Dubai 12 – 8 UAE Polo at Dubai
Rashid Albwardy’s team stopped HH Sheikha Maitha’s dream of getting to the semi-finals in her first year of high-goal competition in the UK. Dubai defeated the Sheikha’s team in a slow game that was marred by many penalties. Nico Pieres and Alec White were the stars of this game for Dubai, working well together and occasionally finishing off each other’s shots to ensure goals. Meanwhile the Sheikha herself did a fine job of keeping Adolfo Cambiaso out of the game, producing some tough ride-offs when needed. Unfortunately for her, Pablo MacDonough struggled to get into the game and although Lucas Monteverde and Jack Richardson had some fine plays, they could not always convert them to goals. At this level of the competition every chance counts and this was just not the Sheikha’s day.
El Remanso 12 – 11 Black Bears at Coworth Park
In a much closer game, George Hanbury’s El Remanso team got the better of Guy Schwarzenbach’s Black Bears, but only after a fight. The scores were level, 4-4 at the start of the 3rd but El Remanso then scored four great goals to increase their advantage to 8-4 at half-time. Black Bears came back again in the second half – equally determined to continue their 2013 Cartier Queen’s Cup campaign. Guy Schwarzenbach, Nachi du Plessis and John Paul Clarkin all scoring – Nachi a double – to bring them back into contention. Meanwhile David Stirling converted two 30-yard penalties to keep El Remanso out in front 10-8. In fact it was Stirling's accurate penalty taking in the latter half of this game which ensured El Remanso victory as he went on to covert two further penalties. Nachi Du Plessis did score another couple of goals and converted a penalty for Black Bears, but it was not enough to force the game into extra time and it is El Remanso who go through to play in Cortium in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
Cortium 10 - 9 Talandracas at Guards Polo Club
Another really close game between these two well mounted teams. That said though, Cortium had a 2-1 lead at the end of the first chukka and although they played hard throughout the match, Talandracas could not get ahead at any time in this game. Lucas James and Juan Martin Nero combined well together for Talandracas, taking their team’s score to three goals at half-time – Nero scoring a field goal and James converting a couple of penalties. Meanwhile Cortium’s Chris Mackenzie was also on form, scoring two field goals, while team-mate Fran Elizalde successfully converted two penalties, so taking their score to 4 at half-time. The fourth saw Cortium pull a little further ahead thanks to goals from patron Adrian Kirby, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Chris Mackenzie, while Fran Elizalde converted a penalty. Lucas James kept Talandracas in the game thanks to both a penalty and a field goal, with a team-mate also converting a penalty one too. Cortium still had the edge which was fortunate as they failed to score at all in the sixth. This was the perfect opportunity for Talandracas to go ahead, but they could only manage a penalty, plus a goal from Juan Juaretche. This was not enough and Cortium go through to the semi-finals.
Zacara 11 – 10 Les Lions at Guards Polo Club
Les Lions started this match as underdogs – they were the 8th placed team playing the 1st placed team from the league stages, but they forced Zacara into extra time after a really close game on The Queen’s Ground. A golden goal from Facundo Pieres in the form of a penalty gave Lyndon Lea’s team the opportunity to continue through to the semi-finals and a match against Dubai. Pieres was dominant for Zacara, converting seven penalties for his team, despite some superb marking from Henry Fisher. A couple of times Fisher even stole the ball from under Pieres’s nose! Agustin Merlos was the man on form for Les Lions, successfully converting 8 penalties and 2 field goals. Meanwhile Zacara’s Matt Perry did a great job of keeping Sebastian Merlos out of the game, especially in the sixth chukka. At half-time it was all square at 6-6 and the spectators on The Queen’s Ground knew that they were in for a great second half as neither team has won The Queen’s Cup before and so were desperate to keep their patrons’ hopes alive. Pieres sent two penalties wide in the fourth, while Agustin successfully converted his, so giving Les Lions a 1 goal advantage in the score. Les Lions followed this up with a field goal from Sebastian plus another penalty from Agustin, to only one penalty conversion in reply from Pieres. This enabled Joachim Gottschalk’s team to go two ahead 9-7 going into the final chukka. Of course Zacara was still very much in this match and came back in the sixth, forcing extra time thanks to goals from Rodrigo Andrade and Matt Perry and a penalty from Pieres. After a couple of missed chances in the extra time from Pieres and Andrade, Pieres confirmed his team’s semi-final place from a penalty right in front of goal. In addition to going through to Wednesday’s semis, Lyndon Lea also received the Gerard Leigh Trophy.
Cartier Queen’s Cup Semi-Finals on Wednesday 12 June at Guards Polo Club
- Dubai v Zacara at 3pm
- El Remanso v Cortium at 5pm for the Hubert Perrodo Trophy
Guards Polo Club