Kicking-off quarterfinal play in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup hosted by Cowdray Park Polo Club, an exhilarating showdown between Dubai and Green Gates saw Dubai narrowly emerge victorious in the nail-biting battle 12-11. 

Despite both teams putting up a valiant fight, it was Dubai’s ability to capitalize with six goals on eight penalty attempts that proved to be the deciding factor. Green Gates, on the other hand, relied on their narrow edge in open play to stay in the game. Dubai’s ability to maintain possession and spend more time in the offensive zone combined with an 8-goal performance from Camilo Castagnola allowed Dubai to secure the one-goal win and book their ticket into the British Open Polo Championship semifinals.  

Taking an early 3-2 lead on goals from Castagnola at the line and Rufino Bensadon in open play, Dubai’s Castagnola added two more conversions on the scoreboard in the second. Keeping themselves in contention, Green Gates’ Francisco Elizalde found success in the field, but a 5-goal effort from Castagnola in the half sent the two teams to the tents with a 7-5 advantage for Dubai. 

Narrowly trailing in shooting opportunities in the first half, Green Gates emerged swinging as three unanswered goals from Elizalde and Isidro Strada vaulted their team to an 8-7 lead. Trailing for the first time in the match, Dubai answered in the fifth, as efforts from Castagnola and Beltran Laulhe surged Dubai ahead once more. With each team bearing down in the final chukka, Dubai struck first with back-to-back goals, followed by three off the mallet of Elizalde, including two crucial conversions. Despite Elizalde’s phenomenal performance, Dubai’s lead ultimately stood for the 12-11 victory. 

Concluding Saturday’s doubleheader, a thrilling clash between Marques de Riscal and La Magdeleine provided another contested match, as Marques de Riscal came out on top 7-6. 

In a game filled with back-and-forth action, both Marques de Riscal and La Magdeleine each had their fair share of opportunities. Despite struggling with their shooting and converting 6% of their shots, Marques de Riscal managed to create enough scoring chances while capitalizing on penalties to secure the narrow victory. Utilizing their strong ball handling skills to keep La Magdeleine pinned in their end, a spectacular second half defensive stand coupled with seven-goal off the mallet of Guillermo Caset earned Marques de Riscal a coveted spot in the semifinals. 

In a highly contested first half, back-to-back goals from La Magdeleine’s Facundo Fernandez Llorente and Pablo Mac Donough were matched by two from Marques de Riscal’s Caset. Despite outshooting La Magdeleine by a wide margin in the first two chukkas, Marques de Riscal’s inability to find the goal allowed La Magdeleine to capitalize in the third, assembling a five-goal effort that included three conversions from Mac Donough to take a 5-3 lead at the half. 

Opening the second half from the penalty line, a single goal from Mac Donough would be all the scoring La Magdeleine would add for the remainder of the contest. Dialing into their defense, Marques de Riscal successfully shutout their opponents, as four unanswered conversions from Caset vaulted Marques de Riscal to the 7-6 triumph. 

Quarterfinal action continues Sunday, July 16, with UAE versus Vikings at 12:00pm (BST), followed by Scone against Park Place at 3:00pm (BST). 

Photo Credit: ©Mark Beaumont