|Thu 23rd Apr 2015|
England win first Copa de Las Naciones game
Final will be England vs. Argentina this Saturday
England won their first game of The Copa de Las Naciones tournament in Palermo yesterday against the Rest of The World with a final score of 9-8. They dominated in the first four chukkas in which the team had achieved a staggering 6 -1 lead by half-time. Led by Nico Pieres and Nachi Du Plessis, Rest of The World made an attempt at a comeback catching up by the final chukka, but it wasn’t to be.
The Rest of The World also suffered defeat against Argentina last Saturday and now sit in third place. England will take on Argentina on Saturday, which will in effect be the Final. Unfortunately the England Junior Colts were beaten 15 -3 by the Rest of the World in their mirroring game. They are due to play Argentina today – good luck from everyone at Polo Times!
England: Ollie Cudmore (5), Max Charlton (7), Mark Tomlinson (6) & Luke Tomlinson (7)
Rest of the World: Andrés Samper (3), David Du Plessis (6), Nico Pieres (9) & Nachi Du Plessis (8)
Rest of the World: Joaquín Avendaño, Nicolás Escobar, Tomás Schwencke & Clemente Silva
England Junior Colts: Charlie Townsend, Luke Wiles, Marcus Cork & Milly Hine
Photograph: Max Charlton & his teammates win their first game
Mon 20th Apr 2015
Valiente win The U.S. Open
Third time lucky for Cambiaso’s crew
Valiente and Orchard Hill took to the Engel & Volkers field at International Polo Club, Palm Beach for the Final of The U.S. Open on Sunday 19 April. Valiente were making their third straight attempt at the title having taken on Zacara in 2013 and Alegria in 2014 with no success. With Cambiaso plagued by injury and the Valiente side failing to find their form for most of the US 26 goal season, the team’s supporters were delighted to see the original line-up take to the pitches for The Open. The return of Cambiaso and patron, Bob Jornayvaz to the Valiente team sheet reignited the team’s game plan as they progressed through the league stages before defeating Audi for their place in the Final.
C.V. Whitney winners, and Gold Cup Finalists, Orchard Hill had been playing consistently well throughout the season and overcame Gillian Johnston’s Coca-Cola to meet Valiente in Sunday’s game.
The match began with the Pieres duo making a confident goal-scoring flurry ending the first chukka with Valiente trailing 3-1. In the second chukka they extended their lead, but it wasn’t until the third when their confident start began to crumble as Valiente were awarded a Penalty 1, opening the way for them to catch-up to 5-4, with Orchard Hill just holding onto the lead.
Cambiaso matched Orchard Hill’s score 5-5 in the fourth chukka as his team began to gain momentum and closed the chukka in the lead for the first time in the game, 7-5. However, Valiente took a step back in the fifth, failing to score at all, whilst Orchard Hill staged a second offensive to end the fifth in the lead by one goal, 8-7.
The sixth and final chukka was a nail-biting end to the game. Orchard Hill extended their lead by another goal after no scoring action for the first three minutes of the game. A foul in front of the goal gave away a second Penalty 1 to Valiente as Cambiaso and his teammates took on the final few minutes of the game. Valiente then scored the equalising goal to make it 9-9 with just over two minutes left on the clock. Taranco then followed by converting a 30-yard penalty – his fourth goal of the game – to take Valiente into the lead with just a minute left before the final whistle. It was, however, Cambiaso who closed the match with his final goal of the tournament to make it 11-9 and so finally secure The U.S. Open for Bob Jornayvaz.
Alejo Taranco was awarded Most Valuable Player, whilst Cambiaso’s seven-year-old mare, Romana was named Best Playing Pony. The 10 goaler played her in the fourth chukka and scored three goals taking Valiente into the lead for the first time in the game.
Bob Jornayvaz 2
Alejo Taranco 6
Guillermo Terrera 8
Adolfo Cambiaso 10
Steve Van Andel 0
Ezequiel Ferrario 7
Polito Pieres 9
Facundo Pieres 10
Photograph: Valiente triumphant in the 2015 US Open. By Alex Pacheco.
Thu 16th Apr 2015
Stage set for Pieres-Cambiaso Final
Orchard Hill will face Valiente for 2015 US Open
The Semi Finals for the 2015 US Open were held at International Polo Club Palm Beach yesterday with Orchard Hill and Valiente coming out on top.
The first match between Gillian Johnston’s Coca-Cola and Orchard Hill saw the red-shirted Sugar Erskine notch up the first goal, scoring after a pass from his patron nearly half-way through the opening chukka. This was followed up by field goal by Orchard Hill’s Polito Pieres, closely seconded by a 30-yard converted penalty by his cousin, Facundo. Going into the second with a 2-1 lead, Orchard Hill remained on the attack to score again before aggressive play from Coca-Cola saw Stirling and Arellano level the score. A quick goal from Facundo before the bell rang, meant Orchard Hill edged again into the lead. The start of the third, and 10 goaler, Facu once again pounced on the ball and despite a penalty conversion by Arellano for Coca-Cola, Gold Cup Finalists, Orchard Hill left the pitch at half-time with the scoreboard reading 5-4.
The fourth and fifth chukkas saw just a single goal bought to the Coca-Cola table whilst the Pieres duo continued to lead their team into a wider and wider lead. Going into the sixth, Orchard Hill controlled the match with an 11-5 scoreline. Two deliberate and decisive penalty conversions from a calm and collected Arellano gave fizz to Coca-Cola’s campaign to cut their opposition’s lead to four goals, but it was short-lived. Ferrario carried the ball half the length of the pitch to secure Orchard Hill’s twelfth goal and despite retaliation once again from Arellano, Steve Van Andel’s team secured their place in Sunday’s Final with a score of 12-8.
The second match was a hard fought for battle between an injury-prone Valiente and Gold Cup winners, Audi. From the first throw-in, it was evident that Valiente – US Open Finalists, not winners in 2013 and 2014 – and a well-drilled Audi side were focused on the ultimate prize. By the end of the first chukka, Marc Ganzi’s Audi raced into the lead with one field goal and two penalties from Gonzalito Pieres to a goal a piece from Valiente’s Alejo Taranco and Cambiaso. Again in the second, Audi powered forward taking the scores to 6-2 before Cambiaso and his teammates returned to the fray, but it didn’t take long for them to close the gap to 6-5. Spectators hoping for a flurry of goals before half-time were left disappointed as both team’s defence locked down, with only Cambiaso finding the posts after an Audi foul and leveling the scores to 6-all.
The beginning of the second half was much the same with only one goal apiece in the fourth and Gonzalito Pieres finally scoring nearly at the end of the fifth. A 60-yard penalty ably converted by Cambiaso was quickly followed by a field goal from the 10 goal Argentine which took them into a narrow one-goal lead, 9-8. Pieres found the posts to tie the game in the sixth, before Cambiaso took the score to 10-9 with his fourth penalty conversion of the match. Before the final bell rang, Pieres executed his eighth goal of the game, leveling the scores at 10-all and forcing the match into overtime. After a brief pause, the teams returned to the pitch for sudden death and play got underway. Sadly, after a gladiatorial-style game, a penalty challenge and fouls were the deciding factors and, despite Audi’s significant efforts, Alejo Taranca spirited the ball down field to claim victory for Valiente, 11-10.
Orchard Hill will face Valiente in the Final for the 2015 US Open on Sunday 19 April.
Orchard Hill Coca-Cola
Steve Van Andel 0 Gillian Johnston 2
Ezequiel Ferrario 7 Pelon Stirling 10
Polito Pieres 9 Julio Arellano 8
Facundo Pieres 10 Sugar Erskine 6
Orchard Hill defeated Coca-Cola 12-8
Bob Jornayvaz 2 Marc Ganzi 1
Alejo Taranco 6 Rodrigo Andrade 9
Guillermo Terrera 8 Gonzalito Pieres 9
Adolfo Cambiaso 10 Freddie Mannix 6
Valiente defeated Audi in OT 11-10
Photograph: The Orchard Hill team is through to the Final of The US Open. By Liz Lamont Images/ Phelps Media Group.