Dubai are through to the last four of the Cartier Queen’s Cup 2012, continuing on the path towards winning this trophy for a fifth time. And if Rashid Albwardy’s team make it all the way to the winning post on Sunday (17 June), then Adolfo Cambiaso will confirm his dominance in this competition by registering his 8th victory.
However much of Dubai’s success this afternoon was thanks to Ignacio Heguy, who was in superb form throughout the six chukkas on The Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club. He scored six of his team’s 10 goals but more importantly always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. The ability to read the game at this level is invaluable and Heguy successfully predicted the flow of the game, picking up stray balls and feeding them up to Cambiaso if appropriate, or taking them towards goal himself.
However there was not much to call between the two sides in the first half, with the score reading 5-4 at half-time to Dubai. Juan Martin Nero was in great form, and he was ably supported by all his team, especially his patron, Jerome Wirth, who was playing with great style and skill, even successfully riding off the mighty Heguy at times.
It was not until the fourth chukka that Dubai were able to get a tighter hold on the game, with Enigma incurring penalties. Luckily for Enigma though, a couple of Heguy’s shots went wide, but the score was 8-5 to Dubai at the end of the fourth.
Some lovely, fast, end to end play in the fifth, with both Matias MacDonough (Enigma) and Heguy scoring, took the score to 9-6 at the start of the final chukka. So when this final period started with Heguy producing a fine run down the field to score it looked as if it was all over for Enigma. They thought differently and battled back through every second of this chukka. Nero successfully converting two penalties and when another run by Heguy went wide, the crowd at Guards Polo Club realised that extra time might be on the cards. MacDonough then produced a lovely shot to goal to close the gap to 10-9 but despite some frantic play from both sides, no further goals were scored and Dubai ran out the winners. Rashid Albwardy stepped forward to receive the Gerard Leigh Cup which was played as one of the Cartier Queen’s Cup Quarter-Finals.
Dubai now play the Hanburys’ El Remanso at 3pm at Guards Polo Club in the first of the two semi-finals this Wednesday (13 June)
Col William "G" Gerard Leigh's grandchildren present the Gerard Leigh Cup, played in memory of a former Chairman of Guards Polo Club, to the Dubai patron Rashid Albwardy (Images of Polo)