On Saturday 23rd May The Novices Cup match was held at the Malta Polo Club. The trophy was first contested at the Club in 1923 – donated to the Club on the understanding that it is to be played for annually – the spirit of the competition to encourage players of a lower handicap to showcase their skills on the field.
This year featured some of the best newcomers to the sport in Malta, supported by seasoned veterans who have encouraged the lower handicapped players throughout the polo season. Jeep, captained by Matthew Brincat in his second season, and Engel & Völkers Sara Grech captained by Sara Manduca.
Manduca opened the score for E&V in the first minute of play, stealing the ball in a quick manoeuvre that set the pace for the whole match. Jeep followed with an equalising goal by playmaker Desmond Mizzi. In the third Chukka Jean Vella playing offence for E&V scored an astounding goal from midfield, taking the pass from team mate Karl Cassar, as Jeep dropped their guard. Farrugia, for Jeep, turned the play in the chukka and narrowly missed a spectacular goal. Despite the best efforts of Mizzi scoring a goal in each of the four chukkas, the combination of E&V’s novices (Manduca, Vella), teamwork, and support by the experienced Besancon and Cassar, Team Engel & Völkers Sara Grech proved invincible and with 7 goals to 5 by the final bell, E&V claimed victory.
With the spirit of the trophy in mind, the more experienced Club Players (Besancon, Filletti, Mizzi, Cassar) created the opportunities for the novice players to demonstrate their skills which have undoubtedly improved upon during the Season. The Novice Players are already a force to be reckoned with, in both defence and attack. With the standard of play at the Club going from strength to strength Brincat, Farrugia Manduca, and Vella may well be on the leader board next Season, and are certainly the players to watch!
The Cup was presented to the winning team by Mrs Vicky Lyttleton, and the presentation was followed by a reception in the Club House for players and all spectators. Thanks to Umpires Christian Delia and Martin Arrigo, and George Lyttleton as Third Man Referee. Match commentary by Daniel de Petri Testaferrata
The Malta Polo Club was established in 1868, a fact which qualifies the club as the oldest in Europe and the second oldest polo club worldwide.
Engel & Völkers Sara Grech (-1)
Sara Manduca (-1), Capt.
Jean Vella (-1)
Jeremy Besancon (+1)
Karl Cassar (0)
Matthew Brincat (-1), Capt.
Ben Farrugia (-1)
Patrick Filletti (0)
Desmond Mizzi (+1)