The previous battle between Hutchinson Farms and Skaneateles was determined in the last chukker as Hutchinson Farms held onto win, 7-6. The two teams met in the finals on Sunday afternoon at Fox Nation of the Aiken Polo Club’s USPA Copper Cup 12-goal tournament. Hutchinson Farms defeated Skaneateles 10-7.
Hutchinson Farms opened the game’s scoring, and strategy played a part in Sunday’s contest, said Charlie Hutchinson of Hutchinson Farms.
“We changed things up a little bit,” said Hutchinson. “Rather than stretching them out, we were coming in faster and going to the guys that were open to try to create some space to get the ball down field.”
Nick Snow, in a Most Valuable Player performance, scored consecutive goals in the second chukker – a successful 30-yard penalty shot. He finished a play that started at midfield to give Hutchinson Farms a three-goal advantage. Pelon Escapite reduced the margin to two goals as he scored the first of his six goals on a successful penalty shot.
However, the final minute of the period saw Hutchinson Farms score twice within 48 seconds, a goal from Will Tankard from the field, and a successful penalty conversion with eight seconds to play in the chukker provided a four-goal cushion.
The momentum shifted quickly as Skaneateles dominated play during the third period. The team set the tone early for the chukker as Pelon Escapite scored from the opening bowl-in. The ball literally kept bouncing Skaneateles’ way as Pelon Escapite’s 60-yard penalty shot hit the right upright and was deflected in by Ulysses Escapite with 3:21 remaining. Skaneateles tied the game at 5-5 with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
Olivia, a horse from Pelon Escapite’s string, was selected as Best Playing Pony.
Defense dictated the pace of play at the start of the second half. Hutchinson Farms’ Nick Snow scored on a penalty shot with 1:58 left in the chukker, and Skaneateles rallied with a goal with only seconds remaining in the period as Pelon Escapite scored to tie the game at 6-6.
Skaneateles enjoyed its first lead of the game 1:42 into the penultimate chukker. However, its lead would be short-lived as Hutchinson Farms placed an emphasis on winning the bowl-ins and throw-ins, tying the game at 7-7.
A goal by Will Tankard from the opening bowl-in, 18 seconds into the final chukker, gave Hutchinson Farms a one-goal lead. Hutchinson Farms ability to read the Skaneateles offense enabled them to thwart several offensive drives and created additional scoring opportunities for their team. A pair of successful penalty conversions by Nick Snow capped the game’s scoring.