By Alex Webbe, US Senior Correspondent. Photo By Gillian Hughes (L to R-La Indiana’s Nic Roldan and Agustin “Tincho” Merlos).
Playing in the rain, a balanced La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Agustin Merlos and Luke Tomlinson) attack carried them to a 10-8 win over a talented El Remanso lineup (Charlie Hanbury, Oliver Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper) Wednesday morning at the Cowdray Park Polo Club’s 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge. The win boosted La Indiana into Sunday’s final and will allow them to attempt to defend their 2016 title against a yet to be named opponent.
El Remanso received one goal by handicap but watched La Indiana team captain Michael Bickford score the first goal of the game to level the score at 1-1. James Beim scored the only other goal of the chukker as El Remanso took the early lead, 2-1.
James Harper took advantage of a La Indiana foul in the second period, converting a 30-yard penalty shot to make it 3-1. La Indiana bounced back with single goals from Agustin Merlos and Nic Roldan to end the chukker in a 3-3 deadlock.
In a defensively -oriented third, Merlos scored the only goal of the game. At the end of the first half it was La Indiana on top of a 4-3 score.
Merlos opened the second half with a 30-yard penalty conversion, 5-3, followed by a goal from the field from teammate Roldan, 6-3. Ollie Cudmore scored his first goal of the day for El Remanso, but La Indiana continued to dominate the period. Goals from Luke Tomlinson and Roldan closed out the chukker with La Indiana in command of the game with a four-goal lead, 8-4.
Beim exploded for two goals in the fifth, cutting the La Indiana lead to two goals, 8-6. Merlos scored La Indiana’s ninth goal of the day, 9-6, before Beim scored again, 9-7. Roldan would score the final goal of the period, giving La Indiana a three-goal advantage, 10-7, going in to the final chukker of play.
El Remanso tried to battle their way back into the game in the sixth while La Indiana concentrated on defense. Cudmore scored the only goal of the chukker on a 40-yard penalty shot allowing La Indiana to ride off with the 10-8 victory and a berth in Sunday’s final of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge.
Merlos and Roldan led the La Indiana win with four goals apiece. Bickford and Tomlinson each added a goal for the win. Beim’s four goals set the pace for El Remanso. Cudmore added two goals; Harper scored once and the team received one goal by handicap.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge action will continue on Thursday with Murus Sanctus (Corinne Ricard, Hilario Ulloa, Facundo Sola and Dirk Van Reenen) facing La Bamba de Areco (Jean Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.) at 1pm. Murus Sanctus enters the match with a 1-0 record while La Bamba de Areco is winless at 0-1.
The tournament final is scheduled to be played on Sunday, May 21st.