Scone Polo delivered an upset in the first Cartier Queen’s Cup Quarter-Final, defeating Edouard Carmignac’s Talandracas 11-7 at Les Lions. Talandracas had been unbeaten coming into this match – one of four automatic quarter-final qualifiers - while Scone Polo had lost their first two games. James Beim, James Harper and Nico Pieres were magnificent from the first ball though. Playing with Maximilian Kirchhoff as Scone patron, David Paradice, was away, the red shirts harried and hassled Talandracas, stopping them playing their more running style of play. Scone Polo might be the only new team in the mix for the 2019 tournament, but they played today with the confidence and maturity of potential champions. James Beim, captain of the England polo team, scored six of his team’s goals, clearly finding his stride at a crucial stage of the competition. Although Scone will have to be at the top of their game again on Wednesday at 12noon.
La Bamba de Areco looked as if they were going to cause an upset on The Duke’s Ground this afternoon too, matching current holders La Indiana goal for goal for most of this game. A strong partnership from Juan Martin Nero and David “Pelon” Stirling ensured the score read 2-2 at the end of the second. La Bamba patron Jean Francois Decaux had a brilliant game – scoring goals and producing some fabulous runs up the ground – much to the delight of the packed grandstands, which included 70+ La Bamba guests who had early enjoyed lunch in the Clubhouse. In fact, Nero and Stirling should be congratulated for the way they continually fed balls to their patron, including him in every chukka. Jean-Francois rewarded their confidence with some great play, including a stunning goal in the fourth.
La Indiana’s Rodrigo Andrade and Facundo Pieres stepped up a gear in the third, taking the lead for the first time (5-4) thanks to a 60-yard penalty. A great pass from young Englishman James Fewster to Pieres allowed them to secure a two-goal advantage at half-time. Experienced spectators would have thought this was the moment that La Indiana pulled away. La Bamba had different ideas. Halfway through the fifth it was level once again [8-8]. In fact, nobody was having a bad game, although the windy conditions – they had forecast 50mph winds – caused some difficulties with penalties. The ultimate break came late in the fifth when Dillon Bacon, a great sub for injured patron Michael Bickford, passed a ball to Pieres who scored. Now the pressure was on and it showed. Both teams put penalties wide and with no further goals it is La Indiana that goes through to Wednesday’s semi for the Kerry Packer Trophy. T