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Cartier Queen's Cup Semi-Finals

Zacara 12 – 8 Dubai

Zacara head into their first Cartier Queen’s Cup final after defeating Dubai 12 - 8 on The Queen’s Ground in a wonderfully fast, flowing game of polo that was not hampered by umpires’  whistles. Lyndon Lea’s team were 2 - 1 up at the end of the first chukka, thanks to a goal and a penalty from Facundo Pieres. They then continued to dominate this match, Facundo Pieres especially on fine form, to retain the lead for the next five chukkas. In fact the crowd was witness to some great play from Facundo Pieres and Matt Perry, who seemed completely unfazed in ride-offs with the more experienced and higher handicapped Adolfo Cambiaso. This team-work gave the white shirts a 7-3 lead at half-time and Zacara’s place in the final looked assured. Dubai had other ideas in the second half though, forcing Zacara into mistakes and then successfully converting the resulting penalties. However this was also the chukka which featured one of the goals of the tournament. A pass from Rodrigo Andrade to Facundo Pieres who then lived up to his 10-goal status by tapping the ball in the air several times on his way to goal – brilliant. Dubai continued to fight back h Nico Pieres, Facundo’s younger brother, converting penalties. He was also quick to pounce on a Zacara mistake and shoot for goal. This initiative closed the gap to 9-7 at the end of the fifth and suddenly Dubai, the reigning champions, were back in the game. With the weather conditions deteriorating by the minute, the final chukka was again dominated by Zacara. Andrade did a great job of keeping Cambiaso out of the match, who seemed out of sorts in the rain, and Pieres was on fire. Playing a beautiful grey mare, whom he also played in the first chukka, he flew up the field to take Zacara into double figures. The mare was later named Best Playing Pony. Facundo went on to score another goal and a penalty in this chukka to keep Zacara ahead. With Andrade and Perry also pairing up to produce another great goal, the end result was no longer in doubt – Lyndon Lea’s Zacara are in the final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup 2013.

El Remanso 15 – 10 Cortium

Another close game, this time on the Duke’s Ground at Guards Polo Club, saw a win for  the Hanbury family’s El Remanso. Like Zacara, their fellow finalists, El Remanso had impressed in the league stages, winning all their games. With the rain now much more persistent, scores were close in the first three chukkas, with teams almost matching penalty for penalty. In fact the first half was marred by penalties – the tension was obvious on the field and was reflected in too many umpires’ whistles. Despite that, Francisco Elizalde and Eduardo Novillo Astrada produced some great play to keep Cortium in the game, while David Stirling and Guillermo Terrera produced some great goals to keep El Remanso just ahead. In fact it would have been a brave man who would have laid a bet on the outcome in the early stages of the match. Stirling and Terrera picked up the pace in the third chukka, producing some great runs to goal and working well together to feed each other the ball. Cortium’s Chris Mackenzie also got into the game in this chukka, adding to Cortiumn’s tally and keeping the yellow shirts in contention, thus ensuring that the half-time score was 8-7 to El Remanso. Tensions resurfaced in the fourth with penalties once again marring the chukka. Cortium failed to score at all, while El Remanso successfully converted two penalties to give them a three-goal advantage going into the fifth. With the crowds now sheltering in the empty, covered pony lines as the rain was getting heavier, El Remanso extended their lead in the final two chukkas. George Hanbury successfully  kept Eduardo Novilla Astrada out of the game while Terrera and Stirling scored goals or converted penalties. Although Elizalde, who had never stopped fighting throughout this match, scored three good goals in the remaining chukkas, it was not enough to ensure any extra time. So it was George Pearson who received the Hubert Perrodo Trophy from Carrie Perrodo and the El Remanso team that will play Zacara at 3pm this Sunday in the Cartier Queen’s Cup Final 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diana Butler
Communications Director

Guards Polo Club
Smith's Lawn
Windsor Great Park
Egham
Surrey  TW20 0HP  UK

 

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