Sixth Chukka Charge Leads Park Place to Victory and Thai Polo NP Impress in Dominant Victory Over Scone
The third day of play in the 2021 Gold Cup for the British Open Championship began with a thrilling back-and-forth contest between Murus Sanctus and Park Place that was ultimately decided in the final chukka at Cowdray Park Polo Club. Scoring four goals in the sixth chukka, Facundo Pieres led Park Place from one goal behind to capture the 10-8 victory.
Leading their respective teams on the offensive end, Facundo Pieres and Sapo Caset treated spectators to impressive scoring performances, finishing with eight and six goals respectively in the evenly matched game. Converting just three of their first 13 shots, Park Place had difficulty finding the mark against a tough Murus Sanctus defense, but the penalty accuracy of Pieres allowed them to match their opponents stride-for-stride. Holding the narrow advantage from open play, Murus Sanctus will lament their 2 for 6 penalty shooting, which proved to be the difference in the 10-8 defeat.
Trading goals over the first seven minutes, Murus Sanctus received field goals from Caset and Facundo Sola, while Park Place responded with a well-balanced team effort that resulted in goals from Pieres and Will Harper, along with an assist from Juan Britos. A fast pace was set on both sides of the ball over the remainder of the half with few fouls and Murus Sanctus pulling ahead on consecutive goals from Caset. However, scoring chances were difficult to come by with each team providing defensive stands as possession continued to switch in the middle of the field. Holding Murus Sanctus without a goal in the third chukka, Park Place took the lead after two Penalty 4 conversions from Pieres left the score at 5-4.
Consistently within one goal of each other, neither team was able to pull away in the game, but Murus Sanctus continued to provide an organized defense that limited the potent Park Place offense to just one goal over the fourth and fifth chukkas. Scoring from the field, Caset kept Murus Sanctus within one, but two missed Penalty 4 attempts prevented them from taking the lead. Driving the determined Murus Sanctus team forward, Caset added two crucial goals in the fifth chukka, one each from the field and the penalty line to grab the one-goal lead with one chukka remaining. Scoring on the first two plays of the sixth chukka, Pieres’ impressive stretch allowed Park Place to retake the lead and he carried the momentum through the final five minutes. Converting a Penalty 2 along with a Safety completed the dominant sixth chukka and led Park Place to the come from behind 10-8 victory to begin their tournament.
Displaying a new line-up for the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship, Thai Polo NP provided a dominant debut, overwhelming Scone 11-5 on the Ambersham Grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Controlling possession, Thai Polo NP were effective in limiting the opportunities for Scone throughout the match, holding the Cartier Queen’s Cup finalist to just 21% on 14 shots. A standout player in the game, James Harper provided not only defense, but contributed three goals and three assists in one of his best performances of the season. Leading from start to finish, Thai Polo NP’s efficient attack was a product of a complete team effort, as they assisted on five of their seven field goals and finished a perfect 3 for 3 from the penalty line, leaving Scone with a difficult time in matching the pace set by Thai Polo NP in the 11-5 victory.
The recent increase of Poroto Cambiaso to a 7-goal handicap resulted in Scone conceding one goal on handicap and Thai Polo NP wasted little time in extending the lead. A quick passing attack resulted in assisted goals for Nico Pieres and Louis Hine to quickly hold a 3-0 advantage. Poroto Cambiaso received a foul that led to a Penalty 2 conversion from Isidro Strada, but it was the only offense Scone generated over the opening two chukkas. Despite numerous chances at goal for both teams, inaccurate shooting kept a low score towards the end of the half, with Thai Polo NP inching further ahead after field goals from Pieres and Harper. A second goal from Poroto Cambiaso left a surprising score of just 5-2 entering halftime.
Remaining focused, Thai Polo NP began the second half where they left off, relying on the duo of Pieres and Harper to drive them forward. Pieres sent the ball through the goal posts on a Penalty 2 attempt and then found Harper on the end of the pass to make the score 7-2 against a Scone team that struggled to generate any significant attacks. The only Scone player to score from the field, Poroto Cambiaso added his second goal bringing his team back within three, however the organized Thai Polo NP defense prevented a further run. A dominant fifth chukka sealed the outcome as Thai Polo NP outscored Scone 3-0 on one goal each from Pieres, Harper and Louis Hine, extending the lead to six and leaving little time for Scone to produce a comeback. Trading goals in the final chukka, the six goal difference remained and Thai Polo NP claimed the 11-5 win.