Clifton CGI Gooding polo champs
Clifton CGI did just enough.
Christian Chavez scored four goals as Clifton CGI barely survived Mike Henderson’s five-goal effort and a furious late-game rally from Print On Demand Worldwide to win the Roger Gooding Memorial Trophy Game in Sunday’s 7½-7 thriller at Apes Hill Polo Club.
Clifton CGI never trailed in the contest, having led by as many as three and a half goals after opening the game with a 1½ goal handicap advantage.
Print On Demand Worldwide scored the game’s last three goals in the fourth and decisive chukka, including one two minutes shy of regulation to pull within a half-goal of their opponents.
However, they never managed another threatening possession thereafter as Chavez nearly converted his own scoring chance seconds after Henderson’s last strike.
The wild last-second finish was the unexpected conclusion to a result that never seemed in doubt when Clifton CGI survived an earlier comeback effort to go up 7½ to 4 on Chavez’s strike early in the fourth chukka.
This was after Clifton stormed out to a quick 3½ to 0 lead on early strikes from Chavez and Jake Bayley. But Print On Demand Worldwide thrice reduced the deficit to just a goal and a half following 60-yard blasts from Henderson – the last of which cut Clifton’s lead to 5½ to 4.
Carlos San Roman quickly answered with a long-range shot, before Bruce Bayley got on the end of a loose ball and found an unmarked Chavez streaking up the field for an easy uncontested goal to open a 7½ to 4 lead.
Henderson just refused to quit, though, scoring on another 60-yard penalty prior and then finding George Gemmell streaking up the left side for a powerful rocket with two minutes remaining.
Earlier, Apes Hill edged ICBL 6-5 behind Pablo Crespin’s five goals while the Ranger Rover team downed Lion Castle 6-4. (JM)