Wins for Dubai and Britannia El Remanso
On Friday 27 May Dubai confirmed their status as one of the top teams in this year’s Cartier Queen’s Cup with an impressive 15-9 win over Zacara at Zacara’s home ground. This was always going to be an exciting game, but Dubai’s strategy of closing down Lyndon Lea’s boys proved very effective. Zacara, one of the four seeded teams in this year’s tournament, had won their first two matches comfortably, playing their preferred long and running with the ball style of game. Dubai stopped them playing like this, with Rashid Albwardy and Kian Hall regularly stopping the Zacara players from getting free to run. When Pablo MacDonough did manage to escape from his “minders” he would invariably run to goal and score, but his chances were few and far between.
Dubai gave themselves a comfortable three goal lead in the second chukka, and although Zacara battled back to within one goal several times during the match, Dubai just turned on the power and surged ahead once more. Juan Martin Nero was superb in defence and Adolfo Cambiaso did what Cambiaso always does, watch and wait and then jump in and pick up the ball when needed. The young Englishman Jack Hyde was exceptional up front for Zacara, even taking out Nero at one point and then playing a wonderful nearside neck shot to score, but they were no match for an on-form Dubai who ran away with a 15-9 victory. Albwardy’s team are the only squad so far to have won all three of their league matches and the only other team that can now achieve this same feat are their longstanding rivals, and fellow 2015 finalists, King Power Foxes.
The all-British team of Britannia El Remanso had a comfortable 13-8 victory over RH Polo in the second league game of the day. Ben Soleimani’s team were looking for that all important first win and despite some great play from his squad, they could not find any answers to the El Remanso teamwork. Nico Pieres started things off for RH, ensuring they were leading 3-2 at the end of the second. However, this was also the chukka that El Remanso’s James Harper received a yellow card. Without realising it at the time, this was actually the turning point of the game. Harper upped his game straightaway and El Remanso never looked back. In addition, his team’s patron Charlie Hanbury was on brilliant form, scoring at least five of his team’s goals, and even cheekily stealing the ball from under the nose of Nico Pieres and running it straight to goal!
James Beim confirmed El Remanso’s superiority, scoring several goals in the final two chukkas. Such was the cohesiveness of the Hanbury squad that RH failed to score at all in the sixth. This gave El Remanso that all important second victory – they had already beaten Sifani by a wide margin and only went down by one to Dubai, and are looking strong for the final stages of this tournament.
The next two games to take place will be Apes Hill vs King Power Foxes at Dubai followed by La Indiana vs HB Polo at Guards Polo Club on Saturday 28 May.
Click here for the full list of teams and results.
Photograph: Young Brit player Jack Hyde takes on Adolfo Cambiaso. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com