In scorching temperatures, suitable only for mad dogs and Englishmen, last weekend saw both in action when the TJB HAC Veterans Polo team played the Grenadier Guards Veterans in their sixth annual encounter at Carlito’s Polo club, Berkshire.
The HAC team comprised Cy Lloyd Jones, Marcos Vivian, Tim Johnson and Julian Bickerton making his Veterans debut. The Guards team comprised Howard Flood, Robert Adams and two debutants Martin Young and Dominic Cunningham.
The match started with gusto as each side took the measure of their opponents and the HAC took an early lead through Julian Bickerton. The Guards fought back and nearly equalised but for outstanding bravery from Cy Lloyds who heroically did not get out the way of a penalty shot in time and was struck a nasty blow on the hand. Despite suffering a broken hand, he stoically carried on regardless for the rest of the match.
The second chukka saw a fight back from the Guards who struck twice to take the lead 2-1 at half time. Cy Lloyd Jones hand had swelled to an impressive size and to add insult to injury the HAC supporters realised they had been drinking non-alcoholic gin with their Merchant Heart tonics.
Resilience in adversity is the mark of the HAC who rallied in the third chukka with Tim Johnson stepping up to the mark with some thrusting play and the HAC supporters back on the proper stuff. Great playmaking by Marcos Vivian allowed both Tim Johnson and Julian Bickerton to score and the HAC ended the third chukka ahead 3-2.
The final chukka was a battle against the heat with all the players digging deep to give nothing away. The Guards mounted repeated attacks and only a couple of near misses and valiant defending allowed the HAC to end victorious 3-2.
A fantastic prize giving and asado followed the match for both players and supporters who relaxed in the summer weather with the calm occasionally punctuated by HAC and Guards dogs having a fight with each other.