Displaying a new line-up for the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship, Thai Polo NP provided a dominant debut, overwhelming Scone 11-5 on the Ambersham Grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Controlling possession, Thai Polo NP were effective in limiting the opportunities for Scone throughout the match, holding the Cartier Queen’s Cup finalist to just 21% on 14 shots. A standout player in the game, James Harper provided not only defense, but contributed three goals and three assists in one of his best performances of the season. Leading from start to finish, Thai Polo NP’s efficient attack was a product of a complete team effort, as they assisted on five of their seven field goals and finished a perfect 3 for 3 from the penalty line, leaving Scone with a difficult time in matching the pace set by Thai Polo NP in the 11-5 victory.
The recent increase of Poroto Cambiaso to a 7-goal handicap resulted in Scone conceding one goal on handicap and Thai Polo NP wasted little time in extending the lead. A quick passing attack resulted in assisted goals for Nico Pieres and Louis Hine to quickly hold a 3-0 advantage. Poroto Cambiaso received a foul that led to a Penalty 2 conversion from Isidro Strada, but it was the only offense Scone generated over the opening two chukkas. Despite numerous chances at goal for both teams, inaccurate shooting kept a low score towards the end of the half, with Thai Polo NP inching further ahead after field goals from Pieres and Harper. A second goal from Poroto Cambiaso left a surprising score of just 5-2 entering halftime.
Remaining focused, Thai Polo NP began the second half where they left off, relying on the duo of Pieres and Harper to drive them forward. Pieres sent the ball through the goal posts on a Penalty 2 attempt and then found Harper on the end of the pass to make the score 7-2 against a Scone team that struggled to generate any significant attacks. The only Scone player to score from the field, Poroto Cambiaso added his second goal bringing his team back within three, however the organized Thai Polo NP defense prevented a further run. A dominant fifth chukka sealed the outcome as Thai Polo NP outscored Scone 3-0 on one goal each from Pieres, Harper and Louis Hine, extending the lead to six and leaving little time for Scone to produce a comeback. Trading goals in the final chukka, the six goal difference remained and Thai Polo NP claimed the 11-5 win.