The second day of the 2020 King Power Gold Cup featured two close games decided by one goal each as Monterosso narrowly defeated Thai Polo NW 10-9, while Scone had a successful debut against Polo Stud Schockemohle, claiming the 12-11 victory at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The opening match featured a thrilling conclusion, with Thai Polo NW nearly sending the game to overtime, but they were unable to convert a safety to tie the game as time expired. Overcoming inaccurate 2 for 7 shooting from the penalty line, Monterosso excelled from the field with all four players scoring at least two goals each as part of an efficient team attack. The foul-ridden game resulted in Thai Polo NW scoring five goals from the penalty line, but ultimately their 29% shooting from the field proved to be the difference in the 10-9 defeat.
A back and forth start to the game saw Monterosso struggle to take advantage of their opportunities from the penalty line, converting zero of their four attempts throughout the first half. Jack Richardson and Ned Hine scored a goal each to open up an early 2-1 lead, with Juan Martin Zubia increasing Thai Polo NW’s lead further in the second chukka on consecutive goals. Monterosso pulled within one by the end of the half due to the efforts of Jeronimo del Carril, who scored his second goal while also adding his second assist to leave the score at 5-4 in favour of Thai Polo NW.
Building on their momentum from the end of the first half, an organized Monterosso team scored three unanswered goals to begin the second half, including one goal from Alessandro Bazzoni. Thai Polo NW’s struggles from the field continued as they failed to find the goal on three shots, facing a two-goal deficit with two chukkas remaining. Five fouls for Monterosso in the fifth chukka provided an opening for Thai Polo NW, leading to two penalty conversions for Zubia, with an exciting final chukka remaining. With multiple chances to tie the score, Thai Polo NW pulled back within one and with time running out, they received a safety opportunity to tie the game. Under a tense situation, the ball sailed wide, giving Monterosso the thrilling 10-9 victory.
A fast-paced second game between Polo Stud Schockemohle and Scone displayed end-to-end action as the two teams combined for 40 shots at goal and 50% shooting from the field. An impressive nine goals from Nico Pieres in a standout performance of the tournament thus far, led Scone to victory while also Polo Stud Schockemohle off the penalty line the entire game. Three second half penalty conversions gave Scone the edge they needed to capture the one-goal victory.
Pieres began his strong performance in the opening chukka, scoring two goals to push Scone into the early lead, despite conceding seven shot attempts to Polo Stud Schockemohle. Patrick Maleitzke’s second and third goals of the game restored the tie at 4-4 in the evenly matched contest. The fast pace continued to produce scoring opportunities for Polo Stud Schockemohle, but their inefficiency around goal left the score tied heading into halftime after Pieres and Henry Porter traded goals for their respective teams.
Equalling their foul total from the opening half, Polo Stud Schockemohle conceded a penalty goal to Nico Pieres, while Oliver Cudmore scored his first goal of the game, giving Scone a two-goal advantage. Despite conceding two more penalty goals to Pieres, Polo Stud Schockemohle was unwilling to let the deficit grow as Diego Cavanagh was instrumental in a three-goal fifth chukka, leaving his team trailing by just one goal. Maleitzke opened the scoring in the final chukka to tie the game at 10-10 to set the scene for an exciting conclusion. Back-to-back goals from Pieres and Cudmore sealed the victory for Scone, as a last second goal from Polo Stud Schockemohle wasn’t enough in the 12-11 defeat.