British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup – Day 3

Day three of action in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup, hosted by Cowdray Park Polo Club opened with a contest between UAE and Black Bears, as UAE took control play from the outset to emerge victorious 12-7.

Matching each other in shots from the field, UAE’s accuracy was just enough to overcome Black Bears and hold the advantage in open play. Leading UAE with seven goals, Tomas Beresford proved to be a decisive player in the game, continuing to serve as the heart of UAE’s offensive attack. Despite shooting 44% from the field, Black Bears was often held on defense unable to sustain possession, as UAE captured the five-goal victory.

Trading early efforts for a six-goal chukka, Juan Martin Nero led kick-started Black Bear’s offense, as the combination of Lucas Monteverde Jr., Beresford and Bartolome Castagnola ignited UAE’s balanced attack. Outshooting Black Bears 3 to 1 in the second, UAE added onto their one goal lead with a successful third chukka. Maintaining pressure, Beresford went 2 for 2 at the line, as UAE took a commanding 9-4 lead into the break.

Regrouping at the half, Black Bears came out strong to start the fourth, with back-to-back goals from Schwarzenbach and Nero, pulling their team within three. Continuing their powerful defensive performance, Black Bears held UAE off the scoreboard for a second consecutive chukka, but three-goals off the mallet of Beresford in the sixth halted Black Bears comeback to seal UAE’s 12-7 win.

In addition to their impressive debut victory, UAE were also the recipients of the Smith Ryland Cup.

Wrapping up Thursday’s action, a gripping match saw King Power narrowly rise above Monterosso to seize the nail-biting 15-14 victory.

In a game that came down to the final chukka, the two evenly matched teams answered each other in field shots, with King Power taking the narrow edge on accuracy shooting 61% over Monterosso’s 53%. Combining for only eleven penalties throughout the match with both teams converting all their attempts, the difference ultimately came down to the performance of Nicolas Pieres. Leading King Power with eleven goals, Pieres’ ability gain possession in the final minutes of play cemented the hard-fought win.

Following an opening goal from Monterosso’s Ignacio Toccalino, Pieres began his dominant day leading King Power with three, as King Power assembled a five-goal first chukka to assert an 5-1 early lead. Trading goals in the second to keep the difference at four, King Power was back on the attack in the third, adding four goals before the horn. Racking up an astounding eleven goals on just thirteen field shots and two successful conversions, King Power sailed into the break with the 11-5 advantage.

Turning the tables in the second half, Toccalino led Monterosso in the fourth with three goals, as their defense kept Monterosso to a single goal of the mallet of Pieres. Adding three more fifth, including David Stirling’s third of the contest, Monterosso suddenly pulled themselves within one. Capturing Monterosso only lead of the match, back-to-back goals from Stirling were met by the force of Pieres. Responding with back-to-back drives of his own, the 8-goaler capped off his spectacular performance with the deciding goal and deliver King Power the thrilling 15-14 triumph.

Photo Credit: ©Mark Beaumont