Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Final 2008

Cowdray Park

Sunday 20 July 2008

Ellerston White v Loro Piana

Gold Cup Final Slideshow 14Mb pdf (Acrobat Reader 8.0 required)

Gallery of pics at the bottom of the page

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The worst thing about recent times is being a bit busy with other things that get in the way of a pleasurable Sunday afternoon watching a set of talented maniacs thundering around on horses chasing a little white ball...and to be honest the price of petrol (for us mere mortals) is a bit of a pain in the wallet!

Anyway, rant over, it was a lovely Sussex Sunday afternoon (okay still a couple of clouds, reminiscent of last year, hanging around overhead) but the field of play looked good and firm and Photoscience found a likely spot for a few pics and settled down to wait for the match to start whilst munching on my 'sarnies'.

Ellerston White v Loro Piana, a rematch (so-to-speak) from the Queen's Cup Final of 2007, which went to a wonderful 7th chukka and as I sat, watched and waited I remembered the epic Gold Cup Final of 2007 which although 6 chukkas lasted well into the evening due to tumbles and injuries; however this was a year later and with no need for a life raft or wet suit!

Ellerston were fielding: 1, Max Routledge (2); 2, Gonzalito Pieres (9); 3, Facundo Pieres (10); and Bk Tom Barrack (1) = 22

Loro Piana lined up: 1, David Stirling (8); 2 Alfio Marchini (2); 3, Juan Martin Nero (10) and Bk Jamie Peel (2) = 22

Gold Cup Final Slideshow 14Mb pdf (Acrobat Reader 8.0 required)

Before the match started I was starting to get slightly confused, Ellerston White were playing in blue with a bit of white and Loro Piana were wearing white shirts with a bit of blue instead of their blue/ a mere photographer this was a little bit difficult to comprehend; but I came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter, although I just hoped I would get the score right!

It is worth noting that Ellerston's Max Routledge is only 17 (according to the commentary) - he appears to be a young athlete to keep your eyes on, certainly, in my humble opinion, he appears to have a bright future ahead of him.

1st chukka as expected the match didn't get off to an explosive start but was more about settling down and getting the measure of each other, David 'Peron' Stirling opened the scorecard after 3 minutes with a penalty that he duly converted to take the lead at 1:0. Almost exactly 3 minutes later, with a tit-for-tat Facundo Pieres levelled the score after a reciprocal penalty finishing the first chukka at 1:1

2nd chukka within 30 seconds of the restart throw-in Juan Martin Nero started to show why he is a 10 goaler opening his account on the score sheet with a lovely field goal, which he followed with a further 2 at 3 and 5 minutes into the chukka, Gonzalito came back with 2 goals of his own after 3 and 6 minutes to keep the scorecard relatively level at 4:3 to Loro Piana.

3rd chukka bringing the game towards half-time and it was essential that Ellerston kept in contact with Loro Piana's scoring; unfortunately David Stirling had other ideas scoring 2 field goals and a penalty in the space of less than 2 minutes, which was compounded by Juan Martin Nero adding a fourth for the chukka, only 45 seconds later. Facundo grasped a consolation goal at 3 minutes to go into the break 8:4 down for Ellerston.

4th chukka after the break - it seemed that the Pieres brothers and the other members of the team had re-framed what they wanted to achieve - and Polo is a funny old game - it can change in a matter of minutes from one side being dominant - to an even-handed match - Max opened his scorecard with a lovely little run and converted it to 8-5 within a minute of the re-start - Facundo added another a minute later and then Gonzalito added a third - suddenly it was 8-7 and Ellerston were back in the game - David Stirling added his ha'penny's worth just before the 6th minute and brought it back to a 2 goal difference at 9-7 at the end of the chukka.

5th chukka Fecundo added a penalty for crossing the line (I think) bringing it back to a single goal's difference before Stirling again added a goal - from a penalty in the 3rd minute - followed by Facundo adding a further goal - yet again from a penalty (30 yd if my notes/pics are right) - this bought the end of the chukka to a score-line of 10-9 to Loro Piana - still retaining the lead. Jamie Peel did a lovely run down the far side before sending the ball wide of the posts - and Tom Barrack had a slight tumble - but returned in the next chukka - without any delays.

6th chukka if you are a regular reader you will probably be aware of my comments about the final chukka being a hum-dinger - Jamie scored his first goal of the day - well deserved and Facundo scored his final goal to bring it to 11-10 to Loro Piana in the 5th minute - Juan Martin and Facundo had final efforts - Juan missing by a whisker and the same with Fecundo (if what I saw was correct).

Final score 11-10 to Loro Piana - Ellerston White were again unlucky; but quite honestly Juan Martin Nero and David Stirling out did the 'wing-man' tactics of Gonzalito and Facundo - a superb game, shame anyone has to lose!


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