|Mon 16th Jul 2012|
Cortium wins Gold Cup 2012
Cowdray Park's Lawns One held up just enough to allow for a thrilling final on Sunday 15 July
Adrian Kirby’s Cortium beat George and Charlie Hanbury’s El Remanso, 10-9, in a close and exciting final for the 2012 Gold Cup. There were never more than two goals in it and 11 of the 19 scored in total came from penalties – five for El Remanso and six for Cortium.
A field goal from Jaime Huidobro in the first 30 seconds opened the scoring for Cortium, 1-0, but the rest of the chukka belonged to El Remanso. They were fantastic on the defence throughout the game saving a number of goals on the line, backing each other up and sticking to their positions. Cortium were stronger in the second, holding El Remanso scoreless, with Polito Pieres converting two 40-yard penalties putting them into the lead, 3-2. Cortium made life difficult for El Remanso by interchanging their positions and in this chukka were doing all the running with good long hits in contrast to the more fiddly approach of their opponents. Both teams started to find their rhythm as the game headed towards half-time and as they rode onto the ground for the second-half the score was tied 3-3.
David Stirling took control of the game and his team in the fourth and was central to all play giving El Remanso the edge and putting them into the lead 6-5 going into the fifth. This chukka undoubtedly contained the goal of the match, which came from Charlie Hanbury who hit a wonderful offside backhand to fire a bouncing ball into the goal from a seemingly impossible angle. However, it also contained the miss of the day, when brother George somehow hit a post from five yards out with the goal beckoning.
With El Remanso one goal up going into the final chukka, 8-7, the game was anyone’s but, as they widened their lead to 9-7 early on spectators were feeling more confident for the young patrons. However, the conversion of a 30 yarder put Cortium back into contention, 9-8, and two fantastic fields goal by Polito Pieres , the second with one minute to go, put them in the lead 10-9. With seconds left on the clock El Remanso were flying down the ground towards goal but the ball hit the goalpost and went wide as the final bell sounded. Both teams were equally deserving of the title but, sadly for El Remanso, luck was not on their side.
Main photograph: MVP Polito Pieres drinks Veuve Clicquot from the Gold Cup
Photograph inset above: the delighted Cortium team celebrates with their entourage
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