Northern Blizzard Continues to Strike Oil0

Posted on February 9th, 2015 in News

12 Goal Beal Cup_blog

When John Rooney made the decision to get into the oil business, some 20 years ago, he was well aware that it would require crunching the numbers, putting the right people together, and going after the ultimate prize. It goes without question that he did things correctly. It’s much the same in polo – calculate the handicaps, select players based on those numbers and compatibility, and play. To this point in the 2015 season, it appears that the Calgarian’s success on the polo field has paralleled his success in the oil patch as his Northern Blizzard polo team has won all three 12 Goal tournaments played to this point in the season – the most recent being a victory in the Carlton and Keleen Beal Memorial.

The Beal final, a repeat of the Kerley Memorial decider, saw the Rooney oilmen (John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Jason Crowder 6, Herndon Radcliff 1)  lineup against Geoff Palmer and his Antelope foursome (Geoff Palmer, Danny Walker 2, Santiago Trotz 5, Jesse Bray 5.

The start was all Antelope as Trotz and Walker scored easily in the very early going. Northern Blizzard came back late as Crowder grabbed a penalty four opportunity and the first ended with the pronghorns up by one at 2 – 1.

Northern Blizzard got even early in the second as Rooney converted his first of five open goal attempts.  Antelope responded however, as Trotz and Bray each scored a field goal and the count was 4 – 2 in favor of Antelope after two.

The explorers really got going in the third as Rooney converted a penalty two chance and Crowder scored from the field while at the same time shutting down Antelope. The half ended with the tally at four apiece.

The momentum stayed with oilmen into the fourth as Henderson scored a pair – one as a result of a spectacular pass  from Rooney from far right – and they now led for the first time. Trotz was able to get one back for the pronghorns but constant pressure from the northern invaders gave Rooney another open goal attempt – which he converted – and the period ended with Northern Blizzard ahead by two at 7 – 5.

The fifth was split with two for each team. Rooney converted two more open goal attempts and Trotz and Bray replied for Palmer and Co. to end the fifth with the count at 9 – 7 to favor the oilers.

To start the sixth, Rooney scored his first field goal and the lead was now three. However, Antelope closed to within one mid-way through the finale – a Walker field goal and a penalty four bomb by Bray – to make it interesting. That interest was short-lived however as Rooney again perfectly fed Henderson for a goal and then scored another himself to end it at 12 – 9 in his favor. With the win, the Rooney sponsored Northern Blizzard served notice that they are for real and without doubt will be looking to find more oil before the season ends.

Based on his superb play throughout – seven goals and perfect from the free-throw line – it was no surprise that Rooney earned MVP honors and Magnolia (fourth chukker), owned and played by Radcliff in a strong supporting effort, was selected as the Best Playing Pony.

Tony Gregg