©Helen Cruden

In Saturday’s lone match of the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup, Park Place Vaara looked to carry their winning momentum forward following a commanding victory over Vikings, as they faced a King Power team searching for their first win of the tournament.

Park Place Vaara’s Juan Britos kicked-off the scoring on the Lawns Ground for the only goal of the opening chukka. Mounting a strong response to Park Place Vaara’s offensive firepower, King Power held their opponents to just four shots from the field in the opening half.  Complimenting their effective defensive play, a balanced attack led to a run of five unanswered King Power goals. Converting four goals on nine shots with contributions from James Harper and Mackenzie Weisz and a thirty-yard conversion from Nicolas Pieres, King Power’s statement first half ended with a 5-1 advantage. 

Park Place Vaara’s leading scorer and 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa finally broke free after the halftime break, scoring back-to-back goals followed by an assist to Britos to bring Park Place Vaara back within one. Harpers third goal of the match temporarily halted Park Place Vaara’s offensive onslaught to keep King Power ahead 6-4 but the dominance of Park Place Vaara in the field could no longer be contained. Continuing their goal-scoring blitz, five shots on goal resulted in four finding the posts, with Ulloa and Britos each adding one more, while teammate Santos Merlos joined in the attack to score two of his own. Suddenly trailing by two goals, a pivotal field goal from Harper brought King Power back within striking distance, but as the final horn sounded it would be the explosive second half efforts of Park Place Vaara that completed the comeback for the 8-7 victory to remain undefeated. 

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