|Mon 19th Jun 2017|
Queen’s Cup Win for RH Polo
Cambiaso Dictates Result
On Sunday 18 June, large crowds braving the scorching sun were treated to a clash of the Titans on The Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club as RH Polo took on La Indiana in the Final of The Cartier Queen’s Cup. In a close and thrilling match it was Adolfo Cambiaso who earned the moniker of ‘the dictator’ from the commentators as he orchestrated the play to leading RH Polo to a victory snatched from La Indiana 10-9 in the dying moments of the final chukka.
Tactically tight marking and the slowing of play by RH Polo meant that La Indiana’s usual flowing, fast display of four man running play, which has been so effective in the qualifying matches, was rendered useless in the first half. They were punished mercilessly for any mistakes by sheer polo genius that is Cambiaso, backed up by the brute power and force of Rodrigo Andrande, and a consistent display of polo talent by the youngest player on the field Tommy Beresford. 21-year-old Tommy was rightly named Most Valuable Player for an outstanding performance throughout the match, an outstanding achievement considering the prowess on the field.
With the score 6-3 against them at half-time, whatever was said in the La Indiana team tent by Coach Pete Merlos had a profound effect. Nic Roldan and Augustin Merlos in the white shirts of La Indiana came out with all guns blazing in the fourth, notching up five goals to only one in reply for the apparently napping RH Polo.
Close play continued in the fifth, with Cambiaso seemingly feeling the tension and unusually missing a penalty, so that going into the last chukka La Indiana maintained a narrow 9-8 lead. However, Cambiaso, the master of the sixth chukka comeback oversaw an RH regroup as they evened the scores and then to the despair of La Indiana fans he found the posts just as the final bell rang.
So Cambiaso has done it again, notching up his 10th Queen’s Cup victory and displaying to all that he is still the best of the best. Despite a departure from the Dubai setup for 2017 he has delivered victory to Ben Soleimani, proving to all that he is seemingly the vital ingredient in British high goal success.
It was double heartbreak for La Indiana as they were defeated in similar style in The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final last year 12-11 at the stick of Cambiaso who scored the winning goal against them for Dubai.
Cambiaso also received the Cartier Best Playing Pony prize from HM The Queen and enjoyed a long conversation with her at the prize giving. This was awarded to the 12-year-old chestnut mare Caraquenia, whom he had played in the third chukka and whom he had previously referred to as his, “Third favourite horse”, hopefully she has gone up in his estimations now!
Earlier in the day in the Subsidiary Final for the Cartier Trophy, ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha’s King Power beat George Hanbury’s Sommelier 10-6 on the Duke’s Ground. Neither team seemed to find particularly strong form, with the usually indefatigable fraternal force of Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres lacking their usual lustre. Missed goal opportunities from Sommelier meant they also did not capitalise on advantage and in particular Fred Mannix lacked his usual flair. By comparison, James ‘Jimbo’ Fewster played a blinder, scoring the final goal for King Power in an impressive display of skill and nerve; he was rightly presented the Most Valuable Player Award by HM The Queen.
The Final and Subsidiary Final of the Queen’s Cup Teams:
RH Polo (22): Ben Soleimani (0), Tommy Beresford (4), Rodrigo Andrade (8) & Adolfo Cambiaso (10)
La Indiana (22): Michael Bickford (1), Agustin Merlos (8), Nic Roldan (7) & Luke Tomlinson (6)
King Power (22): ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha (1), Jimbo Fewster (1), Gonzalo Pieres (10) & Facundo Pieres (10)
Sommelier (22): George Hanbury (3), Juan Gris Zavaleta (7), Fred Mannix Jnr (8) & Alec White (4)
A full report with exclusive interviews will feature in the July issue of Polo Times. To keep up to date, click here
Photograph: Ben Soleimani and his RH Polo Team won The Cartier Queen’s Cup and were presented alongside runners-up La Indiana to HM The Queen and Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com