TJB HAC Veterans Polo team vs. Grenadier Guards Veterans at Carlito’s Polo Club

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.

TJB HAC Veterans vs. Grenadier Guards Veterans Team Line-up

TJB HAC Veterans vs. Grenadier Guards Veterans Team Line-up

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.

HAC Veterans v Grenadier Guards Veterans, 15th June 2013, Carlitos Polo Club

The weekend saw the newly created HAC Veterans team play their first ever match against the Grenadier Guards Veterans. Playing against an experienced -3 handicap Guards team were no.1 Ben Loxton-Edwards (-2), no.2 Justin Roberts (-2), no.3 Stuart Atkinson (-2) and no.4 Marcos Vivian (-1).

The glorious British summer was in full force with driving rain up to 30 minutes before the start of the match as the HAC team agreed a defensive strategy against the strong Guards team. Justin Roberts playing in his first ever match seemed more perturbed by how much his new helmet had cost him.

The weather gods relented and the match commenced in fine sunshine with a 2.5 goal handicap advantage to the HAC. The first two chukkas were a closely fought affair with the HAC defensive strategy preventing any score by the Guards team.

The third chukka saw the experience of the Guards team come to the fore and the Guards made the breakthrough with some well taken penalties by Nick Swift and strong play to score 3 goals.

The final chukka saw 2 further goals for the Guards against some valiant defending from the HAC to end the match with the final score HAC V 2.5 - Grenadier Guards V 5.

Thanks must go to Kim and her team at Carlitos Polo club for a fabulous Argentinian barbecue after the match for the players and their guests.