Foxes’ cunning plan for Gold Cup progress pays off

King Power Foxes celebrate their victory / Picture by Clive Bennett - www.polopictures.co.uk
King Power Foxes celebrate their victory / Picture by Clive Bennett - www.polopictures.co.uk

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup quarter-finals brought some terrific polo action to Cowdray Park over the weekend.

Here are all the reports...

King Power Foxes v Britannia El Remanso

The final match of the weekend – between Tal Srivaddhanaprabha’s King Power Foxes and Charlie Hanbury’s Britannia El Remanso – was the most thrilling of the weekend and possibly the match of the tournament so far.

By the close of the first chukka, Britannia El Remanso were ahead 4-1 with three goals from Charlie Hanbury and one from James Harper unanswered by King Power Foxes.

Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres swung into action in chukka two and answered with three goals – yet another coming in return from Hanbury.

Britannia El Remanso continued fighting but simply couldn’t find another goal.

The Pieres brothers continued their assault in chukka 3 placing a further three goals on the scoreboard, but yet again an in-form Charlie Hanbury gave them one back and the teams went into half time on a score of 6-6.

In chukka four, a penalty gave Gonzalito Pieres the chance to send through a 30-yard shot to take King Power Foxes into the lead for the first time.

From the throw-in Britannia latched on to the ball, Harper sent it forward and again Hanbury obliged. The scores were even again at 7-7, but a ball scooped up from the pitch and sent through by Facundo and an amazing angled shot from Gonzalito Pieres saw chukka four end at 9-7 in favour of the blue shirts.

Chukka five opened with a throw-in won by King Power Foxes but there was no let-up in the Englishmen’s determination and they fought for the ball until Beim sent it forward to Hanbury whose seventh of the match made it 9-8.

A superb goal from Facundo Pieres, taking the ball all the way from the throw-in to the goal, took King Power Foxes to 10-8, but the gap narrowed once again with a goal from James Harper.

Chukka six opened with a melée near the King Power Foxes’ goalmouth and a 30-yard penalty for Britannia El Remanso which Harper rolled through.

The action continued with hard ride-offs and bold moves, but one from Cudmore didn’t suit the umpires and a 30-yard penalty was awarded to King Power Foxes.

Gonzalito took a full swing at it and the ball went through the posts for an 11-10 lead. Britannia El Remanso continued fighting but simply couldn’t find another goal and King Power Foxes secured a place in the semi-finals.

HB Polo v Zacara

Lyndon Lea’s Zacara made a great start in their quarter-final against the Pailloncy brothers’ HB Polo but by no means had it their own way.

A pacy first half ended with Zacara ahead 6-5. David Stirling was first to score in chukka four, levelling the scores on 6-6 but by the chukka’s close Zacara had drawn ahead 9-6.

HB Polo made a great start to chukka five with a goal each from Toccalino and Stirling bringing them to within a goal of their opponents again, but Pablo MacDonough simply dug deeper and scored the two goals which saw the score 11-8 in Zacara’s favour.

HB’s supporters cheered as Stirling pulled another back at the start of chukka six but determined play by MacDonough soon saw him make it 12-9.

Despite a heroic team effort in the British open championship by HB Polo, Zacara ran out the winners and earned their place in the semi-finals.

Valiente v Clarke & Green

Valiente’s match against Nick Clarke’s Clarke & Green side saw Robert Joynavaz playing in place of his father Bob Jornayvaz for Valiente.

Valiente stormed to a 10-2 lead by the end of chukka three - young English one-goal player Kian Hall truly made his mark in the side with three goals on the board in the first half.

Adolfo Cambiaso moved the score to 11-2 in chukka four before John Paul Clarkin pulled one back for Clarke & Green.

A goal apiece came for Cambiaso and Clarkin in chukka five before a roll-in from the boards saw Nero swoop on to the ball – his super cut shot to Kian Hall enabling the one-goaler to score his fourth of the match.

A good final chukka for Clarke & Green, with two goals from the patron, wasn’t enough to prevent a solid win for Valiente on a final score of 14-7, Kian Hall scoring once again in chukka six to earn his fifth goal of the match.

La Indiana v Talandracas

Michael Bickford’s La Indiana continued to show the tightness of the team formation and the intuitive play they have exhibited throughout the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup against Edouard Carmignac’s Talandracas.

By half time, Tincho Merlos playing his usual strong game had scored five goals, and, with one from Michael Bickford, La Indiana were 6-1 up.

The Talandracas patron was replaced by substitute Charles Cooney for the second half, but La Indiana continued to pile on the pressure in the fourth, which ended 7-2 in La Indiana’s favour.

Not long into chukka five, Cooney was well-placed to receive a brilliant cut shot towards the goal from Polito Pieres which he was able to see through the posts for 7-3.

Polito made the next goal in what seemed to be the start of a reversal of fortune for Talandras.

A hit-in from de Lusaretta in chukka six saw the La Indiana No2 worried by Polito Pieres. Tommy Beresford grabbed the ball and moved it forward, Pieres re-claimed it and sent it through the posts.

Caset backed a great ball to Pieres who sent another super goal through and the score was 7-6.

From the throw-in de Lusaretta and Roldan made their move but the ball went out. From the line-up Roldan seized the ball and raced off to move La Indiana on to 8-6.

An excellent move by Merlos gave him the chance to pass the ball to de Lusaretta to make the final goal, which saw La Indiana through to the semis with a 9-6 win.

LIZ HIGGINS

The Gold Cup final takes place this Sunday - see next week’s Midhurst and Petworth Observer for full coverage

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