Clarke & Green edge RH; remain undefeated

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BRITISH TRIPLE CROWN: JAEGER-LECOULTRE GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN (2016) – DAY 4
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Clarke & Green vs. RH Polo, during day four of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Saturday, June 25th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club

Clarke & Green vs. RH Polo, during day four of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Saturday, June 25th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club / Photo by Tony Ramirez/Images of Polo / imagesofpolo.com


 

Clarke & Green – 8 (OT)

Nick Clarke (0), Juan G. Zavaleta (7),
Luke Tomnlinson (7), John Paul Clarkin (7)

RH Polo – 7

Ben Soleimani (0), Ali Paterson (4),
Rodrigo Andrade (9), Nicolas Pieres (9)


Clarke & Green stands 2-0 after defeating RH Polo 8-7 in extra time on Day 4 of the 2016 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup. In Saturday’s second match Apes Hill took their first win in the tournament, bringing their standing to 1-1 with a 9-6 victory over Talandracas.

RH Polo took an early lead and made their opponent work for every goal, tying and retying the score every time Clarke & Green managed to inch ahead. The scoreboard read 7-all at the end of the sixth chukka, with an overtime goal by John Paul Clarkin ending the conversation in favor of Clarke & Green.

Nick Clarke’s face wore a mixture of elation and relief afterward.

“We missed a lot of opportunities, but as we’ve shown, we don’t let our guard down,” said the Clarke & Green patron. He attributed the win to “perseverance from all four of us.”

With RH Polo leading by one going into the third chukka, Clarke & Green scrambled to turn things around. That they did, courtesy of 7-goalers Luke Tomlinson and Juan Zavaleta. Tomlinson had the play of the day, swiping the ball from a stunned Nico Pieres and making a long uninterrupted run into goal. He immediately scored again, this time on a pass from Zavaleta, with a nearside shot (a deft play Tomlinson has almost trademarked). Zavaleta continued to make his presence known, stealing the ball from Rodrigo Andrade and running it through the posts. En route he glanced over his shoulder as if to say, “Who’s there? Who cares?” as he continued to outrun Pieres, giving Clarke & Greene a two-goal advantage at the end of the first half.

The score was tied at the end of the fifth and sixth chukkas, which were a mind-crunching game of chess played at 35 miles per hour. Clarkin’s overtime goal clinched it for Clarke & Green.

“It was a tough game, and it was difficult for me to know what to do,” said Clarke. His choices, as he saw them, were to mark the patron or help his teammates counter the larger threat. “There were some big, strong players out there,” he noted with a nod to 9-goalers Pieres and Andrade.

–Darlene Ricker

 

Eduardo Novillo Astrada for Apes Hill, hooks Talandracas' Sapo Caset, during day four of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Saturday, June 25th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club

Eduardo Novillo Astrada for Apes Hill, hooks Talandracas’ Sapo Caset, during day four of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Saturday, June 25th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club / Photo by Tony Ramirez/Images of Polo / imagesofpolo.com


 

Apes Hill – 9

Tom Beim (3), Mark Tomlinson (6),
Eduardo Novillo Astrada (9), Alec White (4)

Talandracas – 6

Edouard Carmignac (0), Pablo Pieres (9),
Tommy Beresford (4), Sapo Caset (9)

 


The Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship was established in 1956, when it was then known as the Cowdray Park Gold Cup. The trophy itself was stolen in 1968, and has not been recovered. Stowell Park and Tramontana share the record for most wins, with five titles apiece.
 


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Sports, Polo, United Kingdom, High-Goal