Talandracas holds on for 11-10 British Open win
By Alex Webbe
Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Guillermo Caset, Pelon Stirling and Jack Hyde) exploded for five first chukker goals against Sommelier (George Hanbury, Juan Gris Zavaleta, Fred Mannix and Alec White) Saturday afternoon in the only Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup game of the day, allowing a single goal in the first seven minutes of play.
Opening goals from Sapo Caset, Hugo Lewis and 10-goaler Pelon Stirling had them on top, 3-1, in the first three minutes of the game. Stirling and Fred Mannix traded goals to make it 4-1 with Caset closing out the first chukker for the 5-1 advantage.
Caset’s third goal of the day extended the Talandracas lead to five goals, 6-1, when the Sommelier offense stirred. Consecutive goals from Juan Zavaleta and Alec White closed out the chukker with Talandracas in front by three goals, 6-3.
Goals were harder to come by in the third chukker as both defenses tightened. Stirling scored the first goal of the period, giving Talandracas a four-goal lead again, 7-3. White accounted for the only other goal in the chukker with Talandracas leaving the field at the end of the first half on top of a 7-4 score.
Mannix led the Sommelier charge in the fourth. Two goals from the field and a 60-yard penalty conversion had the score all even at 7-7. Caset rescued the lead for Talandracas with the final score of the chukker. With two periods left in regulation lay, Talandracas found themselves defending a fragile one-goal lead, 8-7.
Talandracas team captain Edouard Carmignac’s first goal of the game gave his team a little breathing room, 9-7, but Sommelier answered right back. A goal from Zavaleta cut the lead back to a single goal, 9-8. With a great individual effort, Stirling took control of the ensuing throw-in and raced 150-yards down the field for a Talandracas goal. With one period remaining in the game, Talandracas held a two-goal lead, 10-8.
There was no quit on the Sommelier roster as they continued to press their attack. White cut the Talandracas lead back to a single goal, 10-9, in the opening minutes of the sixth chukker, but a Sommelier foul sent Caset to the penalty line where he converted a penalty shot for a goal and a two-goal lead, 11-9. Sommelier continued to press the attack but the clock was on the side of the Talandracas four. A goal from Mannix brought Sommelier to within a goal of the lead, but that was where it ended. With Sommelier attempting a last chukker rally, time ran out ant the final horn sounded. The win went to Talandracas, 11-10, leveling their record at 1-1. Sommelier left the field at 0-1, suffering their first defeat of the tournament.
Caset led the Talandracas attack with five goals. Stirling scored four times; with Carmignac and Lewis each adding a goal for the win. Mannix’s five goals led the Sommelier attack. White scored three times and Zavaleta added two goals in a losing effort.
Two Gold Cup games are on tap at the Cowdray Park Polo Club on Sunday, July 2nd, with RH Polo (Ben Soleimani, Tommy Beresford, Adolfo Cambiaso and Rodrigo Andrade) facing Murus Sanctus (Corinne Ricard, Hilario Ulloa, Facundo Sola and Martin Podesta) in a noon contest followed by a 3PM match between defending champion King Power (Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Jimbo Fewster, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) and La Bamba de Areco (Jean Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.).