There are a few hours remaining for the moment to arrive – Next Generation and Les Lions/Great Oaks will decide the Gold Cup for the British Open, at Cowdray Park, on Sunday at 3pm, under the “new normal”, which means behind closed doors, with no spectators and media, in addition to other restrictions. But in the end, both teams will ride onto the ground looking for one of the most coveted polo trophies of the world. A championship match that will feature extra spice and some details to consider.
The main attraction indeed are Adolfo Cambiaso and his son, Poroto, facing the Castagnola brothers, Bartolomé and Camilo, nephews and cousins to the Cambiasos, respectively. While people will enjoy as best as possible, for them it will be unforgettable. Adolfo Cambiaso, for example, will have the opportunity to claim this trophy for the seventh time – he won the Gold Cup for the first time in 1991, with Tramontana and the last time he lifted the golden cup was in 2014. For his son, Poroto, this will be his first ever final within English high goal. It is worth to notice that the father and son duo had already won together the Royal Windsor Cup, perhaps the most significant 15-goal tournament.
For the Castagnolas it will be no less than a reaffirmation. As we all know, they are the current title holders and they came back in 2020 with the same attitude, but even stronger as they made it to the final once again. Indded, the same attitude, because, among others, they defeated no less than Park Place in semifinals, one of the toughest contenders of the season, in a match that was decided in the last minutes of play through a goal by Camilo Castagnola, a man who’s no stranger anymore when it comes to decide in a crucial moment, just as it happened in 2019, when he secured the title following a memorable play.
Next Generation will be on the other side, with the addition of Diego Cavanagh, a highly apprecciated man within La Dolfina and who will fill in for the injured Pelon Stirlng. The 8-goaler Cavanagh already won the Gold Cup in 2014 along with Cambiaso and he is ready to demonstrate once again that he is up for it. Les Lions/Great Oaks’ third professional is the Argentinian Santiago Laborde, whom the Castagnola brothers not only are very comfortable to play with but also were team mates on several occassions. Santiago is a very accurate back, and a key player in defense.
With regards to the captains, Next Generation’s Jean-François Decaux, who already won the Gold Cup in 2009, had the eye and the confidence to put this team together and provided with enough contribution thoroghout the Gold Cup. And if we talk about Dillon Bacon, he is one of the most remarkable patrons within this competition – among others, he’s scored important goals, he’s been decisive in defense. His contributions gives hopes to Les Lions/Great Oaks for the final.
It is worth to notice also to look closely what will happen with the movements of the ranking of the World Polo Tour, following this final. In case Next Generation wins, Adolfo Cambiaso will be positioned in third place and Poroto will raise from 181 to 30. Their team mates as well as their contenders will have significant changes as well – due to the pandemic, the difference of points between all of them is very close.
Anyway, it will be an unmisseable challenge and the differences between the two lineups are minimum, so whoever wins it wouldn’t be a surprise. Unless something unexpected occurs, it is for sure that the gap in the final result will be no more than two goals.
FINAL GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN: NEXT GENERATION vs LES LIONS/GREAT OAKS
NEXT GENERATION: Jean Francois Decaux, Poroto Cambiaso, Diego Cavanagh, Adolfo Cambiaso.
LES LIONS/GREAT OAKS: Camilo Castagnola, Dillon Bacon, Bartolomé Castagnola, Santiago Laborde.
KICK-OFF: Cowdray Park Polo Club, Sunday, July 2020, 3pm.
THE ROAD TO THE FINAL
15-10 vs Monterosso
9-10 vs Park Place
17-15 vs Polo Stud Schockemöhle
13-10 vs Scone Polo (Quarterfinals)
13-11 vs Park Place Vaara (Semifinal)
LES LIONS/GREAT OAKS:
14-12 vs Scone Polo
7-16 vs Park Place Vaara
10-5 vs Thai Polo NW
11-10 Thai Polo (Quarterfinal)
10-9 vs Park Place (Semifinal)