13th June 2018 | Easebourne, UK
The trophy holders registered a convincing 10-6 win over Desert Palm/Dubai in the final.
The historic Cowdray Park Polo Club organised Duke of Sutherland Cup 2018, which began from May 21, featuring fifteen 16-18 goal teams entering the tournament. Begun in 1953, it is one of the six HPA competitions played at Cowdray Park as part of the UK’s Victor Ludorum prize.
Jonathan Rothermere’s Ferne Park faced Ali Albwardi’s Desert Palm in the final of this year’s edition. Here’s how the teams looked:
|Ferne Park (18)||Desert Palm/Dubai (18)|
|Vere Harmsworth (0)||Camilo Castagnola (5)|
|Rodrigo Rueda (6)||Henry Porter (2)|
|Joaquin Pittaluga (7)||Bartolomé Castagnola (6)|
|Jacinto Crotto (5)||Martin Valent (5)|
The game had plenty of young talent as brother Camilo and Bartolomé, 15 and 17 years of age respectively and sons of renowned Argentine player ‘Lolo’ Castagnola, started for Desert Palm. Vere Harmsworth, club Patron’s son was a part of the Ferne Park squad.
Desert Palm, owing to Camilo’s swift goal, took the lead early on in the match but the score was soon equalised by Joaquin Pittaluga of Ferne Park. The remaining 1st and 2nd chukka witnessed some equal competition from both ends as the 2nd ended with a 3-3 stalemate, with Camilo and Pittaluga each adding one more to his name.
Vere Harmsworth managed to beat the resilient Desert Palm defence and opened the scoring for his side in the 3rd. Pittaluga joined the party with successive goals to put Ferne Park ahead by 7 goals to 3 at half time.
Rodrigo Rueda scored a brace in the opening chukka of 2nd half to extend his team’s lead to 9-3. Desert Palm did manage to score a few well crafted team goals in the remaining game time, but yet another shot from Pittaluga into the goal was enough to seal the deal for Ferne Park. The team from Dubai, despite its amazing efforts, fell short of time to make a comeback. The game ended 10-6 in Ferne Park’s favour as they went on to lay their hands on the Duke of Sutherland Cup 2018 trophy.
Joaquin Pittaluga was awarded the Most Valuable Player award for his attacking display of goal scoring. The Best Playing Pony Award went to ‘Violantera’, played by Martin Valent of Desert Palm.