La Indiana Defeat Park Place to Claim 2018 Cartier Queen’s Cup
The final of the 2018 Cartier Queen’s Cup featured a closely fought match that came down to the final minutes with La Indiana defeating Park Place 9-7 on the Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club, claiming the Cartier Queen’s Cup title after falling just short to RH Polo last year.
In a match that saw the teams tied after four of the six chukkas, La Indiana’s ability to convert their chances from both the field and the penalty line, overcame the fast, high-pressure style of Park Place that was displayed throughout the match. La Indiana displayed a more clinical style of attack, utilizing effective passing throughout the game but were often stifled by the back line of Hilario Ulloa and Tommy Beresford, as they hit numerous backhands to turn the play. With sixteen penalty 5’s in the game, it was La Indiana, led by 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, that were able to generate more effective scoring chances and use a strong final chukka to finish with the victory.
Just seconds into the game, a collision saw Ulloa go down, but he was able to continue as the two teams traded penalty conversions, resulting in a 1-1 score after the opening chukka. The fast, high-pressure game resulted in plenty of fouls in the game, but another collision saw patron Andrey Borodin fall and require a substitute with Charlie Tighe stepping into the #1 position. Park Place dominated the second chukka, outshooting La Indiana 6-0 from the field, but were able to convert just one of their chances, with Ulloa scoring his first goal of the game. Pieres converted a second penalty attempt to keep La Indiana tied, despite being outshot 8-0 after the first two chukkas. Park Place finally gained traction in the third chukka behind the duo of Ulloa and Juan Britos as they combined for four goals on perfect 3 for 3 shooting from the field, and converting their lone penalty attempt. The work of Beresford in the back played a noticeable factor with La Indiana held to just two field goals in the opening half, as Park Place took a 6-4 lead into halftime.
Quickly restoring the tie, La Indiana stepped up defensively to begin the second half, preventing Park Place from recording a shot or penalty attempt in the chukka. Utilizing their set plays, La Indiana’s Nic Roldan converted a free hit after the ball went out of play and Pieres followed with a goal from distance after a broken Park Place knock-in, resulting in a 6-6 score. A hard fought fifth chukka saw Pieres remain perfect from the penalty line with his third conversion, while Tighe made his impact in the game, running the ball through the goal for his first score of the game. The outcome of the match was left up for grabs leading into the sixth and final chukka. With just over three minutes remaining, La Indiana executed a perfect combination play that began on their own 30-yard line and needed two more passes before Pieres was able to run the ball through the goal, giving La Indiana the one-goal lead. As Park Place pushed to tie the score, an unforced error allowed Pieres to jump on the loose ball and complete a breakaway run with time expiring for his sixth goal of the game, sealing the La Indiana victory and the 2018 Cartier Queen’s Cup title.
Earlier in the day, Emlor defeated Talandracas 12-9 in the Cartier Trophy subsidiary final on the Duke’s Ground at Guards Polo Club. A clean game throughout, that saw both teams convert four of their five penalty attempts, it was Emlor’s ability to convert from the field that proved to be the difference in an otherwise close match. Led by Agustin Merlos’ six-goal performance, Emlor scored the final four goals of the game to seal the victory.
A back and forth first half saw the teams trade goals, with all eight players finding the scoresheet by the second minute of the third chukka. An extra penalty attempt for Talandracas gave them the narrow one-goal lead after the first half. A second goal for James McCarthy, playing in place of Spencer, saw Emlor tie the score after the fourth chukka. A scoreless fifth chukka left the two teams in a 8-8 tie with just one chukka remaining, but it was the duo of Merlos and Diego Cavanagh that overwhelmed Talandracas late, despite the performance from Francisco Elizalde who scored the final five goals for his team. The 4-1 final chukka in favour of Emlor, gave them the Cartier Trophy with the 12-9 victory.