Poverty Bay-raised professional Glenn Sherriff scored eight goals as his Auckland team Morningstar won the national Savile Cup polo final in Hastings today.
"Yes it was a sweet case of revenge," Sherriff said after Morningstar's 12-5 victory against fellow Auckland team Ashmole in an entertaining final played on a firm Elwood Park ground in front of a crowd of 470.
Sheriff, 31, who first played tournaments when he was 11 and has been a professional since he was 18, was referring to Ashmole's 10-2 drubbing of Morningstar on Thursday, Morningstar's only loss in three matches.
"It was our day today. All our horses performed well which allowed us to gel as a team."
It was only the fifth time Sherriff had played in the Savile Cup final and it was the second time he had been on the winning side.
"With Mum and Dad as well as a few other relations from Gisborne in the crowd it made it pretty special," five goaler and No 4 player Sherriff said.
His team, which also included English partner Lottie Lamacraft in the No 2 role, six goaler Thomas Hunt in the No 3 role and O goaler Ellen Morgenstern in the No 1 spot, led 2-0 after the first chukka and 3-0 after the second. The score was 3-all after the third, Morningstar led 6-4 after the fourth and 8-4 going into the sixth and final chukka.
Hunt and Argentinian six goaler Paco O'Dwyer, who had the No 4 job for Ashmole were in the Morningstar team which won the Savile Cup in Hastings in 2013. Other members of the Ashmole team this week were one goaler Will Jackson in the No 1 spot, three goaler Henry Wood in the No 3 role and two goaler Jeremy Jones in the No 2 spot.
Sherriff, who combined well with Hunt, said there was a good chance the Morningstar team would be retained for next year's Savile Cup. He also received the prize for the best Savile Cup pony and Hunt captured the prize for the best string of ponies in the five-team Savile Cup section.
There were no Hawke's Bay teams in the 12-goal Savile Cup but Hawke's Bay A won the next grade down, the four-team six-goal Wilson Cup section, with a thrilling 9-8 win against Kihi Kihi A in the final.
"We recovered from a bad start which saw us 4-1 down after the first chukka. We were 5-4 up after the second, two up going into the last and it was all square with 30 seconds to go so an extra chukka was required," recalled Hawke's Bay's English professional and three goaler Ollie Jones, who scored the winning goal.
Jones, who also won the prize for the best string of ponies in the grade, had four goaler Jonny Coddington playing alongside him at No 4, one goaler Lucy Coddington in the No 2 spot and -2 goaler Ann Marie Cavanagh in the No 1 job.
"We really wanted that title for Richard," Jones added, referring to Hawke's Bay Polo Club stalwart and New Zealand Polo Association president Richard Hunt.
Jones also played for the Hawke's Bay D team which was pipped 6.5-5 by Hawke's Bay E in the MacKenzie Salver final. Coddington also had the No 4 role for Hawke's Bay E, alongside -1 goaler Scott Jolly in the No 3 role, -2 goaler Helen Liddle in the No 2 spot and -2 goaler Estee Browne in the No 1 job.
"We were down 4-1 after the second chukka but improved defence from the third chukka allowed us to get back into it. Jonny [Coddington] was able to weave his magic when the rest of us marked up better on defence," Jolly explained.
Coddington also captured the prize for the best pony in this eight-team grade.
President's B pipped Waimai 7-6 in the final of the six-team Riddiford Levin Cup section.