The second semifinal of the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship returned to the Lawns Ground at Cowdray Park Polo Club, featuring Scone’s father-son duo Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso trying to defend their title against a Thai Polo NP team that defeated them earlier in the tournament. Producing an impressive performance, Thai Polo NP dominated Scone with the 12-4 victory, securing their spot in the final against UAE Polo Team.
Thai Polo NP’s defense was the story of the match as they held the potent Scone offense to just four goals, an impressive feat considering Scone entered the semifinal averaging 11.0 goals per game. Keeping Scone off the penalty line, Thai Polo NP controlled possession and won the open play battle, receiving four field goals from Louis Hine. The complete team effort resulted in significant contributions from both Nico Pieres and James Harper, who scored four and three goals respectively as part of a Thai Polo NP attack that consistently held the advantage over Scone. Poroto Cambiaso led Scone’s early offense, but Adolfo Cambiaso was held off the scoresheet as the Thai Polo NP defense limited his chances at goal. Conceding just four goals, Thai Polo NP cruised to the overwhelming eight-goal victory in one of the strongest performances of the tournament.
The opening chukka provided a different tone than the rest of the game, as Scone quickly erased the one-goal difference on handicap to tie the score at 1-1 on a field goal from Poroto Cambiaso. Refocusing, Thai Polo NP responded with a field goal for Harper as he was on the receiving end of a Pieres pass to goal. However, it was Scone who applied the early pressure resulting in Poroto Cambiaso’s second goal of the game to leave the score even at 2-all. The pace of the game changed as four Scone fouls in the second chukka pushed possession to Thai Polo NP and they were effective around goal to produce a 3-0 chukka and race into a 5-2 lead. One goal from each of Harper, Pieres and Louis Hine highlighted the well-rounded attack that left the Scone defense stretched to contain. Showcasing some energy towards the end of the half, Scone tried to close the gap, once again relying on Poroto Cambiaso, but it was a brief reprieve from Thai Polo NP’s offense, as they extended their lead to four by the end of the half, holding the 7-3 advantage.
Anticipating an increase in pressure from the prominent Scone offense, Thai Polo NP’s defense displayed an organized four-man team that prevented any breakaway runs. Isidro Strada converted a Penalty 2 that kept Scone within four, but it proved to be Scone’s only goal throughout the entire second half. Louis Hine continued to be a key component of Thai Polo NP’s success, scoring two of his team’s three goals over the fourth and fifth chukkas, leaving Scone with a six-goal lead entering the final chukka. Scone tried to find any offense from the field, shooting at goal four times in the final seven minutes, but it was decidedly Thai Polo NP’s day as they capped off an impressive performance with two more goals from Pieres to claim the dominant 12-4 win.