Dubai Polo Team and Park Place Deliver Wins in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup
Competition in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup continued on Monday 4th July with action between Twelve Oaks and Dubai Polo team on Brooks Field, followed by Park Place against Monterosso at Zacara.
Stepping up to the challenge of stiff competition throughout the tournament, Dubai Polo Team made their presence known once more with back-to-back goals from Rashid Albwardy and leading scorer Camilo Castagnola to take a 2-0 advantage over Twelve Oaks. Falling to their opponents in their previous two matches, Twelve Oaks’ inability to score early against a formidable Dubai Polo Team was erased in the second with goals from John Paul Clarkin and Cristian Laprida to tie the match at 2-all. Taking offensive control in the reminder of the second half, Dubai Polo Team put themselves back on top after a run of four goals with contributions from Matt Perry and Castagnola, including Castagnola’s first conversion of the match from the 60-yard line. Attempting three shots on goal in the third chukka, a final effort from Joaquin Pittaluga finally found the posts for Twelve Oaks, but the offensive firepower of Dubai Polo Team gave them a comfortable 6-3 lead at the half.
Following a goal from Dubai Polo Team’s Jeronimo de Carril to open the scoring in the fourth, Twelve Oaks assembled their first string of goals, as Laprida and Charlie Wooldridge answered from the field to score three and cut their deficit to two. Halting the progress of a driving Twelve Oaks, Castagnola dominated play, hitting the goal four times, and going 3 for 3 at the penalty line to increase Dubai Polo Team’s lead 11-7. Digging in to attempt a final comeback, a strong defensive stand from Twelve Oaks was accompanied by goals from Laprida and Pittaluga. Scoring three in the final chukka of play, including Twelve Oaks’ second conversion of the match, the last-minute efforts fell just short to Castagnola’s eight on the day, giving Dubai Polo Team just enough room to take the match 12-10 and remain undefeated.
Rounding out the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, an offensively dominant Park Place lead by 10-goaler Facundo Pieres wasted no time re-asserting themselves against a struggling Monterosso to score three goals in the first chukka from Louis Hine and Francisco Elizalde. Still searching for their first win of the tournament, Monterosso’s Pablo Mac Donough got his team on the board from the 30-yard line, but Park Place’s offensive abilities led to a phenomenal first half take over. Blitzing the goal with eight shots on net, four goals came off the mallet of Pieres, while Elizalde contributed another two to account for a six-goal unanswered run and commanding 9-2 lead at the break.
Trading goals from Monterosso’s sole scorer Mac Donough and Park Place’s Elizalde begin the second half, Monterosso briefly began to make some headway following Mac Donough’s third conversion of the match followed by Ignacio Toccalino breaking through in the field. Still leading by five, Park Place halted any momentum created by Toccalino to score another three, with two coming from Pieres in both the field and 30-yard line. Holding Park Place to just one shot in the sixth chukka, Alessandro Bazzoni found the posts one final time for Monterosso, but the overpowering play of Park Place to double the efforts of Monterosso and place twenty shots on goal ultimately delivered them the 13-6 victory.
Pip Hitchman, Cowdray Park Polo Club