The Brandywine polo team of Kennett Square, Pa., won the Eastern Polo Circuit's Governor's Cup at the Lincoln Memorial field yesterday, defeating champion Woodlawn Plantation, 8-7.
Woodlawn's Gary Leonard scored four goals to lead all players. Brandywine's Jonathan Shephard had three goals.
Brandywine started the game a goal behind. The Pennsylvania unit was rated a five-goal team and the woodlawn squad a fourgoal team under the handicap system, so Woodlawn started out with a 1-10 lead.
It didn't taked the yellow-shirted Brandywines long to catch up, however, as Cooper Williams sent a penalty shot through the goal posts early in the first chukker.
Play in the first chukker was fairly even. After Woodlawn's Jack Whitmore stole the ball and scored. Brandywine's Harley Williams countered with a wide-open shot for a goal.Near the end of the first period, Brandywine pulled ahead, 3-2, on Shephard's first goal.
The second chukker saw more intense play, with longer shots and tougher defense. Brandywine increased its lead on a shot by Richie Jones.
Woodlawn pulled back to 4-4 in the third period on two goals by Leonard within a matter of seconds.
The 200 spectators were treated to some mellow music during the five minute halftime. They were also encouraged to go onto the field and repair divots kicked up by the horse.
The fourth chukker got underway as jets soared overhead and rain threatened. But that didn't seem to affect the teams as four goals were scored in the 7 1/2-minute round.
Harley Williams first scored on a pass from his son, Cooper, and Woodlawn evened it at 5 on a tough, back-handed shot by Whitmore.
Brandywine built up a 7-5 margin on goals by Shephard and Jones.
Shephard collected Brandywine's last goal in the fifth chukker after a big effort by Cooper Williams got the ball downfield.
Woodlawn threatened in the final period as Leonard again converted twice.
With the score 3-7, Whitmore rolled a shot straight for the goal, but some fine defense by the younger Williams saved the game for Brandywine as time ran out.
Brandywine captain Harley Williams said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"Well, you're always pleased when you win," he said juggling the Governor's Cup trophy - a silver plate - and paper cup of wine.
"But this is the first time we've played together as a team. We worked pretty well together. It was a good clean game.
"It got a little scary toward the end. I guess we got overconfident with a three-goal lead. But you can't do that in polo," he laughed.
Polo matches continue at the Lincoln Memorial field through August. The Brandywine team is sponsoring the Gerald Balding tournament Aug. 3 in Pennsylvania.