By Alex Webbe
Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Alastair Paterson, Adolfo Cambiaso and Diego Cavanagh) scored their sixth consecutive win Wednesday afternoon in the 2014 Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open, slipping past a determined Halcyon Gallery (George Hanbury, Mark Tomlinson, James Beim and James Harper) foursome, 9-8.
Halcyon Gallery put the pressure on from the opening throw-in, but it was Dubai’s Adolfo Cambiaso who scored the first goal of the game on a penalty shot for a 1-0 lead. Halcyon Gallery had their opportunities with Mark Tomlinson streaking down the field alone only to miss the final shot at goal. James Harper and James Beim missed scoring opportunities later in the chukker with each placing their shots at goal just wide. The first chukker ended with Dubai on top, 1-0.
Halcyon Gallery continued to press in the second chukker, tying the game up at 1-1. Consecutive goals from Cambiaso, however, stretched the Dubai lead to two goals, 3-1. James Harper scored for Halcyon Gallery on a breakaway to end the chukker, 3-2.
Halcyon Gallery got into foul trouble in the third. Needless errors sent Cavanagh to the penalty line where he converted three penalty shots for a 6-2 halftime advantage.
Halcyon Gallery returned to the field in the fourth chukker more determined than ever. Continuing to pressure the Dubai defense, Halcyon Gallery took advantage of Dubai miscues, converting on three penalty shots (two from Beim and one from Tomlinson) while allowing a single goal from the field from Diego Cavanagh. At the end of the period, Halcyon Gallery had cut the Dubai led down to two goals, 7-5.
An energized Halcyon Gallery team took the field in the fifth. Consecutive goals from James Harper and James Beim (his shot at goal was defensively deflected through the goal posts) had it all even at 7-7. Cavanagh took advantage of another Halcyon Gallery foul by converting a short shot through the posts to end the chukker on top, 8-7.
There was no let up from the Halcyon Gallery as they charged into the final chukker of play, but they would find strong opposition from Dubai. A Dubai foul sent Tomlinson to the penalty lien where he converted his second 60-yard penalty shot of the day to knot it up at 8-8. Both sides continued to press with a Halcyon Gallery foul in their own goal mouth allowing Cavanagh to convert a short penalty shot for the goa-ahead goal, 9-8 with just two minutes left in regulation play. Halcyon Gallery tried to make a run at it but the veteran Dubai side managed to ride out the clock and earn a trip to the British Open finals.
KING POWER14, LUCCHESE 10
King Power (“Top” Srivaddhanaprabha, Pablo Llorente, Gonzalito Pieres and Marcos di Paola) had a rough go of it in the opening chukkers against a talented Lucchese team (John Muse, Lucas James, Nico Pieres and Luke Tomlinson) before salting it away in the second half of the game on their way to a 14-10 victory and a date with Dubai in Sundays final of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open.
Marcos Di Paola scored the first goal of the match in the opening minute of play to give King Power the early edge, 1-0, but Lucchese took advantage of early fouls as Nico Pieres converted penalty shots from 30-yards and 60-yards to make it 2-1, Lucchese. King Power 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres (older brother of Lucchese’s Nico Pieres) tied it up at the end of the chukker on a penalty conversion of his own, 2-2.
King Power added three more goals in the second chukker while holding Lucchese to a single penalty goal. Gonzalito scored once from the field and once on a penalty shot. Teammate Pablo Llorente added a goal from the field. Lucas converted a penalty shot for Lucchese’s only goal of the chukker, as they trailed 5-3.
Lucchese’s Nico Pieres scored three times in the third (twice on penalty conversions) and Luke Tomlinson added a goal as they leveled the score at 7-7. King Power got singe goals from Gonzalito Pieres and Di Paola.
In choppy play, King Power took control of the game on the strength of three penalty goals by Gonzalito Pieres. Lucchese replied with a penalty goal from Nico Pieres but trailed, 10-8, with two chukkers left to play.
Three more fifth chukker goals from King Power put the nail in the coffin for Lucchese who managed a single penalty goal from Nico Pieres. With one chukker left in regulation time, King Power led, 13-9.
In the final chukker Lucchese fought valiantly to get back into the game, but King Power was ready defensively. Gonzalito scored to give King Power a 14-9 lead, but Lucchese fought on. Nico Pieres converted a 60-yard penalty shot for the final score in the game as King Power registered their sixth straight British Open win and earned a berth in the final against Dubai on Sunday afternoon.