A Round-Up of the Week’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Action
With the final matches of the qualifying stages of The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship Cowdray Park Polo Club has been busy with matches every afternoon. On Monday 4 July Jean-Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco side met Ben Soleimani’s RH Polo. Level on 2-2 at the end of the first, RH gradually drew ahead through the match. At the close of the fifth chukka, RH Polo had a five goal lead, but three goals from Diego Cavanagh for La Bamba de Areco in the final chukka, unanswered by RH Polo, gave a final result of 11-9 in RH Polo’s favour.
Tuesday 5 July saw intense drama in a tough encounter between Lyndon Lea’s Zacara and Sir Charles Williams’ Apes Hill side. An early lead from Zacara was equalise in the final chukka by Apes Hill leading to an extra chukka. Despite unremitting effort to get the golden goal, neither side scored in the seventh chukka and rules permitted an eighth chukka with widened goalposts. It was Pablo MacDonough who finally sent the ball spinning through for Zacara, the team winning the match on a score of 8-7. This outcome saw both teams compete in a penalty shoot-out on Thursday 7 July for a place in the Quarter Finals.
The second match of the afternoon saw Talandracas play King Power Foxes. The two 9 goalers for Talandracas, Sapo Caset and Polito Pieres, were very ably backed up by Tommy Beresford who scored three goals in the match, but it was a somewhat disappointing performance from Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres. At half time the scores were level on 5-5, Talandracas drew ahead to 7-6 in chukka 4 and, with a lack of goals from King Power Foxes in chukka 5, increased their lead to 9-6 at the end of chukka 5. Tit for tat goals came in the final chukka, but Talandracas managed to hold onto the lead and the match ended at 11-10 in their favour. With this win Talandracas went to a penalty shoot-out alongside Apes Hill and Zacara.
The final two matches of the first round of the tournament took place on Wednesday 6 July between Valiente and Britannia El Remanso followed by La Indiana vs Murus Sanctus. With both teams having lost once to La Indiana, the Valiente Britannia El Remanso game was a tightly fought match, both teams determined not to rack up another lose in the closely contested tournament, but the power of the Cambiaso Nero duo proved too much for the British boys who succumbed to a 10-8 defeat. La Indiana, the current league winners lost to Murus Sanctus in a somewhat gentle match on Wednesday afternoon. Despite the win Murus Sanctus do not go through to the Quarter Finals while La Indiana take their place in the remaining eightsome.
Thursday’s penalty shoot-out saw Talandracas victorious, securing the last spot in the Quarter Finals against La Indiana on Sunday 10 July.
The Quarter Finals will be as follows:
Saturday 9 July
12pm: HB Polo vs. Zacara
3pm: Valiente vs Clarke & Green
Sunday 10 July
12pm: La Indiana vs Talandracas
3pm: King Power Foxes vs Britannia El Remanso
For the full list of teams and results click here.
Photograph: Thursday’s penalty shoot-out saw Talandracas victorious. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com