The first quarter-final qualification game in the 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup saw La Bamba de Areco recover from losing their opening two games of the tournament to defeat Murus Sanctus 15-11 at Manor Farm to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
Claiming their second consecutive victory, La Bamba de Areco has found their stride with a fast-paced attack that left Murus Sanctus a step behind during open play. The impactful play of Kian Hall opened the field for David Stirling and Juan Martin Nero to generate an effective attack that outshot Murus Sanctus 19-9. Despite the large advantage in scoring opportunities, La Bamba de Areco allowed Murus Sanctus to stay in the game during the first half due to foul trouble, conceding nine penalty attempts. Ultimately, the dominance during open play, holding Murus Sanctus to just two field goals through the opening five chukkas proved to be the difference in the convincing four-goal victory for La Bamba de Areco.
Scoring on the opening throw-in, Kian Hall gave La Bamba de Areco the early lead and it set the tone for the opening chukka as La Bamba de Areco continued to pressure Murus Sanctus, scoring four goals, while keeping their opponents off the scoreboard. Nero was the driving force of the La Bamba de Areco attack, scoring two goals and an assist, but it was Stirling that led the way offensively throughout the remainder of the first half. Trading goals back and forth until the end of the third chukka, La Bamba de Areco maintained their lead, with Murus Sanctus’ Facundo Sola and Gonzalito Pieres combining for five goals from the penalty line in the only offense their team could produce as they were fortunate to trail by just two goals at halftime.
The beginning of the second half displayed the brilliance of Stirling and Nero, scoring two goals each while dominating possession. The result was another 4-0 chukka in favour of La Bamba de Areco that extended their lead from two to six, leaving Murus Sanctus desperate for offense to mount a comeback over the final two chukkas. Nero continued to push La Bamba de Areco forward, scoring his fifth goal of the game, while Murus Sanctus countered with only their second field goal of the game, watching the deficit grow to eight. Without enough time to challenge La Bamba de Areco, Murus Sanctus scored four late goals in the sixth chukka with La Bamba de Areco looking towards the quarter-finals, completing the 15-11 victory.
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