King Power Foxes defeated Sifani 15-11 and El Remanso took down Talandracas 13-10 on opening day of the 2017 Cartier Queen’s Cup. The first match on May 23 took place at Billingbear Park, followed by the El Remanso/Talandracas tango at Guards Polo Club, which has long hosted the tournament.
Talandracas slipped onto the field strangely incognito, sporting green jerseys in place of their traditional pink and grey. The baffled crowd of onlookers bandied about all sorts of speculation, attributing hidden meanings to the new color—when in fact there was none. A member of the crew had simply forgotten to bring the real team jerseys. Guards offered up what garb the club had on hand, which happened to be emerald green.
When Talandracas and El Remanso went at it, though, color schemes were the last thing on anyone’s mind. In a sometimes-physical game, punctuated by a yellow card and a string of whistles, El Remanso dominated throughout. They led 5-1 at the end of the first chukker, a near parallel to the day’s earlier match, in which Sifani was ahead of King Power 5-0 at the same point in the game. (However, King Power pulled ahead in the third chukker for a 1-goal advantage and continued to widen the gap to the end.)
Outstanding play by James Beim (England team captain and former rugby player), who kept slamming in goals from beginning to the end, helped keep El Remanso consistently in the lead. If Beim wasn’t making the goal, more often than not he was in on the play. All the while, 9-goaler Sapo Caset thwarted him as much as possible, often assisted by 10-goaler Pelón Stirling. El Remanso blazed through the third chukker, which they began with a 5-3 lead and ended 9-3. Still, Caset stayed on target, making rapid-fire back-to-back goals (one of them nearly a full-field run) in the fifth to bring Talandracas within 2 goals (10-8). El Remanso outlasted their opponent, winning the game 13-10.
The tournament continues Wednesday, May 24, with two matches. At noon La Indiana, a new team last season, play Monterosso, who make their Queen’s Cup debut this year. The 3 p.m. game pits Murus Sanctus against RH Polo, with the latter team led for the first time ever by Adolfo Cambiaso. All times are BST (British summer time).
Livestream coverage of all Queen's Cup and Gold Cup games, provided by PoloCam through PoloLine, is available here.