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Queens Cup

La Indiana and Talandracas, to quarterfinals; RH remains as the only unbeaten

June 3, 2018
June 3, 2018
The Queen’s Cup, one of the most prestigious polo tournaments in the world, resumed on Saturday with two matches at different venues. Eleven 22-goal teams are in competition. La Indiana defeat unbeaten La Bamba de Areco and RH did the same with Valiente, who was also unbeaten. Thus, RH Polo, defending champions, remain as the only unbeaten team in the tournament. The final of the Queen’s Cup is scheduled for Sunday, June 17th.

CLINOVA 10-8 PARK PLACE (Friday, at Coworth Park)

Adrian Kirby’s Clinova registered their first league match victory in the Cartier Queen’s Cup earlier this afternoon. They defeated Andrey Borodin’s Park Place 10-8 in a tight game played at Coworth Park. Although Park Place never took the lead in this match, there was little air between the scores for all six chukkas and the winner only emerged on the final bell. Juan Gris Zavaleta started the scoring for Clinova, giving the yellow shirts a 1-0 lead at the end of the first. However, as both teams produced some effective man-marking, runs down to goal were invariably brought to a halt. By half time the score had crept to 4-3, again in favour of Clinova, thanks to a mixture of field goals and penalties, the latter taken by Malcolm Borwick. Park Place’s best chukka was the fifth when Juan Britos fired through three goals to only two in reply from Clinova  levelling the scores at 8-8. Although this chukka also stood out for Park Place’s Hilario Ulloa’s equine gymnastics when hitting a ball in mid-air while almost completely out of the saddle. So this match  was all even going into the sixth chukka and the spectators hoped there would be some extra time. Clinova had other ideas though. Firstly Nico Pieres shot through a goal five minutes into this chukka, while Borwick confirmed Clinova’s victory by converting a penalty soon afterwards.

Clinova: Adrian Kirby 0, Juan Gris Zavaleta 7 (3 goals), Nico Pieres 9 (2), Malcolm Borwick 6 (5). Total: 22.
Park Place: Andrey Borodin 0, Juan Britos 7 (6 goals), Hilario Ulloa 10 (2), Tommy Beresford 5. Total: 22.
Score Clinova: 1-0, 3-1, 4-3, 6-5, 8-8, 10-8.
Umpires: Julian Appleby and Tim Bown.    Third man: Jason Dixon.

LA INDIANA 10-9 LA BAMBA DE ARECO (at Flemish Farm, Castle Ground)

The spectacular backdrop of Windsor Castle was the perfect venue for a dramatic game to decide the top team in Group Two. A victory for La Bamba today, again playing with Zac Beim in place of their patron Jean Francois Decaux, would have seen them finish top in this group. Of course, this is the 2018 Cartier Queen’s Cup and all forecasts went out the window a long time ago. Plus their opponents were Michael Bickford’s La Indiana  runners up in 2016 and 2017. In a fairly scrappy game, La Indiana were up 4-3 at half-time. Then, when Facundo Pieres was shown two yellow flags in the fourth and sent to sin bin for two minutes, Pelon Stirling took advantage and fired through a couple of goals, to add to the two he had already scored in this chukka. La Bamba were narrowly back in the lead again (7-6). Time off the field only seemed to inspire Pieres though and he fired through two goals, while his patron also found the flags. Meanwhile it was Stirling’s turn to be shown a yellow card. So there really was a lot still to play for as the teams rode out for the sixth and final chukka. Alec White increased La Indiana’s lead to start with, only for Beim  and Byron Watson, who has had a great tournament, closing the gap once more. Time though was not on La Bamba’s side and it was La Indiana that won this match.

This result though meant a three-way tie at the top with three teams  La Indiana, La Bamba de Areco and Talandracas  all on two wins each. Penalty shootout time beckoned. La Bamba was knocked out first and now have to play a qualifying match next Tuesday. Talandracas and La Indiana may have now qualified for the quarters, they had to continue shooting penalties to see who came out top. This honour went to La Indiana, who will now play the fourth placed team from League One on Sunday 10th June. Talandracas meanwhile will play the third placed team from League One on Saturday 9th June.

La Indiana: Michael Bickford 1, Nic Roldan 7, Facundo Pieres 10, Alec White 4. Total: 22.
La Bamba de Areco: Jean Francois Decaux 0, Byron Watson 3, Pelon Stirling 9, Juan Martín Nero 10. Total: 22.
Score La Indiana: 0-2, 3-2, 4-3, 6-7, 9-7, 10-9.
Umpires: Peter Wright and Tim Bown.    Third man: Julian Appleby.

RH POLO 7-6 VALIENTE (at The Duke’s Ground)

These two teams came into this game unbeaten and were playing for the number one position in League One. A large crowd had come to watch Valiente’s Adolfo Cambiaso in action for the first time this year at Smith’s Lawn, but were initially disappointed as a muscle injury saw him being subbed by Diego Cavanagh. Any disappointment soon faded as these two teams delivered a thrilling match on The Duke’s Ground. The first couple of chukkas were a bit stop/start with the umpires having to earn their fee, but there was always an expectation that this could be a great game. Guillermo Caset was the first to find the flags, which was soon followed up by team-mate Martin Podesta, who had a great game for RH Polo. He always seemed to be in the right place to pick up a long shot from either Caset or Facundo Solo, who joined the field in the second chukka, still in his blue jeans, after Rodrigo de Andrade retired due to a riding muscle injury. In fact by the end of the second chukka the RH players had fired through four goals to only one in reply from Cavanagh for Valiente. The pace increased in the third with some lovely end-to-end play from both Cristian Laprida and Cavanagh, ensuring it was Valiente that was ahead for a moment (5-4) in the third. Caset put a stop to that just before the bell, tapping in a penalty to show 5-5 on the scoreboard at half-time. The next three chukkas were fast and furious with some breath-taking races between Sola and Laprida  appropriate on Epsom Derby Day  but few goals. The sixth started all square at 6-6 and everything to play for. Hugo Lewis and Rob Jornayvaz never stopped battling for Valiente, but it was RH’s Caset who found the winning goal with two minutes to spare.  This means that RH Polo are unbeaten in their league games so far  the only team in the 2018 tournament to achieve this.

RH Polo: Ben Soleimani 0, Mín Podestá 5 (2 goals), Sapo Caset 9 (5), Rodrigo Andrade 8 (Replaced by Facundo Sola 8). Total: 22.
Valiente: Rob Jornayvaz 1, Hugo Lewis 4, Magoo Laprida 7 (3), Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (Replaced by Diego Cavanagh 8, 3 goals). Total: 22.
Score RH Polo: 2-1, 4-1, 5-5, 5-6, 6-6, 7-6.
Umpires: Julian Appleby and Jason Dixon.    Third man: Peter Wright.

The Queen’s Cup will resume on Friday with the following order of play:
3pm: Emlor vs Les Lions, at The Queen’s Ground. 

Picture Gallery:
QUEEN’S CUP 2018: Clinova vs Park Place
QUEEN’S CUP 2018: La Indiana vs La Bamba de Areco
QUEEN’S CUP 2018: RH vs Valiente

QUEEN’S CUP: Fixture & Teams