On the strength of a 10-6 win over La Bamba de Areco (Jean Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.) Sunday afternoon in British Open play at the Cowdray Park Polo Club, La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Pite Merlos and Luke Tomlinson) improved their record to 3-1. The La Bamba de Areco game was the final preliminary match for La Indiana and will allow them to rest for the next few days n preparation for quarterfinal competition.
La Indiana team captain Michael Bickford scored the first goal of the day on a pass from teammate Pite Merlos (who was replacing his injured brother, Agustin), 1-0. La Indiana was back on the attack within moments as Merlos bore down on the La Bamba de Areco goal. A shot on goal squarely hit the goal post with Roldan tapping it in for only other goal of the period. La Indiana left the field at the end of the first chukker with a 2-0 advantage.
A solid defensive effort by La Indiana in second chukker play held La Bamba de Areco scoreless as Roldan added two more goals. The momentum speared to be building as the La Indiana lead grew to four goals, 4-0.
La Bamba de Areco’s offense failed to develop as the third period got underway, but their defense rose to the challenge. Close checking and hard riding kept La Indiana off of the scoreboard. La Bamba de Areco, however, failed to score for the third straight chukker, and continued to trail, 4-0.
An injured Magoo Laprida was replaced by Guillermo Terrera at halftime, giving a fresh look to the La Bamba de Areco offense. Bickford’s second goal of the game extended the La Indiana lead to 5-0 before La Bamba de Areco responded. A 60-yard penalty shot by Diego Cavanagh fell short but was tapped in by Terrera, 5-1. Luke Tomlinson converted a 40-ayrd penalty shot, 6-1 with Terrera closing out the chukker with an 80-yard shot for a goal. After four chukkers of play, La Indiana continued to dominate, 6-2.
Tomlinson and Rodrigo Rueda exchanged 40-yard penalty goals in the fifth, with Tomlinson scoring the final goal of the chukker from the field. With one period remaining in regulation lay, La Indiana remained in control, 8-3.
La Bamba de Areco rode onto the field in the sixth period with a “never-say-die” attitude, and scored three straight goals. Rueda and Terrera opened the scoring with single goals from the field, 8-5. Diego Cavanagh brought La Bamba de Areco to within a goal of the lead, 8-6, before La Indiana responded. A 60-yard penalty conversion from Tomlinson was followed by Roldan’s fourth goal of the match for the 10-6 victory.
Roldan and Tomlinson scored four goals apiece for La Indiana. Team captain Bickford added two goals for the win. Terrera led the La Bamba de Areco attack, scoring three times. Rueda added two goals and Cavanagh scored once in the loss.
The win ended La Indiana’s preliminary matches with a 3-1 record. La Bamba de Areco fell to 1-2, with one game remaining to be played against Habtoor on Wednesday
El Remanso 11, Habtoor 9
In the second British Open match of the day, El Remanso (Charlie Hanbury, Oliver Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper) seemed to have their way with Habtoor (Mohammed Al Habtoor, Nicolas Pieres, Francisco Elizalde and Paco O’Dwyer) through much of the first five chukkers before staving off a last period rally to secure the 11-9 victory.
Om a low-scoring opening chukker Ollie Cudmore got El Remanso on the scoreboard with a goal from the field for a 1-0 advantage. Francisco Elizalde countered with a goal for Habtoor, 1-1, as both teams appeared to be feeling one another out.
James Harper and Cudmore each added a goal in the second period, 3-1, but the Habtoor offense rallied. Nico Pieres followed a 30-ayrd penalty goal with a goal from the field. After two chukkers of lay, the score was all even at 3-3.
Three straight goals from El Remanso saw Charlie Hanbury tally his first goal of the day followed by goals from Cudmore and Harper, 6-3. A missed defensive clear by El Remanso allowed Habtoor to tap the ball through the goalposts for a goal, cutting the lead to two goals, 6-4, to end the first half.
The fourth chukker belonged two El Remanso. Single goals from Hanbury and James Beim went unanswered as the El Remanso defense held. With two chukkers remaining to be played, El Remanso extended their lead to four goals, 8-4.
El Remanso continued to roll in the fifth. Hanbury led off with his third goal of the day followed by back-to-back goals from Beim, 11-4. Pieres scored the final two goals of the period (one on a 40-yard penalty shot), but the El Remanso lead stood at five goals, 11-6.
With victory all but assured, El Remanso played a relaxed defense. Habtoor scored the final three goals of the game but fell to El Remanso, 11-9.El Remanso improved their record to 2-1 while Habtoor suffered their third straight loss of the tournament.
British Open play is scheduled to continue on Tuesday, July 11th with RH Polo (Ben Soleimani, Tommy Beresford, Adolfo Cambiaso and Rodrigo Andrade) facing Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Guillermo Caset, Pelon Stirling and Jack Hyde). A second match will feature Sommelier (George Hanbury, Juan Gris Zavaleta, Fred Mannix and Alec White) and Monterosso (Alessandro Bazzoni, Ignacio Toccalino, Santiago Toccalino and Matt Perry), times and locations yet to be determined.