Queens Cup semi finals – 10/06/09..

Sumaya to face Apes Hill in Harcourt Developments Queen’s Cup Final

By Antje Derks

Two very different semi finals took place at Guards Polo Club yesterday. The first, between Sumaya and Dubai was action packed all the way, especially since Adolfo Cambiaso managed to get his riding muscle woes sorted out in time for the showdown.

However, it was last year’s runners up – Sumaya – who dominated the first chukka, and with another superb goal by Milo Fernandez Araujo at the start of the second, they had a 5 – 2 lead over Dubai. Sumaya’s strength was winning the throw-ins. Indeed four out of the five goals they scored came as a direct result of snatching the ball from the line-out.

Dubai came back into the game in the second chukka, mainly due to Cambiaso. He really was on sparkling form, shutting up anyone who might have thought his crown was up for the taking after a less than magical season last year. Indeed, he scored two goals from impossible under-the-neck shots that no other mere mortal would have gotten a stick to.  With the scores all tied up at five a piece it was a penalty in favour of Sumaya that pushed them back in front and the start of the third.

The teams stayed neck-and-neck at seven goals each at half-time.  Dubai dominated the fourth chukka, leading Sumaya by three goals at one point. A betting man might have said it was all over, but not so. Sumaya dug deep and by part way through the fifth chukka, they had a goal separating them from Dubai. A stunning goal by Hilario Ulloa got them the equaliser. Throughout the sixth chukka the lead see-sawed and it looked like the game might go to a sudden death.

The tension got to both the teams and there were penalties a-plenty. Not least a penalty that was moved up due to Cambiaso’s arguing with the umpire. It was this crucial moment that, in my opinion, lost the game for Dubai. Sumaya ended up with a two-goal lead over Dubai, but a great field goal from Magoo Laprida brought them to within a goal, but as always time ran out. Final scores: Sumaya 14; Dubai 13.

The second semi between Apes Hill and Lechuza Caracas was a messy affair. Both teams were unbeaten in the league stages and as a result were very evenly matched. Having seen Apes Hill play a stunning match in their quarter final, I felt they took a while to find their rhythm yesterday. There were far fewer goals in the early chukkas and many more infringements that in the first semi, and at times it was a bit like watching paint dry.

By the end of the third chukka though, things had started to rock and roll for Apes Hill and they edged in front by two goals; 4 – 2. By the end of the fourth chukka, Apes Hill had advanced their lead to 6 – 3. Lechuza Caracas managed to claw one back at the start of the fifth chukka, but Guillermo Caset really shanked a chance to catch up further, by missing a 30 yard open goal penalty. Apes Hill showed their superiority and effortless team play after Luke scored probably the tournament’s best goal. Mark followed suit and suddenly Apes Hill had opened up a four-goal lead.

A penalty in favour of Lechuza was missed by Caset, and another vital opportunity to catch up had been thrown away. Despite scoring three goals in the final chukka, Lechuza still trailed Apes Hill by two goals, due to Luke smashing in another 30 yard penalty, showing Guillermo Caset just how it should be done. Final scores: Apes Hill 9; Lechuza Caracas 7.