By Alex Webbe
King Power (Top Srivaddhanaprabha, Pepito Araya, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) remained undefeated in Cartier Queens Cup play with an 11-9 win over Apes Hill (George Hanbury, Mark Tomlinson, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alec White) Saturday afternoon
Top Srivaddhanaprabha scored the first goal of the day for King Power, 1-0, making his first appearance of the season with his team. Australian 4-goaler Alec White tied it at 1-1 with a goal from the field. Eduardo Novillo Astrada took advantage of a King Power foul to give Apes Hill their first lead of the game on a 40-yard penalty conversion, 2-1. Consecutive goals from Facundo Pieres ended the chukker with King Power on top of a 3-2 lead.
Gonzalito found himself on the receiving end of a 130-yard pass from brother Facundo as he raced toward the Apes Hill goal. A blistering shot from nearly 100-yards out found the mark and extended the King Power lead to two goals, 4-2. White immediately responded by taking control of the ensuing throw-in and carrying it to the King Power goal for a score, 4-3. Gonzalito Pieres converted a 40-yard penalty shot to give King Power a two goal cushion, 5-3, but Apes Hill battled back. White scored his third goal of the day, carrying the ball through the goalposts with Pepito Araya on his hip, 5-4. Gonzalito Pieres scored the final goal of the chukker on an extreme angle shot that had King Power in front by two goals, 6-4 at the end of the second period.
The whistle seemed to blow throughout the third chukker with Gonzalito Pieres scoring on three penalty shots while Astrada converted a 30-yard foul shot for an Apes Hill score. At the end of the first half King Power was in control of the game with a 9-5, four goal advantage.
Both defenses tightened as the second half got underway. A goal from the field from Gonzalito Pieres was countered by a penalty conversion from Mark Tomlinson for the only offense of the chukker. King Power continued to lead by four goals, 10-6.
Both teams missed 60-yard penalty attempts in the fifth period, as goals from the field were non-existent. Astrada scored the only goal of the chukker on a short penalty conversion but the most disappointing setback came with just 24 seconds on the clock when George Hanbury’s pony stumbled on a turn, falling and pitching him to the ground. A timeout was taken and it was believed that he suffered a broken collarbone. Australian 4-goaler Jake Daniels replaced him in the Apes Hill lineup, and play continued. that cut the King Power lead to three goals, 10-7.
Sixth chukker goals from Astrada and White had Apes Hill within a one goal of the lead, 10-9, but time was running out. A final goal from Gonzalito Pieres (his eighth on the day) extended the King Power lead to two goals, 11-9, and closed the door on the Apes Hill rally in the King Power victory.
The win left King Power with a 3-0 record and moved them directly into the quarterfinals. Apes Hill fell to 1-2 and will have to try and make their way through the next round of eliminations.
Following a scoreless fifth period, HB Polo came swinging in the sixth. Roldan opened the scoring with a goal from the field, 10-4, followed by a 60-yard penalty conversion for a goal by HB Polo 10-galer Pelon Stirling, 10-5. Ignacio Toccalino added a goal to make it 10-6, but time was on the side of La Indiana. Stirling scored the final goal in the last seconds of the game for a 10-7 La Indiana.
The win improves the La Indiana record to 2-1 while HB Polo falls to 1-2.
The third round of play in the Cartier Queens Cup will end with two feature games on Sunday with Talandracas Eduard Carmignac, Tommy Beresford, Polito Pieres and Sapo Caset) facing La Bamba de Areco (Jean-Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.) in a noon contest at Cowdray Park while Valente (Bob Jornayvaz, Facha Valent, Gonzalo Terrera and Alejo Taranco) will met Sifani (Hilali Noordeen, Juan Gris Zavaleta, J.P. Clarkin and Luke Tomlinson) in a 3pm match at the Guards Polo Club.
A penalty shootout is scheduled for 6pm to determine the balance of the schedule of the tournament.