It’s the second week of play in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup. For the quarter finals, UAE met Thai Polo NP in the opening match of the day, while Scone and Murus Sanctus clashed in this key matchup.
Coming off an overtime victory in their last game, Thai Polo NP challenged UAE in the first half. This began with Ned Hine sending a 40-yard penalty through the posts. Driving the UAE attack forward, Tomas Beresford was instrumental in a 4 to 1 run that gave them a narrow 1-goal lead at the end of the second chukka.
Tomas also contributed three goals while also assisting on a field goal for H.H. Sheika Maitha M Rashid Al Maktoum. He finished a perfect 3 for 3 from the penalty line, but was matched by the same from Thai Polo NP’s Ned. Maintaining their slim lead after Lucas Monteverde Jr.’s first goal, UAE entered halftime leading with 6 to 5.
After conceding a quick goal, Thai Polo NP dominated the remainder of the fourth chukka. The game was led by two goals and an assist from Ned. Jared Zenni came forward from the back of the game to contribute offensively, as the two teams remained tied with two chukkas remaining.
The fifth chukka ultimately decided the game. UAE overwhelmed the Thai Polo NP defense with five shots, converting four of the attempts, with two coming off the mallet of Monteverde Jr. Held scoreless, Thai Polo NP suddenly found themselves trailing by four entering the final chukka. After conceding a 40-yard penalty, their hopes dwindled of challenging late in the game. Exchanging late goals, UAE completed the 15 to 10 victory for their second win of the tournament.
In need of a victory to keep their quarter final hopes alive, Murus Sanctus met Scone. The latter is led by father-son duo Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso for the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup on Lawns 1.
Committing four fouls in the opening chukka, Murus Sanctus conceded a 30-yard penalty to Poroto. However, the team managed to pull even at 1-all despite the early foul troubles.
Alternating goals, Murus Sanctus’ Marcos Araya produced the first three goals for his team. Meanwhile, Scone’s Rosendo Torreguitar provided a response with two goals in an evenly matched second chukka. Finding themselves in foul trouble of their own, Scone conceded three penalty goals to Murus Sanctus, including a 60-yard penalty from Alfredo Cappella to trail with 7 to 5 at the break.
Reorganizing at halftime, Scone exited with an improved defensive discipline to prevent Murus Sanctus from scoring. Receiving a 30-yard penalty from Poroto and Adolfo’s first goal of the match, Scone restored the tie. This left the final two chukkas to determine the winner.
Marcos struck first from the 40-yard line to pull Murus Sanctus ahead and along with a field goal from Facundo Sola. They entered the final chukka of play with a one-goal advantage.
Applying continuous pressure in Murus Sanctus’ half, Scone forced their opponents into three fouls during the final seven minutes of play. A 30-yard penalty was converted by Poroto to tie the score. With the game on the line, he sent a Safety 60 sailing through the posts to secure the 10 to 9 win. This improved their status to 2 to 1 and has enabled them to meet Talandracas in their final match of group play.
Following the game, Minister Mariana Plaza, Deputy Ambassador of Argentina, gave Argentine wine as prizes to the players. She also presented the Cup to Adolfo on behalf of Scone.
Photographs by Mark Beaumont