Sometimes, just sometimes, sporting success simply boils down to a bit of luck when you take in the even spread of talent across the field.

"It was a very tough game," said Ollie Jones after the Steve Lunn and Associates Hawke's Bay team eked out a 5-4 goal victory at the annual Wine Country Polo Tournament, the first in the province, yesterday.

Minus-one handicappers Peter Hyslop, of Hastings, and Scott Jolly, of Kumeu, three-goaler Aaron Vowles, of Central Hawke's Bay, and five-goaler Tommy Wilson, of Waimai, comprised the Apatu Farms-sponsored Hawke's Bay.

So what was the difference between the teams at the Elwood Park grounds in the derby final?


"I think we just got a little lucky," said the 27-year-old Englishman from Cheshire, who is living with organiser Richard Hunt and working for him as a polo groom while holidaying here.

It did help that husband-and-wife teammates No 4 Angus and No 2 Harriet McKelvie and No 1 Harry Bird all hail from Rangitikei.

"We played as a team and we were very even."

No 3 Jones scored twice, Angus McKelvie matched him and Harriet got one for the victors while Vowles and Wilson claimed two each for the runners-up.

The balmy 27 degree C climes added some zest to the crisp pace to the games at the three-day tourney.

"The air was hot, lovely day, a little bit of a breeze, the field was fantastic and it [the game] got quicker and quicker throughout the weekend."

Jones has been playing polo for nine years but had competed at a tourney here eight years where he had bumped into Hunt.

"It's a good, tough game and it's team sport."


Because Jones had riding lessons as a child he had the basic grounding to flirt with polo.