The game, reffed by guest international officials Anna Goncharenko (Ukraine) and Peter Balzan (Malta), was close throughout, although Poly edged into a 5-3 lead early in the third when Jorge Herando Garijo scored one of his four goals from a sharp pass by Luke Jones.
Goals by Rob Parker (2), Cian Mulcahy and Julian Bewley briefly earned Cheltenham a 7-6 lead. But Michele Aureli equalised from a man-up chance at the end of the third and the London side just edged the final period, scoring further goals by Herrando Garijo (2) and Chris Icely.
In the women's Super 5s, Coventry had to work hard for a 7-5 win over bottom team Sheffield after the game reached 4-4 after two periods. Fran Clayton scored three of the Coventry goals.
Photo (Trevor Hyde): Cheltenham goalkeeper Sam Legge saves against Polytechnic.