Les Lions / Great Oaks  13  – 12 Thai Polo (rec 2) at Les Lions

Thai Polo headed into this tough fixture with a win already under their belts and their confidence showed. The superb four-man polo that had seen Ned Hine, Jack Richardson, Michel del Carril and Tommy Beresford defeat Scone Polo on the opening day was much in evidence again today. This time through their opponents were the Gold Cup finalists Les Lions/ Great Oaks. On handicap the home side were the stronger team but there was little between these two sides for all six chukkas. Del Carril fired through some incredible shots for Thai Polo, one in the second chukka definitely winning the Goal of the Week Award, while the Castagnola brothers, Barto and Jeta, were always in the right place to pick up a loose ball for Les Lion/Great Oaks. It was sad this match was played behind closed doors as both teams delivered a  wonderfully, flowing game with few whistles and plenty of fast-paced, nail-biting horse races to goal. Thai Polo were up 7-3 at the end of the second but Les Lions / Great Oaks started to ramp up the pressure and by half time they had slashed Thai Polo’s lead to just one goal (7-6).   Les Lions / Great Oaks took control of the second half but Tommy Beresford in particular kept Thai Polo in contention, not least delivering a fine shot to goal to level the scores 11-11 in the fifth. So there was all to play for heading into the sixth and final chukka and it was still very much anyone’s game. A goal apiece highlighted the equality among these teams only for Santiago Laborde to collect a ball from the melee and fire it through the winner for Les Lions/Great Oaks with just 30 seconds left.

New Generation 15 – 10 Polo Stud Schockemohle (rec 5 goals) at Zacara

There was plenty of anticipation for this game as many were eager to see the Cambiaso duo in action in the Cartier Queen’s Cup for the first time. They did not disappoint and although Polo Stud Schockemohle, fielding an 18-goal team, remained focused for all six chukkas, it was clear from the start that New Generation was going to have the edge. Poroto Cambiaso, aged just 15, was incredible to watch. In fact one had to remind oneself that he was so young. At times, wearing the same hat as his father, it was difficult to differentiate between father and son. I think the Polocam TV commentator Ebe Sievwright summed it up best this afternoon when he said: “The best clone you could ever have – Poroto Cambiaso!” The future of polo has not been in better shape. Having watched the rising stars of the game in action this morning and then to watch Poroto play with such confidence and skill this afternoon I for one can only imagine what an Abierto final may be like in a few years’ time. I watched Adolfo snr when he first came to play at Guards Polo Club as a shy 15-year-old in 1990 and there was a feeling of déjà vu at Zacara this afternoon. We might be playing polo behind closed doors but today’s games gave one hope for a better future for this great game of kings and Argentine princes.

Photo – Images of Polo

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