The second match of day seven in the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship featured a strong second half from Emlor to defeat UAE Polo Pod 11-9 on the Ambersham Grounds. With the victory, Emlor is the ninth of eleven teams to hold a 1-1 record through two games of play, highlighting the even level of competition for the prestigious title at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
In search of their first victory, Emlor deployed a strategy of using Spencer McCarthy in the #1 position, where he shot at goal 10 times, converting four to lead all players in the match. The quick passing attack of Emlor proved to be effective, shooting nearly 50% to hold the advantage in open play against UAE Polo Pod. Holding the lead in the first half, UAE Polo Pod struggled to stay in the lead as they converted just two of their final 12 shots, allowing Emlor to take the lead in the final stages of the game and capture the 11-9 win.
The opening stages of the match displayed strong efforts from both team’s #1 players as Sam Browne and McCarthy contributed with early goals to open the scoring. UAE Polo Pod took a narrow 3-2 lead after Lucas Monteverde scored from the field and Alfredo Cappella converted a Penalty 4. The penalty shooting of Cappella continued to be a key factor for UAE Polo Pod as he added two conversions, extending the lead to 6-2. Before the end of the chukka, Agustin Merlos brought Emlor back within three and ending the UAE Polo Pod run of four consecutive goals. Emlor continued to inch closer, using their defense to keep UAE Polo Pod off the scoreboard and trail by just two at halftime.
Monteverde Jr struck first in the second half for UAE Polo Pod, but the remainder of the chukka belonged to Emlor’s McCarthy. Scoring three straight goals, McCarthy finished with accuracy in an impressive stretch where he accurately picked up passes from Merlos and Alfredo Bigatti to tie the game at 7-all. Turning to Merlos in the fifth chukka, Emlor took their first significant lead thanks to the play of Merlos, highlighted by an impressive solo effort on an end-to-end run that pushed Emlor ahead. UAE Polo Pod’s offense was limited over the final two chukkas as they managed just one goal from Monteverde Jr, while Merlos capped a strong performance with a Penalty 3 conversion to lead Emlor to the 11-9 victory.