dubai1Dramatic games in the Semi Finals of The Cartier Queen’s Cup
The Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club played host to Talandracas and King Power Foxes, the first of two Semi Finals in The Cartier Queen’s Cup yesterday afternoon. King Power Foxes looked from the outset to have an easy win against Talandracas as they led the scores with a healthy gap until the close of the sixth chukka, with a final score of 10-6. Talandracas’ Sapo Caset and Polito Pieres’ talent was not to be forgotten as the final chukka began with a penalty going their way and a field goal to narrow the gap. Polito, on his stallion Rolinga, was clearly not ready to give up hope of a spot in the Final just yet. The goals kept coming with a total of four for Talandracas and only one goal in reply by Gonzalito Pieres for King Power Foxes. Time ran in favour of King Power Foxes to make their first Final of the season, whilst Talandracas had to settle for the Subsidiary Final with a final score of 11-10. British one goaler Hugo Lewis received The Most Valuable Player Award for the game and Facundo Pieres’ mare Sharapova was awarded The Best Playing Pony rug.

The second Semi Final of the day between Dubai and UAE on The Dukes Ground was a very different game. Not only did the match go into a seventh chukka, but Cambiaso retired after falling not once, but twice. The Dubai line-up remained the same from their successful Quarter Final match, with Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent and Alejo Ortiz de Tarenco Stirling. However the world’s number one player, Adolfo Cambiaso, was substituted by Sapo Caset in the second chukka. Cambiaso has been plagued with a back injury for most of the year, which also saw his position with Valiente in the US Open in doubt. It may mean jeopardise his ability to play in the Final for Dubai this Sunday.

The play was overwhelmed with penalties and fouls as both teams fought for their place in the Final. The change in line-up didn’t affect the game much, as Caset immediately scored a penalty for Dubai, counteracting three goals from Pablo MacDonough earlier in the second chukka. Rashid Albwardy dominated the third, scoring two excellent field goals to give Dubai a 6-4 advantage at half-time. The majority of the 29 penalties blown in the game happened in the second half and another injury in the fourth chukka as Lucas Monteverde was hit in the hand. Going into the fifth chukka Dubai were leading 8-5 but failed to score at all, whilst UAE crept ahead for the first time with field goals from MacDonough and Jose Ramon Araya. The sixth chukka flowed as the players ran and scored and to the remaining spectators’ surprise a whistle didn’t go for six minutes. With Caset, Stirling and MacDonough all scoring, the game went to a seventh chukka. As the horses were tiring and the game seemed to have no end to it, it was Caset who scored the golden penalty goal to make 11-10 to Dubai. On Sunday 14 June King Power Foxes will play Dubai in The Cartier Queen’s Cup at 3pm.

Photograph: King Power Foxes have reached the Final of The Cartier Queen’s Cup. By © www.imagesofpolo.com

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