For the second time in two weeks, John Rooney and his Northern Blizzard polo team (Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Dayelle Fargey 1, Jim Wright 1) would face off in a final game against Madelyn Cobb and her M3 group (Cobb, Jared Sheldon 4, Peter Blake 3, Alonzo Cruz). In the previous meeting – the Eldorado Cup – the northern invaders won in a somewhat convincing manner by a count of 12 – 8. However, there would be a rather big difference in this contest as Wright – a big contributor two weeks previous – would not be able to play. With broken ribs sustained in a practice game fall keeping him on the side, the former Team USPA member would be replaced by college student Tony Uretz. No such change was necessary for M3 and they would have exactly the same line-up as before.
At the outset, M3 jumped all over Northern Blizzard as Sheldon scored on a quick run off the initial throw-in and Cobb grabbed a perfect pass out of the ensuing line-up and went straight to goal on a great run of 145 yards. The Rooney group recovered somewhat and was able to prevent M3 from inflicting anymore damage, but at the same time, they were unable to score. The first ended with Cobb and Co. leading by a pair at 2 – 0.
The second period started much the same as the first as M3 jumped out quickly and Blake scored to increase the lead to three and it appeared that Northern Blizzard might be in a little trouble due to their modified lineup. However, with Fargey exerting a huge defensive presence, the oilers were able to recover and eventually put some pressure on M3 that led to a pair of open goal conversions from Henderson and Rooney. As a result the count was now 3 – 2 to favor M3.
The third frame featured a complete turnaround by Northern Blizzard as Uretz found his legs and the explosive M3 offence was silenced. With Fargey continuing to run interference, Henderson converted a penalty two and Rooney and Uretz counted from the field and the half was over with the northerners up by two at 5 – 3.
M3 found the magic again in the early fourth as Sheldon scored on a quick jump and run to narrow the count to just one. Northern Blizzard was then able to come back as an open goal award was converted by Rooney and the fourth was over with the count at 6 – 4.
Henderson scored from the field in the early penultimate frame and the Canadian lead was now three. Sheldon – never far from the action – got loose to strike twice and that lead again was narrowed to just one. Uretz was then able to score a pair of his own – one on an exceptional reaction to pickup a loose ball – and the chukker ended with Rooney and Co. up by three at 9 – 6.
Given the fact that M3 could explode offensively at any time, Northern Blizzard were not about to sit back on a three goal advantage. The result was a fourth counter by Uretz in the early sixth and the lead was now four. However, M3 wasn’t going anywhere and continued to push which resulted in a safety conversion by Sheldon to come to within three. That would be it though and Rooney and his Northern Blizzard teammates had won the Fish Creek Cup by a final count of 10 – 7.
Because of her strong and relentless defensive play, Fargey was selected as the MVP and Virginia, owned and played by Henderson in the fifth, went back to the barn wearing the Best Playing Pony blanket. It is worth noting that Virginia was introduced to polo by Fargey.
To see all the teams and results click here