Last Sunday Peddington was lined with spectators on both sides for what always promised to be an action-packed climax to a great tournament. Building on the success of last year's series of 10 goal tournaments in the Cotswolds, this level has again provided thrilling four man polo; as fun for spectators as it is to play.
It took 4 ½ chukkas to reach a 6 - 5 conclusion to the Humphrey Guinness 10 goal final in favour of the Foxcote boys in red.
Despite their win, Foxcote were struggling to keep control throughout the game with Shibumi proving an extremely strong opposition.
Will Lucas opened up the game in the first chukka, carefully stick and balling his way around the defensive Foxcote boys straight to goal from the roll in to give Shibumi an early lead, 1 - 0. However, an impressive goal by Ollie Severn and one of Jacinto Crotto's infamous penalties put Foxcote in the lead 2 -1 at the end of the first chukka.
In the early stages of the second chukka, Crotto fouled against Lucas to give Shibumi the opportunity to convert a penalty, making the score even, for the first but not final time in the game; 2 all. Roles reversed and Lucas fouled against Crotto, giving Foxcote a 30 yard penalty which was, without a doubt, easily converted. As the whistle blew on the bell, Shibumi were awarded a 60 yard penalty. Lucas doesn't manage to get it to the goal, with Tom Beim strong defence, turning the play to attack taking the ball back up the pitch but the second bell goes before he has a chance to increase Foxcote's 3 -2 lead.
Yet again Shibumi started strong in the third chukka, with Mark Baldwin nearly scoring a great near side neck shot, but just sending it wide. A misjudged ride off from Jacinto, lead to a 60 yard penalty for Shibumi, which Baldwin converted with a lovely shot, once again resulting in an even score, 3 - 3 at the end of the third chukka.
The fourth chukka began and Shibumi continued their goal scoring, with Lucas running from the line out to score another sharp and quick goal. Another opportunity arose for Shibumi to score from a penalty converted by Mark Baldwin, increasing their lead to 5 - 3. But with half a chukka to go it was all still to play for, and the game became increasingly nail-biting. Foxcote were not giving up the fight, Aleksander Horvat scored a skilful goal, then shortly after sent a strong backhand to Tom Beim who managed to sneak another goal before the end of the fourth chukka, 5 - 5.
Halfway through the fifth chukka, after seeing a strong battle between both teams, Foxcote's Beim managed to secure the win, 6 - 5. Congratulations to Foxcote for yet another win to add to their record and Mark Baldwin for winning Most Valuable Player in final. In the subsidiary, Fossway Trophy, Confido beat Tayto in another close and well fought game, 4 - 3½.