The Pinckneys Gin Eduardo Rojas Lanusse Cup
The opening match of the tournament saw a decisive victory for Senzaltro over Pinckneys Gin, scoring 5 goals to Pinckneys’ 1 goal in the third chukka. Senzaltro dominated the game as they capitalised on their goal scoring opportunities, where Pinckneys could not.
The second match began in the favour of Manton Estate Racing as they took the initiative to claim the first goal within the first chukka. However, the tide turned as Stoneyhill notched up end-to-end goals courtesy of Will Lucas in the second, third and final chukka in which Manton Estate Racing managed to score just a second goal. As the claxon signalled the close of play the scoring was 8 – 2 to Stoneyhill.
It was a close fought match in the third, in which CANI initially took a commanding lead in the first half, scoring two goals in the opening the Chukka – the first of which came from Matias Amaya – and followed this up with a further two goals in the second as Nico Antinori put a first goal on the scoreboard for Pinckneys. Olivia Lamphee added another goal to the scoreboard for Pinckneys before a quick, text book goal once again by Nico Antinorio in the third chukka, as Matias Amaya added a fifth goal to CANI’s tally. The final chukka made for exciting watching with both teams rallying to score end-to-end goals, as Pinckneys Gin bought themselves up to a difference of a single goal. However, CANI regained composure and capitalised on a defensive error by Pinckneys Evelyn Williams to finish on a two goal lead.
As the closing game of the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo on the Sunday 10th June, the remaining spectators were treated to a closely fought game of quality play. The matched opened with two goal-less chukkas; however, CANI seized the advantage in the third chukka scoring two goals to take the lead. Manton Estate Racing drew equal with two successive goals in the fourth chukka, before CANI sealed victory with a further two goals to conclude the match in front.
On the following Wednesday, it was Senzaltro who took the initial lead, until Stoneyhill drew level at the beginning of the third chukka. However, Senzaltro then proceeded to dominate the play scoring three successive goals to take an imposing lead. Under the leadership of former England Captain, Will Lucas, Stoneyhill played well but could not quite match Senzaltro as they bought themselves one short of equalising in the final chukka.
The next day, following their previous meeting, Pinckneys Gin regained form in the semi-final against Senzaltro. Evelyn Williams claimed the opening goal as Pinckneys Gin took the initial lead and maintained it throughout the very closely fought match. Senzaltro trailed just one goal behind until the closing minutes of the final chukka in which they scored a third and then fourth goal by Olly Tuthill to take the win on the back of Ben Wilson’s prior three goals.
In the second semi-final of the evening Stoneyhill took the early lead, before CANI fought back scoring three consecutive goals in the second chukka. The third chukka gave rise to a further two goals for Stoneyhill; including an impressive goal from Will Lucas, as he capitalised on CANI’s mistake. With the ball knocked out over the boards he took the free hit with composure, sending it through the air and between the uprights. Unfortunately, their advantage could not be maintained as CANI immediately retaliated with a fifth goal and then a further two in the final chukka.
The final saw Senzaltro pitched against CANI for what would be a fantastic match to conclude the tournament. CANI initially dominated play recording three goals to just one in the first two chukkas and then a fourth goal in the third. However, Senzaltro battled back in the third chukka to bring themselves just one short and then scored a further two in the final chukka to pull ahead and ultimately claim victory.
In the Subsidiary Final for the Desert Dagger it was George Meade who opened the account for Manton Estate, jumping straight from the line out to score in under 25 seconds. However, in the second chukka Pinckneys had edged ahead with an impressive under the neck shot by Nico Antinori at a seemingly impossible angle making it 2-2. By the end of the second it was 3 – 3 following a textbook penalty shot by Dave Allen. At the start of the 3rd Ben Wilson acting as Lachie Gilmore’s replacement took Manton back into the lead with an under the neck shot to goal. They held their lead into the 4th but as the clock counted down Pinckneys scored to make it 5 – 5 and it was everything to play for as the game headed towards an extra chukka. The 5th chukka was fast and furious as both sides ran from end to end in attempts to score. It looked like Pinckneys would win as Caspar West ran down the field to cheers from the crowd but the ball just shot wide of the posts. With renewed energy at a second chance for Manton, Nicolson Boyd chased the ball down unmarked and (despite calls from his team mates to walk it in) smacked the ball into the air, which flew gracefully between the posts. The chance for glory was obviously too tantalising to wait for and Manton Estate won the Desert Dagger 6 – 5!
Thanks go to Pinckneys Gin’s Charlie Pinckney who kindly sponsored the tournament and provided and presented excellent prizes.