Story by Diana Butler, Communications Director Guards Polo Club. Photos by www.imagesofpolo.com.
RH Polo 10 – 7 Emlor at Black Bears
RH Polo won their second game of the competition, defeating Emlor 10-7. Although the final score implies that this victory was more clear cut than it actually appeared at the time. Although Emlor never took the lead in this game, both sides had mixed fortunes, especially in the second half.
Incredibly, both teams failed to score at all in the third, giving a half-time reading of 5-3 to RH Polo. But when RH failed to score again in the fourth – and Diego Cavanagh found the flags and Agustin Merlos fired through a penalty – this game was all-square and very much open.
The sixth chukka though belonged to RH – Emlor failing to add to their tally – and Sapo Caset, who had not only scored two goals in the fifth, but also received a yellow flag, made amends by firing through three goals in the sixth to ensure it was Ben Soleimani’s team who registered that crucial second win.
Valiente 11 – 9 Monterosso at Black Bears
Valiente’s strategy in this year’s tournament appears to be to pile up the goals in the early stages of the game and then relax a bit in the second half.
If that is the plan then this game was textbook perfect. Cristian Laprida fired through four goals in the first three chukkas, well supported by Adolfo Cambiaso with three and Hugo Lewis with a pair, to only two in reply from the Toccalino brothers. So with a half-time score reading 9-2, no-one would be forgiven for thinking that Valiente had this in the bag.
Yet again though the second half ran to a different script. It was the turn of Monterosso to fire through the goals – with the game’s young star Juan Martin Zubia finding the flags twice – and Ignacio and Santiago Toccalino adding a further five goals, only one of which was a penalty. So with less than a minute remaining of this match the score was now looking a little better for Monterosso – 10 – 9 in Valiente’s favour.
Would Alejandro Bazzoni’s team find that all important goal to level the scores and force extra time? Cambiaso had other ideas and brought this particular show to a close, firing through the 20th goal of the match to win the game for his patron Rob Jornayvaz.