Zacara edge Les Lions to win British Open

Zacara edge Les Lions to win British Open 

By Herbert Spencer

Lyndon Lea’s Zacara came from behind in the sixth chukka Sunday to defeat Joachim Gottschalk’s Les Lions 12-11 and capture the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup in the 2011 British Open Championship at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

The final was played partly in the rain and on a sodden ground, but despite the weather conditions it was a fast and open match from start to finish.

Zacara drew first blood when their Hilario Ulloa snatched the ball out of the opening throw-in and broke away to find the posts less than a minute into the match. Lea’s side ended the first chukka 2-1 up.  But Les Lions  held Zacara scoreless in the second period, equalised and took the lead 4-2.

Les Lions increased their advantage to 5-2 in the third chukka before Zacara rallied with three straight goals to tie the game up. Les Lions retook the lead, 6-5, with a penalty conversion at the bell.

Zacara equalised again when Ulloa took the ball straight from the initial throw-in to score, but Les Lions recaptured the lead and increased it to 10-8 by the end of the fourth period. Lea’s boys denied Les Lions any goals in the fifth chukka and reduced their deficit to 9-10.

In a tense sixth period Zacara tied up the match again and went ahead before Les Lions equalized at 11-11. Zacara finally won the match five minutes into the final chukka when their Gonzalo Deltour scored from the field.