No rest for the weary this week as the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open hurtles into the last lap of league play. Saturday La Bamba de Areco won the Ashton Silver Cup, defeating RH Polo 13-9, launching a grueling marathon to the quarterfinals. This weekend began 11 straight days of competition (with the exception of one merciful day off, July 9) until the quarters July 14 and 15.
Sunday’s feature match between Gold Cup powerhouses Valiente and La Indiana was a firecracker of a game. For their second straight game Valiente finished with a stunning 16 goals, winning the Midhurst Town Cup with a hold-your-breath 16-15 victory over La Indiana. Earlier in the day Emlor took Thai Polo 13-9.
With Adolfo Cambiaso (Valiente) and Facundo Pieres (La Indiana) on opposite sides of the field, the high-scoring battle was as merciless as ever. Rarely was the spread more than a goal or two, and it ping-ponged back and forth, often tied. La Indiana scooted three goals in the fifth (13-10), but the advantage didn’t stick. Valiente methodically crept back up. With two minutes left in the game Magoo Laprida tied the score on a penalty shot, and Cambiaso quickly followed suit from the penalty line, pulling Valiente ahead by one (16-15).
In the final seconds Pieres came within a breath of pushing the game into overtime with a steep neck shot. It looked from the sidelines like it had gone through the posts but actually went a few millimeters wide, drawing drew a communal gasp from the stadium.
Laprida, who was pivotal in many Valiente goals, won a well-deserved MVP award. Open Galáctica, one of Pieres’ best Argentine triple crown mares, was BPP.
The Gold Cup continues today, with Alfi Investments v. El Remanso at 3 p.m. local time. All Gold Cup games are being filmed and may be viewed afterward at http://cowdraypolo.co.uk/cowdray-tv/.
MARCHFIELD WINS APSLEY CUP AT CIRENCESTER
Roberto Zedda, Valiente’s manager, wasn’t at Cowdray for Sunday’s game because he was busy competing in—and winning—the Apsley Cup at Cirencester Park. His team, Marchfield, took Bardon 9-8 in the final. Zedda, a 4-goal player, competed with teammates Saad Audeh (0), Manuel Plaza de Ayala (6) and Guillermo Terrera (8). Bardon’s lineup was Andras Tombor (0), Matias Machado (5), Santiago Laborde (6) and Jejo Taranco (7).
Marchfield was strong in the final, coming off a 10-8 victory over Altamira K in Friday’s semifinals. Bardon took BP Polo/La Monjitas 9-5 in the semis.
This year was a superb Apsley tournament, with six 18-goal teams participating. The final was a big day for Terrera. He was named MVP and a horse he played, Aguará, was BPP.