A great game, in unexpected sunshine, saw Jonathan Munro Ford's Black Eagles win the six-goal Spring Tournament. They defeated Clive Reid's AFB in a wonderful game on The Princes' Ground at Smith's Lawn. AFB were in front, 2-1 at the end of the first, thanks to some strong play from Pete Webb and Chino Leiva. The Eagles' Daniel Otamendi was looking dangerous, but AFB were able to contain him in the first seven minutes.
Things began to change in the second. Otamendi closed the gap for the Eagles and then put them ahead 3-2 at half-time. With strong support from team-mates Nick Pepper and Sebastian Hancock, the Black Eagles were now the more dominant team.
The third chukka belonged to Nick Pepper. He had already produced some great lofted shots at goal and although a couple had gone wide, this did not deter him. Once again, Hancock was strong in defence, showing a maturity and confidence that belied his 15 years. Despite this duo's strong play the score at the end of the third was 5-3 to the Black Eagles and so was still anyone's game.
However Pepper was determined to start his 2012 season with a victory and scored three goals in this chukka. It could have been more if Pete Webb had not been so strong in defence for AFB, even clearing the ball off the line at times. But, with Otamendi converting a penalty too, the final score was 9-3 to the Eagles.
The subsidiary final saw a decisive win for Mo Sheikh's BHC Polo, who defeated Alan Fall's Mad Dogs.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who were on parade at Smith's Lawn on this day as part of the Club's inaugural Mounties Day, the brilliant Canadian Tenors and Fred Mannix Senior, joined the Club's Chairman, Jock Green-Armytage and Chief Executive, Neil Hobday, to present the prizes.
Black Eagles: Jonathan Munro Ford (-1); Sebastian Hancock (0); Nick Pepper (3); Daniel Otamendi (4). AFB: Martin Davison (-1); Clive Reid (0); Chino Leiva (2); Peter Webb (5).
BHC Polo: Karim Sheikh (-1); Mo Sheikh (0); Hernan Muzzio (3); Juracy Santos (4). Mad Dogs: Alan Fall (0); Alistair Walker (1); Tristan Pemble (2); Will Hine (3).
Photo: Daniel Otamendi v Pete Webb in the Spring Tournament Final. Image courtsey of Images of Polo