Experience won out when Joachim Gottschalk’s Les Lions team, one of the most experienced high-goal teams in the 2012 Cartier Queen’s Cup, defeated the newcomers Belmont Farm 11-7. However it started very differently with Belmont Farm 1-0 up at the end of the first seven minutes thanks to a goal from Ryan Pemble. Les Lions slowly got into their stride in the second, with goals from the sibling duo Agustin and Sebastian Merlos. However Belmont Farm kept the upper hand with goals from Satnam Dhillon, Malcolm Borwick and George Meyrick.
The emphasis changed in the third though. It was Belmont Farm’s turn not to score while the Merlos duo added three more to Les Lions’ tally, giving them a precious one goal advantage (5-4) at half-time. Only one goal apiece in the fourth meant that this game was still wide open, but goals from Agustin and Matt Perry in the fifth, to only one in reply from Dhillon meant that Les Lions, finalists in last year’s British Open Championships, were pulling away, albeit slowly. But when Agustin scored a hat-trick in the final chukka, the writing was on the wall for Belmont Farm. Borwick did score the final goal of the match though and Belmont Farm, although disappointed not to win, should be proud of their debut in the Cartier Queen’s Cup and will have gained plenty of experience, essential for their next game – against Dubai – on Tuesday 29 May.
Caption: Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier with Joachim Gottschalk, patron of the Les Lions team, at the President's Draw earlier in the month (Images of Polo)