Wednesday’s doubleheader in British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup hosted by Cowdray Park Polo Club was officially underway in an enthralling match between Twelve Oaks and Green Gates, as Green Gates claimed their second victory of the tournament 14-11. 

Relying on 46% shooting in open play and converting ten goals on nineteen attempts, Green Gates was led by Francisco Elizalde with seven from the field. Despite shooting with a slightly higher accuracy at 54%, Twelve Oaks’ foul troubles allowed Elizalde to convert four of Green Gates’ seven attempts to capture the three-goal win. 

Opening action with back-to-back goals from Twelve Oaks’ Charlie Wooldridge, Green Gates mounted a strong response in the second on contributions from Elizalde and Isidro Strada to outscore their opponents 3 to 2 in the chukka. Capping off a back-and-forth first half, Twelve Oaks surged in the fifth as goals from Cristian Laprida, Matias Mac Donough and Joaquin Pittaluga gave their team an 8-5 lead at the half. 

Remerging with a charge, Green Gates once again switched the momentum with a three-goal run that included back-to-back goals off the mallet of Strada. Trailing by just one to open the fifth, Elizalde hit three crucial conversions in an unanswered five-goal chukka. Despite two from Pittaluga to start the sixth chukka, Green Gates’ second half surge was all they needed to seal the victory 14-11. 

Concluding action on Lawns Field 2, Dubai and Park Place Vaara engaged in a close and thrilling battle, with Dubai taking the match 12-10. 

The hard-fought contest was determined by the proficiency of Dubai in open play, converting at 56%, despite being narrowly outshot by Park Place Vaara 16 to 15. Park Place Vaara looked to match Dubai each step of the way shooting 50% from the penalty line, but it would ultimately be Dubai’s Camilo Castagnola leading his team with eight-goals in the match to outscore Park Place Vaara’s Hilario Ulloa to earn the narrow two-goal triumph.  

Establishing an early lead, three-goals from Dubai’s Rufino Bensadon and Castagnola vaulted the team in green ahead of contributions from Park Place Vaara’s Hilario Ulloa and Varvara Borodina. Adding three more in the second, Castagnola doubled Dubai’s score to take the 6-3 edge. Finishing strong, Dubai’s Bensadon hit his third of the half and send the two teams to the tents with a 9-5 advantage. 

Trading two goals apiece to open the second half, the evenly matched teams found themselves answering each other once more in the fifth chukka as efforts from Dubai’s Bensadon and Castagnola were equaled by Park Place Vaara’s Ulloa. Trailing by four to open the final chukka of regulation, Park Place Vaara began their late comeback bid relying once more on leading scorer Ulloa. Despite contributing three in the chukka, one final effort from Castagnola combined with Dubai’s extra possession in the offensive end delivered the narrow 12-10 victory. 

Photo Credit: ©Mark Beaumont