Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings Claim Cicero Cup for Second Title of the Season

Capturing the 12-goal Tyro Cup just weeks earlier, Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings found themselves in a second consecutive final, this time at the 15-goal level, competing against Ojo Caliente for the Cicero Cup on Sunday 22nd May at Ambersham.

Swapping James Mann for Tom Brodie, Cowdray Vikings brought a similar line-up with Vere Harmsworth, George Pearson, Brodie and Joaquin Pittaluga. Their opponent, Ojo Caliente, featuring Ana Escobedo, Jimbo Fewster, Simon Prado and Pite Merlos were the only undefeated team in the tournament with a 3-0 record and had narrowly defeated Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings just ten days earlier.

Under sunny skies, Ojo Caliente demonstrated why they were the team to beat, charging out of the gate with a penalty conversion for Merlos as part of a four-goal first chukka. Jimbo Fewster highlighted the final few minutes of the opening chukka, completing a breakaway to goal and then deftly intercepting the ball on the following play to make score a neckshot from distance and give Ojo Caliente the 4-1 lead.

Turning to their defence, Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings held the strong Ojo Caliente attack scoreless in the second chukka, allowing them to close the deficit and inch closer on the scoreboard. Brodie tapped in a Penalty 2, while Pittaluga confidently ran the ball through the goal on the opposite end to swing the momentum in Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings favour and leave them trailing 4-3. A second penalty goal for Brodie completed a run of three consecutive goals and bring the game even at 4-all. The fast-paced third chukka featured few whistles as the teams ran end-to-end. A perfectly executed centre hit resulted in Ojo Caliente’s Prado weaving through the defence to push Ojo Caliente ahead, but it was short-lived as Harmsworth and George Pearson scored two goals in quick succession. A final tally from Fewster ended the thrilling opening half at 6-6 and leaving two chukkas to determine the first 15-goal champion of the season.

A Penalty 4 from Pittaluga was quickly answered by a field goal from Merlos leaving the teams deadlocked until a crucial defensive backhand from Brodie in front of the Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings’ goal sprung Pittaluga on a breakaway that ran almost the length of the field to push them ahead on the scoreboard. Pittaluga’s third goal of the chukka gave Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings their first lead at the end of a chukka, leading 9-7 with just the fifth chukka remaining. A determined defence stood strong against the pressure from Ojo Caliente, preventing any open runs to goal. Two fouls to Ojo Caliente turned into penalty conversions for Pittaluga and Brodie, who proved to be a formidable duo for Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings, finishing with a combined nine goals on the day. Remaining focused, Ferne Park/Cowdray Vikings kept Ojo Caliente off the scoreboard to complete the 11-7 victory, handing Ojo Caliente their only loss of the tournament and raising their second consecutive cup on the season.