 by the end of the first chukka.
They went on to take an early lead, 3-2 at the end of the second chukka. Mark Tomlinson was instrumental throughout, well earning his title of most valuable player at the prize giving, continuing his 100% penalty conversion rate from the semi finals and combined well with Eduardo Novillo Estrada behind him and 19 year old Ralph Richardson in-front making some impressive runs to goal.
HB Polo were very determined and never let Apes Hill far out of sight, but they could never quite catch them either. As Mark Tomlinson said it was “a very close game” and HB Polo fought hard throughout, but Apes Hill continued to keep their lead throughout, creeping to 4-3 in the 3rd, widening the gap to 7-4 in the 5th and eventually finishing 8-6 on the final bell at the end of the sixth.
A great result for Apes Hill and their patron Sir Charles “Cow” Williams, who won the Bathurst Cup – The subsidiary to The Warwickshire – exactly forty years ago in 1975 with his team San Flamingo with Howard Hipwood, Alan Scherer and Ronnie Driver. Cow was delighted to finally get his hands on The Warwickshire Cup.
It was a great day at Cirencester with huge crowds in the sunshine. Mark Tomlinson also received the best playing pony award for his mare Milly. Both teams will now prepare for the opening round of the Gold Cup for the British Open.