A strong partnership and some impressively angled goals from Santiago Laborde and Matias Machado delivered victory for Bardon in the La Martina Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Centenary Trophy at Guards Polo Club on Sunday. La Martina has supported this competitive 15-goal contest for more than a decade and this was the second time patron Andras Tombor has put his name on this silverware, having won the honours in 2017. Matias was later named The Polo Magazine’s Most Valuable Player, receiving his prizes from the Argentine Ambassador to the UK, HE Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano.
Bardon defeated the OS Challengers 9-8 in a tense, penalty-packed final on The Queen’s Ground. Bardon’s opponents are a new team this season, created by the sponsors of Guards Polo Club’s Royal Windsor Cup tournament, OUT-SOURCING! Inc, to play across three medium-goal tournaments this summer, starting with this La Martina contest.
Just reaching this year’s final was an achievement though as 18 teams had entered this year’s contest but Bardon dominated this key match. They were 6-3 up at half-time and extended their lead by two further goals at the end of the third (8-4). However OS Challengers had come back to win in similar circumstances in a previous match and so this was still anyone’s game. True to form, OS Challengers fought back from the first moment of the fourth and final chukka – team captain Mark Tomlinson firing through a 30-yard penalty. This was the first of four penalty conversions for OS Challengers in this chukka – enabling them to level the score with a minute left on the clock.
Appropriately though, for a match that saw 13 penalties across the four chukkas, it was a penalty that won Bardon the match. This winning shot was hit after the first bell, in the final seconds of the match!
La Martina’s guests of honour, influencers Flora Beverley and Olivia Cox presented the prizes to players and runners-up. Nick Hine, publisher of the Polo Times, then awarded Matias Machado with the Best Playing Pony blanket for Aruba, who is owned by team-mate Santiago but whom Matias had played in the second and fourth chukkas.
Earlier in the day, Siri Bazzoni’s MT Vikings won an equally close sub final. They defeated Alan Fall’s Mad Dogs 6-5.
Bardon: Andras Tombor (0); Matias Machado (5); Santiago Laborde (6); Felipe Dabas (4). OS Challengers: Nina Clarkin (3); Nicolas Antinori (4); Mark Tomlinson (6); James Emlyn (2).
MT Vikings: Siri Bazzoni (0); Jose Araya (3); Oliver Cudmore (6); George Meyrick (6). Mad Dogs: Alan Fall (0); Thomas Severn (3|); Will Emerson (5); James Harper (7).