The annual match for the prestigious William IV Cup was the HAC’s first visit to the wonderful facilities at Dallas Burston near Leamington Spa. This was an exhibition match as part of a Ladies Day Charity fundraising event in aid of cancer. As ever the HAC took on their great rivals the Grenadier Guards in what has historically been one of the most eagerly awaited confrontations in the army polo calendar. To face a rather formidable looking Grenadier team on paper the HAC brought out its big guns, Sgt Tim Johnson (0) and the slightly smaller but no less effective Cpl Ben de Rivaz (0) and joined by the reliable duo of Cpl Gearoid O’Connor (-2) and LSgt Alasdair Grant (-2). The HAC started with a 1.5 goal handicap lead and fought ferociously to keep ahead. Ben de Rivaz seemed to have more luck with his penalties than the Grenadiers who seemed to have some trouble aiming between the posts perhaps the forceful Westerly blowing was a factor. In fact Ben’s only missed penalty was an incredible goal saved from fellow teammate Alasdair Grant. Solid play from Maj Ben Marshall and Lt. Col Howard Flood helped and break a number of HAC attacks. With initial dominance going towards the HAC team the Grenadiers soon settled into the game and clawed back to within a half goal margin. This put the HAC under some pressure and fouls were conceded but thankfully none too near the goal mouth to punish teh HAC too dearly.
This was very much a fight to the death with no shortage of incidents including; stirrups coming off, broken mallets (Both Sgt Johnson and Captain Kuku managed to decapitated their mallets during play) and Captain Kuku’s incredible rugby tackle of his own goal post was a manouevre not often seen. However after yet another goal by young de Rivaz, LSgt Grant decided there was time for a short lie down in the middle of the pitch to catch a breath before the final push. With most of the HAC team oblivious to how close the match really was due to some interesting scoreboard antics, they managed to hold onto the lead to the end for a great HAC victory 4.5 goals to 4!