The final 12 foal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club did not disappoint with Ojo Caliente narrowly defeating Gallagher 5-4 on Lawns Ground 2.
Ojo Caliente (Ana Escobedo, Terence Lent, Jonny Good and John Paul Clarkin) survived a late push from Gallagher (Clare Milford Haven, Dominic Lodge, Glenn Sherriff, Bautista Sorzana), who’s last second goal left them one short in the thrilling final. Jonny Good and John Paul Clarkin proved to be an effective duo, combining for all five Ojo Caliente goals in the victory.
Gallagher opened the scoring on an impressive team play, beginning with Clare Milford Haven running the ball in front of goal, followed by a deft backhand to set up Bautista Sorzana for the first goal of the match.
Despite receiving three penalty attempts, Ojo Caliente was only able to manage one field goal from Jonny Good, but it was enough to tie the score at 1-1 at the conclusion of the first chukka. After conceding a penalty 4 to Sherriff, Ojo Caliente’s John Paul Clarkin responded with a penalty conversion of his own, while Good’s second goal gave Ojo Caliente the slim 3-2 lead at halftime.
Jumping on each loose ball, Gallagher fought their way back into the game, hitting a series of backhands that eventually resulted in Sherriff converting a shot under pressure for his second goal. Holding Ojo Caliente off the scoresheet in the third chukka, Gallagher remained deadlocked in a 3-3 tie entering an exciting fourth and final chukka.
With the pressure increasing in the final, Ojo Caliente struck first after Clarkin intercepted a backhand and dribbled to goal, giving his team the one-goal advantage. Jumping on a loose ball, Johnny Good sealed the 5-4 victory for Ojo Caliente, as a last-minute goal from Sherriff wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
Best Playing Pony was awarded to Nova, owned, and ridden by JP Clarkin.
Final Score: -Winners Ojo Caliente
Ojo Caliente 5