Ham Polo Club Polo Home
All images/copy © Duncan Murray/ Photoscience.co.uk 2007
Clarita - a well known and respected team from both Ham and Guards (Valerie Halford Memorial Trophy Final [ v Ochos Rios] 2006 and Royal Windsor Cup Final 2007 [ v Elmor]) were in the finals against Dubai (minus Adolfo); 2007 was the inaugural year of this new Medium Goal competition - it was wonderful to see this level of Polo return to Ham, a club that was, originally, if I have done my research correctly, a medium goal club.
Clarita fielded: 1, Clare Mathias (1); 2, Chris Mathias (0); 3, Glen Gilmore (7) and Bk Sam Gairdner (4) - Total 12
Dubai listed: 1, Rashid Albwardy (-1); 2, (3); 3, Lucas Di Paolo (7) and Bk Gustavo Janez (3) - Total 11
Watch the Slideshow here
Dubai started with a ½ goal lead due to handicap (12 v 11 - /6 x No. chukkas (4) = ½ goal) and boy - did it get of to a good start - Chris did a wonderful run and slotted the ball between the posts within the opening minute - and it set the scene for the first chukka. Dubai pulled the goal back and then Glen then scored from a 40 yard penalty (I think) and with less than 2 minutes to go Clarita were ahead 3:1½ (didn't see who scored) - then it looked like Glen took a 60 yd penalty and it was 4:1½ - an amazing start for Clarita.
The second chukka didn't see the score change - it wasn't boring - just nothing was converted - the chukka was still full of open play and opportunities.
Come the third - and after what must have been a 'very gentle bit of encouragement' - Dubai appeared to be a totally different team levelling the scores with just under 2 minutes of 'normal' time to play (7 minutes per chukka - +30 seconds if the ball is still in play) - it was a superb come-back and made sure the match was totally open...
Within 1½ minutes of the beginning of the 3rd Dubai had pulled away by another goal, only to stretch it by a further goal (6½:4) within a further minute. With just over a minute to go Clarita pulled back another goal - I think it was Sam who scored - judging by the colour of the helmet - then Sam scored at (my) end bringing it to 6½:6 to Dubai - as it stayed to the end of the chukka.
At the start of the 4th Dubai had a couple of tries at the goal - but were thwarted and (I think) Glen put Clarita ahead (sorry - no note-taker) by a half goal before Dubai came back again - 7½:7 to Dubai - but Clarita weren't finished yet - in the last few seconds Clarita had another try - and as Clare said - 'it was that close!' (about 1-2 inches) - it was... Dubai were the winners - Clarita did very well but just couldn't quite get the 'killer' blow in.
All images © Duncan Murray/ Photoscience.co.uk 2007