After rain postponed matches on Tuesday, play resumed Wednesday in the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship as Great Oaks LL captured their second victory, defeating Talandracas 10-8. With the win, Great Oaks LL improved to 2-0 and is the only team of 13 holding an undefeated record.
Scoring the first five goals of the match, Great Oaks LL produced a rapid start that left Talandracas fighting from behind and unable to pull even despite the best efforts of Camilo Castagnola. Shooting just 3 for 16, Talandracas lost the open play battle to an organized Great Oaks LL team that converted with much higher shooting percentage, finishing with 56% accuracy. Deploying a well-rounded four-man performance, Great Oaks LL received contributions across the line-up, led by Bartolome Castagnola’s three goals and four assists. Using their strong start, Great Oaks LL never looked back to hold on for the 10-8 victory on the Brooks Field at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The first chukka set the tone of the match as Great Oaks LL overwhelmed Talandracas across the field. Outshooting their opponents 7-1, Great Oaks scored the first five goals, all inside the opening seven minutes to build a significant lead. All four Great Oaks LL found the scoresheet displaying a quick passing attack that left Talandracas stunned. Marcos Araya ended the Great Oaks LL, scoring both of his team’s goals in the second chukka to bring the deficit back to four, but it was short-lived as Great Oaks LL continued to manage their lead. Two goals from Bartolome Castagnola ended the half as Talandracas were unable to close the gap any further, facing an 8-3 difference entering the second half.
A resilient Talandracas team exited the halftime break determined to challenge Great Oaks LL and found their first momentum of the game. Scoring three unanswered goals, Camilo Castagnola and Diego Cavanagh led a Talandracas attack that quickly turned a five-goal deficit to just two, leaving the outcome in doubt over the final two chukkas. Great Oaks LL provided an opening for Talandracas as they missed both penalty attempts in the fifth and sixth chukkas, however, Talandracas converted just one of their final five shots to remain behind. Cruz Heguy helped maintain Great Oaks LL’s lead as a last push from Talandracaas fell short in the 10-8 defeat.
Amassing 27 shots, UAE Polo Team continued to attack goal throughout the match, producing enough opportunities from the field to overwhelm BP Polo. In one of the performances of the tournament, Polito Pieres finished with an impressive 12 goals to lead UAE Polo Team to victory, while BP Polo were without 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero for the second consecutive game, with Nico Pieres filling in admirably with six goals. A foul-ridden game resulted in both teams converting seven penalties, however UAE Polo Team’s advantage in open play guided them to the four-goal victory.
Applying their determined attack in the opening chukka, UAE Polo Team looked to take the early lead after producing seven shots, but their inaccuracy from the field gave BP Polo an opportunity to pull ahead. Two Penalty 2 conversions from Nico Pieres, along with a field goal from Alejandro Muzzio resulted in a 3-2 advantage for BP Polo. Maintaining the one-goal difference, BP Polo’s Pieres and Muzzio continued to carry their team forward as they tried to capture the win, but the continued pressure of UAE Polo Team paid off at the end of the half. Eight shots in the third chukka contributed to five goals as BP Polo remained pinned in their own half. Two goals each from Polito Pieres and Tomas Panelo gave UAE Polo Team their first lead, heading into halftime ahead 9-6.
The second half demonstrated the proficiency of Polito Pieres on the attack as he accounted for six of UAE Polo Team’s seven goals over the final three chukkas. Limiting BP Polo to just one penalty conversion in the fourth chukka, the UAE Polo Team counterattack was led by three goals from Pieres, extending UAE Polo Team’s lead to five. BP Polo generated their offense from the penalty line in the final stages of the match, adding four penalty conversions but it was not enough to match the electric attack of UAE Polo Team. Adding two penalties of his own, Pieres completed the impressive 12-goal performance to help UAE Polo Team grab their first victory in the high-scoring 16-12 triumph.