The win marks the forth final the team have played and the third trophy since establishing the HONG KONG POLO TEAM just 1 year ago.
The team line up featured Richard Cameron (no 1), Aron Harilela (no 2), James Bean (no 3) and Captain Patrick Furlong (no 4). At 2-goals team handicap of 2 goals, it was a strong side well fielded by Hong Kong. A front line held by Richard and Aron, who first played together in the team’s debut tournament in Thailand. James played his first game for the team and struck a strong defensive mid-field position.
Captain Patrick Furlong highlighted the team play:
“Horsepower was even with our hosts providing a very good string to all our players. Our game plan for Saturday took an expansive open game strategy. First off, this cost us two early goals both quickly tightening the defense and adjusting our counterattack to reach a 2-2 score in the first chukka. The second and third chukka saw very fast polo play on the spectacular ground. We then revealed our preferred open game, favouring long hits to stretch our opponent’s defense line.”
This tact forced Reignwood Polo Club Beijing (RPCB) to commit a number of unforced fouls, which the team converted moving into the last chukka 7-5. The day finished at 9-6.
At Sunday’s final RPCB presented a more tactical defensive game plan, and maintained the goal advantage for most of the match, entering into the last chukka with a 3 goal difference, 11-8.
“Their tactic of taking me out, to clear the way for the no 4 to push in attack paid off. And although we scored early in the chukka to be 4-goals clear, they quickly scored 2 goals and they were back in the game. A third goal to them with 1 minute to the final bell narrowed the difference to 1 goal, and a huge momentum swing to them. The last minute of the game was fought tooth and nail before the final bell was heard and the HKPT had won the game.” Commented Captain Patrick Furlong after Sunday’s final.
Marco Kaster, International Asia Director from Stanley Gibbons, specialists in valuable rare stamps and coins, awarded both finalists their prizes and presented the Hong Kong Team Captain with the Hong Kong Challenge Cup.
Instigator of HKPT and CEO of Asia World Polo, Dave Savage proudly summarized the tournament. “During the two days of play we maintained a solid 3 or 4 goal advantage. However, it was credit to RPCB to come back very decisively at the end, and it was so very close to a draw. Both teams played out a truly fantastic game and we thank RPCB for their warm spirited welcome. HKPT are thrilled to return celebrating and succeeding another step closer in our mission and legacy of bringing Polo back to Hong Kong.”
The HKPT wore the iconic Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso watch, Reverso meaning, “I turn around”, which was created in 1931 as a watch capable of surviving the hard knocks of a polo game.
Meet the team together with its sponsors, and toast to the first year of play as the first polo team for Hong Kong at Polo After Dark at Boujis Hong Kong, Nov 27th 2015.