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Cartier Queen's Cup Quarter-Finals - Day 1 9th June 2024

King Power 14 – 13 Dubai

La Dolfina Great Oaks 11 – 9 La Dolfina Scone

King Power and La Dolfina Great Oaks are the first two teams confirmed for Wednesday’s Cartier Queen’s Cup Semi-Finals. Both these 22-goal teams delivered combative performances to earn their pass through to the next round.

King Power, playing the young, 1-goal player, Estanislao Darritchon, in place of their patron Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who had injured his hand, were ahead for most of this match. This surprised the many spectators as unbeaten Dubai had finished top in the tournament after the league stages and had impressed in every game. In fact, when these two teams met in the league stages Dubai won the match 14-6. However, Rashid Albwardy’s team struggled to replicate that form today and were trailing for much of the match.

Experience paid off for Nico Pieres and Pablo MacDonough, neither a stranger to Queen’s Cup success. They helped the King Power team keep their head, made the most of any space and converted their penalties.  By the end of the fifth King Power were leading 13-8 and looked in control of this game.

It was all change in the sixth though. It was as if Camilo Castagnola had just realised the importance of this match. This talented, young 10-goaler, who has delivered some magical polo this season, suddenly found his mojo. He scored five goals on the bounce – field goals and penalties – to bring this match level with only 50 seconds left to play. All of a sudden we were heading into extra time and there really was all to play for.  However, when Nico Pieres found some space just seconds into the seventh chukka he powered a huge hit to goal to win this game for a delighted Srivaddhanaprabha and the entire King Power team.

The second game featured a plethora of Cambiasos. Adolfo and his daughter Mia were in action for La Dolfina Scone while Adolfo Junior, known to all as Poroto, was playing for Dillon Bacon’s La Dolfina Great Oaks. This was a close game for all six chukkas – scores were level (5-5) at half-time – and delivered plenty of thrilling horse races up the field. Alfredo Bigatti was invariably in the right place to pick up an Adolfo Snr pass, while Charlie Hanbury was impressive in defence. Meanwhile, Mia Cambiaso worked hard to keep her brother off the line of the ball. In reply, Kian Hall, Diego Cavanagh and Poroto consistently fired through goals to keep La Dolfina Great Oaks in contention. This team was able to pull away a little in the fourth (8-6) thanks to three good goals from Cavanagh.

Goals from Bigatti and Adolfo Snr continued to keep La Dolfina Scone’s hopes alive, but Poroto and Cavanagh were on top form and maintained their team’s two-goal advantage. In the final moments of the game Poroto raced off to goal, with Adolfo Snr chasing. Highlighting that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Poroto kept his cool, evaded his father’s hook and calmy slotted through the final goal of the match.

In addition to winning a ticket through to Wednesday’s semis, this game came with its own silverware. The Club’s Chairman, Lt Col Sean O’Dwyer, presented the Platinum Jubilee Trophy to Dillon Bacon.

Images copyright Pablo Ramirez

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