The twelfth day in the 2018 King Power Gold Cup saw La Bamba de Areco display an exceptional performance in a 17-6 victory over Talandracas, while RH Polo narrowly defeated Monterosso 9-8 at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
In the opening game La Bamba de Areco were ferocious in their attack and were relentlessly pressuring Talandracas to secure the commanding eleven-goal victory. Displaying a stretch of 11 unanswered goals from the second to the fourth chukka, La Bamba de Areco outshot Talandracas 18-3 over that same stretch to run away in the game. Juan Martin Nero was given the time to generate his attack in open space and the ten-goaler took full advantage in a nine-goal performance.
The first chukka looked to set up an even contest, with the two teams scoring two goals each but that quickly changed in the second chukkas as La Bamba de Areco dominated possession and kept Talandracas off the scoreboard. Converting three of their five shot attempts, La Bamba de Areco increased their lead to three and continued to produce chances with Talandracas leaving Nero and David Stirling loosely marked on the attack. La Bamba de Areco blew the game open in the third chukka, amassing seven shots resulting in five goals while Talandracas failed to record a goal for the second consecutive chukka. Holding a 10-2 lead at halftime, La Bamba de Areco was led by six goals from Nero, while the complete team performance was effective on the attack as well as preventing Talandracas from generating any shot attempts.
The game was safely put out of reach early in the second half, with La Bamba de Areco scoring four more goals in the fourth chukka to extend their lead to eleven. Any attempt of Talandracas to make their way back in the game fell short as they accumulated eight fouls in the final three chukkas, providing La Bamba de Areco with additional possession. Finishing 14 for 28 from the field, La Bamba de Areco ran away with the game early and cruised to the impressive 17-6 victory.
The second game featured a much closer affair that came down to the final minutes with RH Polo scoring the final three goals of the game to complete their comeback and claim the narrow victory. Even in most aspects of the game with RH Polo and Monterosso scoring six field goals on 50% and 55% shooting from the field respectively, the small difference came from the penalty line, where Sapo Caset converted all three of his penalty 2 attempts.
A fast-paced opening chukka with just one foul saw numerous backhands from both teams as the play was kept in the middle of the field. RH Polo’s Rodrigo Andrade scored the lone goal in the chukka, but Monterosso quickly restored the tie in the second chukka behind a penalty goal from Santiago Toccalino and field goal from Juan Martin Zubia. The third chukka saw RH Polo chase defensively due to Monterosso breaking away for runs into space. Ignacio Toccalino gave Monterosso the lead, converting a long run and he quickly followed it up with another goal to give Monterosso the slim one goal lead at halftime.
Little separated the two teams as the game advanced into the second half, with both teams marking their opponents defensively and preventing consistent offensive opportunities. After Monterosso increased their lead to two, RH Polo needed a comeback despite producing just three shot attempts over the fourth and fifth chukkas. Using an effective two man possession attack between Caset and Andrade, RH Polo forced Monterosso into two fouls in the final chukka, resulting in two penalty goals for Caset to tie the game at 8-8. Shortly after, Caset took a throw-in win and ran it straight into the goal while being heavily pressured to give RH Polo the lead. Little time remained as Santiago Toccalino drove downfield, but just as he was getting within range, time expired and RH Polo held on to the exciting 9-8 victory.