Cartier Queens Cup semifinals set
By Alex Webbe
Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Juan Martin Nero, Polito Pieres and Santiago Stirling) looked like a world beater in the opening minutes of Sunday’s quarterfinal match of the 2014 Cartier Queens Cup as they charged out to a 3-0 (all scored by Polito Pieres) lead over a stunned Dubai lineup (Rashid Albwardy, Alastair Paterson, Adolfo Cambiaso and Diego Cavanagh). Dubai managed to save face by scoring the final two goals of the chukker but trailed, 3-2.
The Dubai defense stepped it up in the second chukker, shutting out the Talandracas attack while picking up single goals from Diego Cavanagh and Adolfo Cambiaso and taking a one goal lead, 4-3.
Talandracas team captain Edouard Carmignac tied it at 4-4 at the start of the third as his team went on a tear. Two more goals from Juan Martin Nero were followed by another goal from Pieres. Dubai was unable to score and now trailed Talandracas, 7-4 at the end of the first half.
Adolfo Cambiaso opened the second half with a 30-yard penalty conversion, 7-5, and a goal from Diego Cavanagh on a 100 yard, well-placed pass from Rashid Albwardy cut the Talandracas lead to a single goal, 7-6. Nero was on the receiving end of a pass from Santiago Stirling to put Talandracas back in front by two goals, 8-6. Diego Cavanagh converted a 60-yard penalty shot, 8-7, but goals from Nero and Stirling closed out the period with Talandracas leading by three goals, 10-7, with just two chukkers left to play.
Pieres scored the first Talandracas goal of the fifth period on a 60-yard penalty shot, 11-7, before Dubai replied. Consecutive penalty goals from Cavanagh made it a two-goal game, 11-9, as the chukker ended.
Talandracas scored the first goal of the sixth chukker with Pieres stealing the ball from Cambiaso and dashing a short distance for the goal, 12-9. Following the ensuing throw-in Pieres made it 13-9, giving Talandracas a four goal lead with three minutes left in the game. Rashid Albwardy scored on a pass from Cambiaso, 13-11, but there were only two minutes left in the match. With time running out, Cavanagh scored the final goal of the game as Talandracas celebrated the 13-11 victory and a berth in the semifinals of the 2014 Cartier Queens Cup.
Polito Pieres scored seven goals for Talandracas. Nero added three goals; Stirling scored twice and Carmignac was credited with a goal for the win. Cavanagh led the Dubai attack with seven goals. Cambiaso scored twice and Albwardy added a goal in the loss.
Zacara 11, Fox & Hounds 8
In an amazing display of horsemanship and mallet work Facundo Pieres scored ten goals as he led the defending Cartier Queens Cup championship Zacara team (Facundo Pieres, Lyndon Lea, Gonzalo Deltour and Matt Perry) to an 11-8 win over an heroic effort by the Fox & Hounds foursome (Max Routledge, George Meyrick, Jack Richardson and Tom Morley) earlier in the day at the Guards Polo Club.
Facundo Pieres scored the first two goals of the game to give Zacara the early lead before Tom Morley could respond with a goal for Fox & Hounds, 2-1. Pieres and Morley traded goals to end the chukker with Zacara in the lead, 3-2.
Pieres dazzled the crowd once again in the second period, scoring three consecutive goals to put Zacara up, 6-2. Morley kept Fox & Hounds alive with a single goal to end the chukker, trailing Zacara by three, 6-3.
Third chukker goals from Pieres and Matt Perry stretched the Zacara lead to five goals, 8-3. George Meyrick answered with a goal from the field and Morley ended the scoring in the chukker with a penalty goal. At the end of the first half, Zacara continued to lead, 8-5.
Both defenses tightened in the fourth, with Pieres adding his eighth goal of the match. Fox & Hounds were unable to break through for a score and fell behind by four goals, 9-5.
Pieres scored the first goal of the fifth chukker followed by Max Routledge’s first goal of the day. Further offensive forays were diverted by both sides and the period ended with Zacara maintaining the four goal edge, 10-6.
Meyrick opened the scoring in the final chukker with a goal from the field. Pieres responded with a goal for Zacara, 11-7. Morley scored his fifth goal of the game, but it wouldn’t be enough as Pieres and the powerful Zacara team rode off the field with the 11-8 win.
Pieres led all scoring with ten goals. Perry added the other goal for the win. Morley set the pace offensively for Fox & Hounds with five goals. Meyrick added two goals and Routledge was credited with a goal in a losing effort.
Both Zacara and Talandracas will advance to Wednesday’s semifinals with Zacara playing Enigma at 3pm in the first semi-final followed by a 5pm meeting between Talandracas and UAE Polo in the second semi-final.