On day 11 of the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship at Cowdray Park Polo Club, the only game featured the competition in League A, as Monterosso completed a determined comeback against Talandracas to capture the 12 to 11 win and improve their record to 2-1.
Trailing or tied after each of the first five chukkas, Monterosso surged ahead in the final chukka when it counted most, despite losing 9-goaler David Stirling to injury. Remaining close throughout the match, it was Talandracas who consistently held the lead due to the play of Camilo Castagnola, who finished with a game high nine goals, with both Diego Cavanagh and Marcos Araya passing forward effectively to collect three assists each. Producing more opportunities from the field, Monterosso fought back into the game with David leading the charge, collecting three goals in the second half before exiting, but in the final moments, three penalty conversions helped secure the comeback victory as Monterosso’s four-goal sixth chukka gave them the 12 to 11 victory.
Executing their strategy in the first chukka, Camilo attacked forward with the duo of Diego and Marcos utilizing the pass, helping give Talandracas the early 2 to 1 advantage. A repeat performance for Talandracas in the second chukka looked to push them ahead, but Monterosso responded with a balanced team attack that answered with goals from Mackenzie Weisz and Ignacio Toccalino to remain trailing by just one. Finding themselves in foul trouble for the first time in the game, three Monterosso fouls resulted in two penalty conversions for Camilo that gave Talandracas the 7 to 4 lead at halftime.
The pace increased after the break providing spectators with end-to-end action that led to Monterosso closing the deficit. Stirling contributed a goal and an assist to guide the Monterosso attack, while Talandracas dealt with inaccurate shooting throughout the chukka that saw their lead shrink to just one. Building on their momentum, Monterosso finally pulled even in the fifth chukka after holding Talandracas without a field goal for the second consecutive chukka and receiving a Penalty 4 conversion from Ignacio to tie the score at 8-all. Diego made his presence felt in the opening moments of the sixth chukka, quickly adding a goal and an assist that pushed Talandracas ahead by two. David’s third goal cut the deficit in half, but he was then forced from the game due to injury after falling in front of his own goal. Juan Martin Zubia replaced the injured David and quickly scored in the tense moments of the final chukka for Monterosso. Entering the final minute, Monterosso trailed by one until Ignacio converted a Penalty 3 as time ticked down. Winning the final throw-in, Monterosso received another foul just steps in front of goal as Ignacio stepped up and completed the comeback and the 12 to 11 victory.
Photographs by Mark Beaumont