Story by Diana Butler, Director Mediaprocoms Ltd, Communications Guards Polo Club. All photos by www.imagesofpolo.com.
RH Polo 10 – 8 Sifani
La Bamba de Areco 12 – 10 Murus Sanctus
RH Polo are on target to head up League Two, with only one league match left for them to play in their 2017 Cartier Queen’s Cup campaign.
They remain unbeaten after today’s comfortable 10-8 win over Hilali Noordeen’s Sifani team. This was a fairly quiet game at Coworth Park and although Sifani levelled the scores twice – first with a 60-yard penalty from Julian de Lusarreta in the third and then a goal from John Paul Clarkin in the fourth – RH Polo remained calm.
They were very much in the driving seat from the first chukka and just to emphasise the point Adolfo Cambiaso sprung into life in the final chukka, firing through the penultimate two goals of the match. That said though, this was very much a team effort with patron Ben Soleimani scoring twice in this match, as did Tommy Beresford, while Rodrigo de Andrade successfully converted a penalty.
The second game was a tighter and faster affair, with both teams looking for that all important semi-final knockout place. La Bamba, who were without their patron Jean Francois Decaux, fielded young Ned Hine, son of former England captain Andrew.
They also welcome back Diego Cavanagh after his fall last week. La Bamba had control of this match in the first two chukkas and were 4-3 up at the start of the third. Murus Sanctus turned things around in the third with Facundo Sola – who had a great game for Corinne Ricard’s team – scoring first in this chukka. Hilario Ulloa then converted a penalty and Ricard herself scored.
With Martin Podesta putting through the 12th goal of the match – Cristian Laprida had fired one through earlier in this chukka for La Bamba – Murus Sanctus were in the lead (7-5) going into half-time. However, La Bamba must have had an amazing team talk as they shot through two goals and two penalties to none in reply from Murus to take a 9-7 lead in the fourth.
It was the opposite story in the fifth, with Ulloa scoring twice to level the scores going into the sixth. This game was still very open, but thanks to three more goals for La Bamba when it mattered, they won the match, and the Richard Watt Cup, 12-10.
Sola’s team might not have won today, but he would have undoubtedly won the best goal of the tournament prize. In this final chukka, Sola hit the ball from around the centre of the field, but it bounced. Incredibly he connected his stick to the ball in mid-air and scored!
Next matches – Tuesday 6 June
11am La Indiana v Sommelier at Manor Farm
3pm El Remanso v Monterosso Polo Team, ground TBC
Talandracas 13 – 9 Sommelier
La Indiana 10 – 9 El Remanso
La Indiana’s narrow win over El Remanso edges them closer to an automatic semi-final spot with one match to play. Michael Bickford’s team remain unbeaten and they are looking the strongest candidates to head up League One. However El Remanso gave them a major scare today – coming back from 4-1 down in the second to take the lead 7-6 in the fifth.
The all-English team, headed up by Charlie Hanbury, put on a great performance on The Duke’s Ground and had lots of vocal support from the spectators. This was anyone’s game in the second half and both teams carried on fighting until the final whistle. In fact this match was so tight that extra time looked likely. But, with Nic Roldan picking up a ball from team-mate Luke Tomlinson and then running it all the way to goal, La Indiana’s victory today was assured.
Talandracas, who have had mixed fortunes in this year’s competition, secured their second victory, this time over George Hanbury’s Sommelier. The latter was also looking for their second win and as Fred Mannix said in a tweet before the game: “Win tomorrow and we play the quarter-finals of the Queen’s Cup”.
It was not to be though as Talandracas, minus their patron, but playing the young Englishman Will Harper in his place, put up three goals in the first chukka to none in reply from Sommelier. Hanbury’s team gradually got themselves back into this fairly flowing game, played on the Castle Ground at Flemish Farm, and by the end of the fourth chukka, were only trailing 10-7.
However time was against them and Talandracas, who had been consistent throughout all six chukkas, with goals from Pelon Stirling, Jack Hyde, Sapo Caset and Harper, won the match 13-9.