La Bamba Returns to Form and Park Place Impresses in Victory
The last round of group games in the 2018 Cartier Queen’s Cup began with La Bamba de Areco defeating Clinova 12-9 at Zacara Polo Ground, followed by Park Place defeating El Remanso 10-5 on the Queen’s Ground at the Guards Polo Club.
With missed opportunities from both sides ruling the start of the game, the extra possessions from winning the throw-in battle propelled La Bamba de Areco to the first half lead. Despite shooting just 3 for 12 in the game, Clinova was able to tie the game in the fifth chukka behind perfect 4 for 4 penalty shooting in the second half, as La Bamba de Areco committed some costly fouls. Ultimately, the inability of Clinova to convert their chances from the field was the difference as La Bamba de Areco dominated the final chukka to finish with five more field goals in the game and the three-goal victory.
A fast-paced opening two chukkas saw the teams combine for 12 shots, yet only three field goals were scored, with Clinova also adding one penalty goal to tie the score at 2-2. The flow of the game changed in a crucial third chukka as La Bamba de Areco won all four throw-ins in the chukka to keep Clinova on the defensive, forcing them into committing three fouls. Converting two penalty attempts, David Stirling joined Juan Martin Nero with his third goal of the half, as the dynamic duo of La Bamba de Areco was giving Clinova difficulties as they held a three-goal advantage.
Clinova’s fortunes changed in the fourth and fifth chukka as Malcolm Borwick converted all four of his penalty attempts, along with field goals from Adrian Kirby and Nico Pieres to bring Clinova back into a tie at 9-9 with one chukka remaining. La Bamba de Areco cleaned up their fouls in the final chukka, keeping Borwick off the penalty line as Stirling added two more goals to bring his total to seven in the game. With two thirds of their offense coming from the penalty line, Clinova struggled to generate offense from the field, as La Bamba de Areco improved to 3-1 and securing their spot in the quarter-finals.
The second game was a highly anticipated match-up between El Remanso and Park Place with both teams holding a 1-2 record and looking for an important win. The story of the game became Park Place’s ability to disrupt the El Remanso attack as the defensive effort contributed to a 4 for 18 shooting performance from El Remanso. Active in affecting El Remanso’s set plays, the all-English side struggled to generate quality chances and convert their opportunities, while Park Place shot an effective 64% to run away with the five-goal victory.
Park Place came out firing, opening a 5-1 lead after the first two chukkas, with tournament scoring leader Juan Britos scoring four of the goals. Pressuring the El Remanso attack in open play and from their set pieces, Park Place continued to keep El Remanso from making a run to get back in the game. Holding Park Place scoreless in the third chukka kept El Remanso within reach but two missed penalty attempts and 2 for 7 shooting from the field in the half had them down by three goals.
The game was ultimately decided in the fifth chukka as El Remanso found themselves down just two goals and shot at goal six times in the chukka, yet their deficit increased to four goals as they converted just one of their six attempts. Britos added two more goals for Park Place while Hilario Ulloa also added a goal from the field as Park Place opened up a commanding four goal lead with just one chukka remaining. The shooting woes for El Remanso continued as they failed to build any momentum, shooting an ineffective 22% from the field, while Park Place seemed to take advantage of the majority of their opportunities to finish with the convincing five-goal victory.