Late rally carries Lucchese over Black Bears; Talandracas edges UAE 13-12
By Alex Webbe
For all intents and purposes it looked as though Black Bears (Guy Schwarzenbach, Facundo Sola, John Paul Clarkin and Patrick O’Dwyer) were in control of the Cartier Queens Cup match against Lucchese (John Muse, Lucas James, Nico Pieres and Luke Tomlinson) Tuesday afternoon, charging out to an early 2-0 lead. Nico Pieres got Lucchese on the scoreboard with a penalty conversion, but at the end of the first chukker it was 2-1, Black Bears.
The second period of play was dominated by defensive plays. Facundo Sola scored the only goal of the chukker on a 30-yard penalty shot to extend the Black Bears lead to two goals, 3-1. Lucchese had yet to settle into any sort of rhythm with their play punctuated by great individual shots with little or no follow-up.
Black Bears continued to pressure the Lucchese defense in third chukker play with Sola scoring from the throw-in for a 4-1 advantage. Nico Pieres scored for Lucchese, but Sola responded with a two more goals (one on a penalty conversion). With less than a minute on the clock and the Black Bears in control of the game, Patrick “Paco” O’Dwyer suffered an injury to his mallet hand (suspected broken thumb) and was forced to leave the game. Alex White was brought in to replace him. The first half with Black Bears on top of a 6-2 score.
The fourth chukker belonged to Lucchese. Following the loss of O’Dwyer the Black Bears chemistry was gone and so was the rhythm that the team developed in the first half of play. The Lucchese attack pressed the Black Bears defense resulting in fouls. Pieres took advantage of the opportunities, converting three of them and bringing Lucchese to within a goal of the lead, 6-5.
In the opening seconds of the fifth, John Paul Clarkin raced down the field and bounced the ball off the goalpost for a Black Bears score, 7-5. Pieres answered back with a 40-yard penalty conversion, 7-6. Luke Tomlinson found himself on the receiving end of a well-placed pass from Lucas James, scoring for the first time all day and tying the game for the first time at 7-7. Sola put the Black Bears back on top with, 8-7 with time running out. Pieres scored his seventh goal of the day on a 60-yard penalty shot, ending the chukker all even at 8-8.
Lucchese continued to press and the Black Bears continued to give up ill-timed penalties. Pieres scored consecutive penalty shots to put Lucchese in the lead by two goals, 10-8. Black Bears fought to get back into the game, but time was running out. Black Bears were awarded a penalty shot that Clarkin walked through the goal posts, 10-9, but that would be the final score of the game as Lucchese celebrated the 10-9 win. Pieres led all scoring on the day with eight of his game-high nine goals coming on penalty shots.
Talandracas 13, UAE 12
The final match of the day took place in the rain at The Guards where Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Juan Martin Nero, Polito Pieres and Santiago Stirling), who narrowly missed losing for the second time in three games, recorded a 13-12 win over UAE Polo Team (Kian Hall, Lucas Monteverde, Pablo MacDonough and Ollie Cudmore), improving their record to 2-1 while UAE fell to 1-1.
UAE fell behind in the first chukker, 3-2, and continued to trail by a goal after the second, 5-4. Polito Pieres led a third chukker attack that netted Talandracas three goals while limiting UAE to a single score. At the end of the first half Talandracas was in control of an 8-3 lead.
UAE regrouped at halftime and tore into the Talandracas defense in the fourth. A pair of goals from Lucas Monteverde and a score from 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough went unanswered, tying it up at eight goals apiece, 8-8.
The two teams exchanged goals in the fifth. MacDonough and Monteverde scored single goals for UAE with Talandracas responding with goals from Pieres and Santiago Stirling. With one chukker left in regulation play it was deadlocked at 10-10.
Talandracas took immediate control of the game in the sixth chukker. Talandracas 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero wowed the spectators with a beautifully executed nearside neck sot for a goal, 11-10. Pieres followed it up with a pair of goals from Pieres, and with four minutes left in the game, Talandracas owned a 13-10 lead. MacDonough tried to rally the UAE troops, scoring once from the field and a second time on a 40-yard penalty shot, but time was on the side of Talandracas. The final horn sounded with Talandracas riding off the field with a 13-12 win.
There’s only one game scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but it’s an important one. In a battle of two unbeaten, Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Alastair Paterson, Adolfo Cambiaso and Diego Cavanagh) faces El Remanso on the Dubai field at 1pm. El Remanso boasts a 2-0 record with wins over Fox & Hounds (10-9 in OT) and EFG Bank Aravali (11-8). Dubai has only one goal under their belt to date, a 14-11 win over Twelve Oaks. El Remanso will be led by 10-goaler Pelon Stirling with Adolfo Cambiaso at the head of the Dubai foursome.