PalmBeachSix Ylvisaker Cup Games at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach
Thursday 17 February saw a huge amount of polo action take place at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach after heavy rain during the night forced organisers to postpone Tuesday and Wednesday’s Ylvisaker Cup matches. After a busy Valentine’s weekend in Florida, there was no pause for the polo fans and six matches took place both at the Club and at surrounding locations which had been called up to help with the backlog of first round matches.

The first game of the day saw Coca-Cola take on Joe Barry Cup finalists, Villa del Lago. After a slow start the scoring increased with Villa de Lago taking an early 4-1 lead at the end of the second chukka. A penalty conversion by Sugar Erskine and a beautiful goal from Julio Arellano brought Coca-Cola back into the game, only for them to go on and win 13-6.

The other Joe Barry Cup finalists and eventual winners, Palm Beach Illustrated, had a much easier and more successful match against Horseware/ 5 Star/ Tackeria. Up by an impressive 12 goals to 2 at half-time, Palm Beach Illustrated proved their dominance, eventually winning 17-5.

Audi Millarville played an exceptional game of polo to keep right on the tail of Valiente throughout the match. Despite an early lead from Valiente, Audi Millarville caught up by half time to move in to the second half with four goal apiece. With just one chukka left to go Audi were hanging on in there, Valiente leading by just one goal, 10-9. It was Valiente who held strong though, eventually winning 12-10.

Dubai dominated from the off in their match against Tonkawa. The match was low scoring, but Dubai were controlling throughout, finishing the first half 5-3 up, before going on to win 11-6. Orchard Hill also proved unbeatable, racking up their third win of the tournament against La Indiana. Michael Bickford’s team were unable to keep up with the world number 2, Facundo Pieres whose play helped Orchard Hill to their 10-6 victory.

The last match of the day saw Jerome Wirth’s Enigma team fall prey to a stronger White Birch side. The match was close throughout and the low scoreboard was a testament to each team’s struggle to overcome the other. With just one goal separating them as they headed into last chukka the game could have been anyone’s, but it was White Birch that pushed past to win 10-6.

Despite rain early in the week the Quarter Finals, set to take place Sunday 21, remain on schedule with the Semi Finals set for Wednesday 24 and the culmination of the second 20 goal tournament at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach for the Final are still scheduled for Saturday 27 February.

Photograph: Palm Beach Illustrated continue to win. By Alex Pacheco

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