By Alex Webbe
Zacara (Jack Hyde, Lyndon Lea, Lucas Monteverde and Pablo MacDonough) and Sifani (Hilali Noordeen, Juan Gris Zavaleta, J.P. Clarkin and Luke Tomlinson) played to a 2-2 tie after the first chukker of play Sunday afternoon in the second round of the 2016 Cartier Queens Cup, but from then on, the two teams separated.
Played on the grounds of the Zacara Polo Farm, Zacara took the early lead on back-to-back goals from 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough to go up, 2-1 (Sifani received one goal by handicap). A Zacara foul sent Juan Gris Zavaleta to the penalty line where he converted from 30-yards out to tie it at 2-2. MacDonough scored his third goal of the chukker on a 40-yard penalty shot, ending the chukker on top of a 3-2 lead.
MacDonough opened the second period with a 60-yard penalty conversion for a two goal lead, 4-2. Luke Tomlinson scored his first goal of the game to bring Sifani to within a goal of the lead, 4-3. Lucas Monteverde closed out the chukker with a goal from the field and a 5-3 Zacara advantage.
MacDonough scored from the field to open the third and Tomlinson countered with a penalty conversion, 6-4. Macdonough extended the lead to 7-4 with an incredibly well-executed neck shot off the end line and Jack Hyde’s first goal of the game came on a pass from Monteverde that closed out the first half with Zacara in the lead by four goals, 8-4.
Zacara went right to work in the fourth chukker with Monteverde jumping on the ball from the opening throw-in and raced down the field to score the first goal of the second half, 9-4. Team captain Lyndon Lea made it 10-4 as the Sifani defense struggled to stay in the game. J.P. Clarkin finally got Sifani on the scoreboard, 10-5, but it was MacDonough who ended the chukker with his seventh goal of the day and gave Zacara an 11-5, six goal lead.
Sifani came alive in the fifth on a pair of goals from Clarkin (one on a penalty shot) and a goal from the field from Tomlinson. Monteverde accounted for Zacara’s only score of the chukker as Sifani drew to within four goals of the lead, 12-8.
Tomlinson converted a 40-yard penalty shot in the sixth chukker, but that was where the Sifani rally stalled. Zacara shut down the Sifani attack for the balance of the chukker and added a goal from MacDonough for the 13-9 victory.
MacDonough scored six of his game-high eight goals from the field. Monteverde was credited with three goals and Lea and Hyde each scored a goal for the win. Tomlinson’s four goals (two on penalty conversions) set the pace for Sifani. Clarkin added three goals; Zavaleta scored on a penalty shot; and the team received one goal by handicap.
King Power Foxes 11, Talandracas 9
In the second Cartier Queens Cup match of the day, the defending champion, King Power Foxes (Guy Schwarzenbach, Pepito Araya, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) earned their second straight win of the tournament but needed a come-from-behind win over a determined Talandracas team (Eduard Carmignac, Tommy Beresford, Polito Pieres and Sapo Caset) to do it.
With Guy Schwarzenbach filling for team captain Top Srivaddhanaprabha, King Power put the first goal on the scoreboard, but it would be the last lead they would enjoy for some time. Talandracas matched them goal for goal in the opening seven minutes of play for a 2-2 tie.
Two more Talandracas goals went unanswered in the second chukker with King Power seemingly resting on their laurels while Polito Pieres and Sapo Caset continued to press the attack aided by the aggressive play of Tommy Beresford. Talandracas entered the third chukker in front, 4-2.
King Power scored twice in the third period while limiting Talandracas to a single score. Talandracas continued to lead at the end of the first half, 5-4.
Talandracas stretched their lead back to two goals, 6-4, with the opening goal of the second half when King Power rallied. The 10-goal Pieres brothers orchestrated three consecutive goals that gave King Power their first lead, 7-6, since the opening goal of the game.
Another King Power goal opened the fifth period, but a resilient Talandracas team put a swift end to it. Three straight goals closed out the period with Talandracas back in the lead, 9-8, with one chukker remaining in regulation play.
Mounted on their best, King Power took the field in the sixth and controlled the field. A run of three consecutive goals got no response from Talandracas as King Power remained undefeated with a 2-0 record. Talandracas fell to 1-1.
Play is scheduled to continue in the 2016 Cartier Queens Cup on Tuesday with a noon match between La Bamba de Areco (Jean-Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda Jr.) and La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Julian de Lusarreta, Agustin Merlos and Nic Roldan), with both teams looking for their first win. At 3pm Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Kian Hall, Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martin Nero) is scheduled to face Britannia El Remanso (Charley Hanbury, Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper). Dubai stands at 1-0 after beating Valiente 12-8. Britannia El Remanso is coming off of a drubbing of Sifani (16-7). Both teams will be fighting to remain undefeated in the afternoon contest.