©Mark Beaumont

Completing the second week of play in the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup, UAE met Thai Polo NP in the opening match of the day, while Scone and Murus Sanctus clashed in a key matchup for the quarterfinals.

Coming off an overtime victory in their last game, Thai Polo NP challenged UAE in the first half beginning with Ned Hine sending a Penalty 3 through the posts. Driving the UAE attack forward, Tomas Beresford was instrumental in a 4-1 run that gave them a narrow one-goal lead at the end of the second chukka. Contributing three goals while also assisting on a field goal for H.H. Sheika Maitha M Rashid Al Maktoum, Beresford finished a perfect 3 for 3 from the penalty line but was matched by the same from Thai Polo NP’s Ned Hine. Maintaining their slim lead after Lucas Monteverde Jnr’s first goal, UAE entered halftime leading 6-5.

After conceding a quick goal, Thai Polo NP dominated the remainder of the fourth chukka, led by two goals and an assist from Hine. Jared Zenni came forward from the back of the game to contribute offensively as the two teams remained tied with two chukkas remaining. The fifth chukka ultimately decided the game as UAE overwhelmed the Thai Polo NP defense with five shots, converting four of the attempts, with two coming off the mallet of Monteverde Jnr. Held scoreless, Thai Polo NP suddenly found themselves trailing by four entering the final chukka and after conceding a Penalty 3, their hopes dwindled of challenging late in the game. Exchanging late goals, UAE completed the 15-10 victory for their second win of the tournament.

In need of a victory to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive, Murus Sanctus met 1-1 Scone, led by father-son duo Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso. Committing four fouls in the opening chukka, Murus Sanctus conceded a Penalty 2 to Poroto Cambiaso, but managed to pull even at 1-all despite the early foul troubles. Alternating goals, Murus Sanctus’ Marcos Araya produced the first three goals for his team, while Scone’s Rosendo Torreguitar provided a response with two goals in an evenly matched second chukka. Finding themselves in foul trouble of their own, Scone conceded three penalty goals to Murus Sanctus, including a Penalty 4 from Alfredo Cappella to trail 7-5 at the break.

Reorganizing at halftime, Scone exited with an improved defensive discipline to prevent Murus Sanctus from scoring. Receiving a Penalty 2 from Poroto Cambiaso and Adolfo Cambiaso’s first goal of the match, Scone restored the tie, leaving the final two chukkas to determine the winner. Araya struck first from the 40-yard line to pull Murus Sanctus ahead and along with a field goal from Facundo Sola, they entered the final chukka of play with a one-goal advantage. Applying continuous pressure in Murus Sanctus’ half, Scone forced their opponents into three fouls during the final seven minutes of play. A Penalty 2 was converted by Poroto Cambiaso to tie the score and with the game on the line, he sent a Safety sailing through the posts to secure the 10-9 win and improve to 2-1 and meet Talandracas in their final match of group play.

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