The sun eventually came out over Cirencester Park for the ultimate clash of the Bledisloe Warwickshire Cup; Halcyon Gallery and Black Bears finally met on Ivy Lodge in the final in front of record breaking crowds. The historic cup was clinched by Halcyon Gallery in a knife-edge sixth chukka following a very close, tactical game, with Ali Paterson scoring the deciding goal in the dying seconds, nine goals to eight the final score.
George Hanbury of Halcyon Gallery described the game as â€œvery closeâ€ and said that â€œhaving been in the final before it was great to finally win the trophy. â€œ
The match started in style with the match ball flown in by the Silver Stars parachute display team. The excitement continued into the first chukka with George Hanbury the first to claim a goal â€“ storming out in front and leveling Black Bearâ€™s one goal handicap start. Eduardo (Ruso) Heguy soon took them into the lead converting a 30yard penalty and it looked as though they may get on a roll. Not the case however as Black Bears brought it level again â€“ not a pretty goal -but enough to set them up to regain the lead once more as Guy Schwarzenbach took off from the half way line on a speedy grey (Marley, later to be named best playing pony) taking it all the way to score.
Early in the third chukka Alec White capitalised on a nasty bounce going the wrong way for George Hanbury at a crucial clearing moment and went on to score, making it four three to Black Bears. Pelon Stirling leveled proceedings once more finding his way past all the defence to make it four all. Another penalty converted by Heguy left them with the five to four advantage at half time.
Going into the second half Stirling managed to stretch Halcyon Galleryâ€™s lead to two. This was very short-lived however as Schwarzenbach plucked the ball out of the air and went on to score. Yet another penalty allowed Heguy to put all his experience to work and deliver another lofted on target shot.