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British Open coverage-Saturday, July 8

RH Polo 10, Sommelier 6
Monterosso 9, Murus Sanctus 8  OT

RH Polo dominates Sommelier in 10-6 win; Monterosso beats Murus Sanctus in OT

By Alex Webbe

Fred Mannix got Sommelier (George Hanbury, Juan Gris Zavaleta, Fred Mannix and Alec White) on the scoreboard with the first goal of the day’s 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup match at the Cowdray Park Polo Club, but that would be their last lead of the day. Goals from Tommy Beresford and Adolfo Cambiaso (on a well-executed nearside neck-shot) had RH Polo (Ben Soleimani, Tommy Beresford, Adolfo Cambiaso and Rodrigo Andrade) with the early 2-1 lead.

Mannix tied the game at 2-2 with a great individual effort in second chukker action when the RH Polo offense kicked into high gear. A pressing RH Polo attack resulted in a pair of fouls that were converted into goals with Adolfo Cambiaso converting from 40-yards out and Tommy Beresford sending the ball through from 30-yards out. RH Polo were on top, 4-2, and were just getting started. Beresford added a goal from the field and Cambiaso closed out the period with a 60-yard penalty goal that had RH Polo leading, 6-2.

In a subdued third chukker, the scoring was muted by effective defensive efforts by both sides. Cambiaso missed scoring on a brilliant run of over 200-yards and pushed a 60-yard penalty shot wide. Beresford scored the only goal of the third chukker to put RH Polo in control of the game, 7-2.

Sommelier struggled to find an offensive rhythm in second half play. A pair of goals by Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade were the only goals scored as RH Polo extended their lead to seven goals, 9-2.

Mannix opened the scoring in the fifth with a 30-yard penalty conversion and added another from the field. Beresford scored his fifth goal of the game as RH Polo left the field at the end of the fifth chukker with a commanding 10-4 advantage. RH Polo coasted through the final seven minutes of play as Sommelier attempted to atone for earlier miscues. Single goals from Alex White and Juan Gris Zavaleta ended the game with the 10-6 win going to RH Polo.

Beresford led all scoring with five goals. Cambiaso added three goals and Andrade scored twice for the win. Mannix scored a team-high of four goals for Sommelier. White and Zavaleta each scored a goal in the loss.

The win boosts the RH Polo record to 2-1 while Sommelier falls to 1-2.

Monterosso 9, Murus Sanctus 8 OT

The second Gold Cup game of the day was a low-scoring affair with Monterosso (Alessandro Bazzoni, Ignacio Toccalino, Santiago Toccalino and Matt Perry) beating Murus Sanctus (Corinne Ricard, Hilario Ulloa, Facundo Sola and Martin Podesta), 9-8, in overtime.

Facundo got Murus Sanctus on the scoreboard with the opening goal of the game in a touch-and-go first chukker. A penalty conversion from Ignacio Toccalino was followed by a goal from the field from Matt Perry, and it was Monterosso with the early lead, 2-1.

Defenses were vigilant and checking was close in second period action. Argentine 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa converted a 30-yard penalty shot for the only goal of the chukker. After two periods of play, the score was all even at 2-2.

Monterosso continued to stymie the Murus Sanctus offense, shutting down Ulloa and company while adding single goals from Santiago Toccalino and Ignacio Toccalino. At the end of the first half it was Monterosso with the lead, 4-2.

Martin Podesta’s first goal of the day cut the Monterosso lead to a single goal, 4-3. Ulloa scored on a shot on goal from over 100-yards out to tie it at 4-4. Santiago Toccalino and Sola scored the final goals of the period for a 5-5 deadlock.

It was the Murus Sanctus who stepped up their play in the fifth chukker. Shutout play was supported by a 60-yard penalty conversion from Ulloa and a goal from the field from Podesta. Murus Sanctus had taken their first lead of the game, 7-5.

Sola’s third goal of the game extended the Murus Sanctus lead to three goals, 8-5, and it appeared they were on their way to recording their second win of the tournament when the Monterosso lineup rallied. Alessandro Bazzoni scored first followed by consecutive goals from Santiago Toccalino. Murus Sanctus was unable to recover but managed to hold on for the 8-8 tie and a chance to win the game in sudden-death overtime.

The momentum remained with Monterosso in the overtime chukker with Ignacio Toccalino scoring the winning goal, 9-8.

Santiago Toccalino led the scoring with five goals. Ignacio scored twice, with Bazzoni and Perry adding single goals for the victory. Ulloa and sola scored three times apiece. Podesta added two goals in the loss.

Monterosso improves to 2-1 with the win while Murus Sanctus had to accept their third loss in four outings.

British Open play continues at the Cowdray Park Polo Club on Sunday, July 8th featuring a 1pm match between La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Agustin Merlos and Luke Tomlinson) and La Bamba de Areco (Jean Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.). At 3PM, El Remanso (Charlie Hanbury, Oliver Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper) will face Habtoor (Mohammed Al Habtoor, Nicolas Pieres, Francisco Elizalde and Paco O’Dwyer).