La Indiana and El Remanso earn QF berths

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BRITISH TRIPLE CROWN: JAEGER-LECOULTRE GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN (2016) – DAY 11
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El Remanso vs. Murus Sanctus, during day eleven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Sunday, July 3rd, at Cowdray Park Polo Club

El Remanso vs. Murus Sanctus, during day eleven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Sunday, July 3rd, at Cowdray Park Polo Club / Photo by Tony Ramirez/Images of Polo / imagesofpolo.com


 

Britannia El Remanso – 13

Charlie Hanbury (4), Ollie Cudmore (5),
James Beim (7), James Harper (6)

Murus Sanctus – 10

Corinne Ricard (0), Manuel Elizalde (5),
Facundo Sola (8), Alfredo Cappella (9)


Britannia El Remanso and undefeated La Indiana battled their way into berths in the quarterfinals, winning their matches on Day 11 of the 2016 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open. Britannia El Remanso defeated Murus Sanctus 13-10, and La Indiana came out on top of Cowdray Vikings 12-10. Both were tight, tense and rather evenly matched contests.

The results give Britannia El Remanso a spell of breathing room, sending them to the quarterfinals regardless of the outcome of their match Wednesday against Valiente. But right after their win Sunday, the quarters were not quite yet a done deal. They had to wait for the results of the second game to learn their fate, as La Indiana had to beat Murus Sanctus to assure Britannia El Remanso a place in the quarters at this point.

That meant two more hours of suspense—and an agonizingly long day—for Britannia El Remanso. The vibe was intense amongst the team and crew as they watched the La Indiana game unfold in back-and-forth fashion. Rarely has a team been seen pulling so enthusiastically for a rival. Meanwhile, a large local contingent cheered like mad for the opposition, as Cowdray Vikings are the home team.

La Indiana came out of the box blazing, with Nic Roldan almost immediately sending a 200-yard slammer to Julian “Negro” de Lusarreta, who finished it off. The La Indiana onslaught continued relentlessly, with Cowdray Vikings nipping at their heels until they were finally able to catch them—for the moment, at least. That came courtesy of 6-goaler Chris Mackenzie, who leveled the score at 4 in the last gasp of the second chukka. His teammate Jack Richardson, also rated at 6, achieved the same feat at the close of the fourth, bringing the score to 8-all.

Richardson turbocharged the Cowdray attack, pulling them into a one-goal lead on a penalty 3 at the top of the fifth. In less than a minute, however, Agustín “Tincho” Merlos made two successive goals, retying the game from the field and then scoring on a penalty 4. La Indiana kept clawing ahead, but then Mackenzie made back-to-back field goals, again tying the game at the start of the sixth chukka.

The final chukka opened 10-all. Britannia El Remanso didn’t know until the final bell if they would be able to relax that evening or if they’d have to wait until Wednesday’s duel against Valiente.

Said a relieved James Beim:

“Valiente is always difficult to play. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to win—but you always want to. We’re going to show up ready.”

With regard to Britannia El Remanso’s game, Beim said:

“Murus Sanctus is a tough team, but we held it together and played well when it mattered.” He gave a nod to his opponents Facundo Sola and Alfredo Cappella, calling them a “good combo. We found it hard to get the ball off Sola—and Cappella can hit a ball 300 yards if he wants to!”

La Indiana found their match a particular challenge because they had been off for six-days.

“Cowdray Vikings played a amazing game; all four of them played really well,” said Roldan. “They had a great strategy and stayed with it. They didn’t let us as a team do the things we usually do, but we stuck to it and kept fighting and fighting and fighting. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we got it done. It was an important game, and we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll Wednesday.”

–Darlene Ricker

 

La Indiana vs. Cowdray Vikings, during day eleven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Sunday, July 3rd, at Cowdray Park Polo Club

La Indiana vs. Cowdray Vikings, during day eleven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Sunday, July 3rd, at Cowdray Park Polo Club / Photo by Tony Ramirez/Images of Polo / imagesofpolo.com


 

La Indiana – 12

Michael Bickford (1), Nic Roldan (7),
Agustin Merlos (8), Julian De Lusarreta (6)

Cowdray Vikings – 10

George Pearson (2), Chris Mackenzie (6),
Jack Richardson (6), Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8)

 


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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