MATCH REPORTS – SEMI FINALS OF THE JAEGER-LECOULTRE GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP 19TH JULY
By Katie Vickery, Editor, Fantasy Polo
King Power Foxes 10 vs 7 Habtoor
Habtoor came in to this match up as the underdogs having won only two games in the British Open tournament so far and taking on last year’s champions. With nothing to lose, Habtoor were determined to prove themselves against the established King Power Foxes foursome and they came out hard in the first chukka, managing to keep the powerful Pieres duo under wraps for the first three chukkas. Nico Pieres worked hard to shut down his brothers’ attacking tactics, and winning 16 of the 21 throw-ins meant Habtoor had plenty of possession throughout, but they were unable to capitalise on this with 7 shots to goal that they could not convert.
The King Power Foxes’ signature surge saw them 2 goals up going into the 5th having been drawn 4-4 at halftime. Habtoor simply couldn’t score in the 5th and 6th chukkas and left King Power to pull away going in to the last chukka 5 goals up. A last minute push saw them make an heroic comeback but it was too late to turn the tables on the inevitable and King Power move on to the final with a 10-7 win.
1-2 2-3 4-4 6-4 9-4 10-7
El Remanso 12 vs 5 Sommelier
The second semi final was another affair between brothers with George Hanbury’s Sommelier taking on Charlie Hanbury’s all Brit El Remanso team. Despite Sommelier’s best efforts, El Remanso were clearly the stronger team, storming to a solid early lead and thwarting all of Sommelier’s attacking efforts. El Remanso were on fire and it seemed they could not miss with 11 of their 12 goals coming from the field, Ollie Cudmore leading the scoring with six.
Despite one team’s obvious dominance, the audience was treated to a spectacular display of polo and with few fouls and only one penalty it was a lesson in clever open polo and nifty stickwork. Going into the last chukka with a solid nine goal lead El Remanso let up slightly in the last and Sommelier were able to slot in some goals to bring the score up to 12-5. El Remanso move through to the final on Sunday to take on King Power Foxes.
2-0 4-0 7-1 9-2 12-3 12-5