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Mon 28th Jun 2021

UAE Polo Lift Cartier Queen’s Cup

UAE deliver a classic polo performance for the ages

Despite the heavens threatening to open on an overcast day in Windsor, the polo gods smiled upon the assembled ranks of socially distanced polo aficionados and fans – most in the grandstand expected Scone, on the back of a searing win against Monterosso in the Semi Finals and powered by the Cambiaso duo on their string of polo clones, to run away with the Final as a formality. By the middle of the first chukka, the whispered prophesies of the crowd fervently began to grow louder as Poroto ran in a beautiful field goal. Next followed a 60 yard penalty from Adolfo Cambiaso, having been struck with the ball as UAE attempted to clear their lines having been under heavy siege for the majority of the chukka. It looked as if we were in for a masterclass from the master and his apprentice. However, something changed whilst the players changed ponies halfway through the chukka with UAE returning to the field like players possessed; by the end of the chukka, momentum had swung firmly in the favour of UAE with Tommy Beresford delivering UAE from the Scone siege with a stunning under the neck shot, closely followed by a goal from the tenacious Polito Pieres. What ensued across the remainder of the match had the spectators looking on in bewilderment as the Cambiaso solidity came under attack, while the UAE players worked seamlessly together to gain an 8-4 lead and going into the fifth chukka the energy was palpable. Were we about to witness a classic Adolfo comeback? Surely his best horses were to come? Would UAE be able to hold out from the anticipated Scone onslaught of horsepower and plays? Strangely however Scone did not deliver on the anticipation. Put simply, despite renewed efforts from Scone, Beresford and Pieres thwarted attack after attack with text book sweeping back hands whilst Panelo and HH Sheikha Maitha continued to make things challenging for the Scone playmakers in the middle of the pack. Despite some fantastic carries and plays from the ever grafting Isidro Strada, Scone could not find the crucial first goal in the sixth chukka that would have given them hope of a mighty comeback. The honours serendipitously fell to Pieres who calmly slotted a 30 yard penalty to bring the score to 10-5. Despite a consolation penalty from Scone to make it 10-6, Scone could not score again, resulting in a 10-6 win for UAE, their first in the Cartier Queen’s Cup and well deserved having contested the tournament since 2013. Tomás Panelo was named Most Valuable Player and JB Bleach, played by Polito Pieres was chosen as the Best Playing Pony. 
A full report will be included in the July issue of Polo Times – click here to renew your subscription or gift a friend.
The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final Teams:
UAE Polo Team (22): HH Sheikha Maitha (0), Tomas Panelo (6), Pieres (9) & Tomas Beresford (7)
Scone (23): David Paradice (0), Poroto Cambiaso (7), Isidro Strada (6) & Adolfo Cambiaso (10)
Photograph: Polito Pieres in action for UAE in the Final. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com 

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