The Vivari Queen's Cup 2007

Guards Polo Club Sunday 17th June 2007

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Finalists

Loro Piana v Ellerston White

The images are as seen from the scoreboard at the western end.

All images/website content Duncan Murray/Photoscience.co.uk

 

Teams/players :

Final

Loro Piana (blue/yellow): David Stirling (7) Alfio Marchini (1) Juan Martin Nero (9) Martin Espain (5) Total (22)

Ellerston White (white): Richard Le Poer (3) Facundo Pieres (10) Gonzalito Pieres (9) John Williams (0) Total (22)

Umpires: Jason Dixon and Howard Hipman, Referee: Robert Graham

Match commentator: Glen Gilmore

The Final:-

The match was set to be high tension before the day started, Ellerston White were aiming for their sixth Queen's Cup win having triumphed under Kerry Packer in 1991, '92, '96,'98 and lastly in '99. In 1999 Ellerston had comprised James Bein, Adolfo Cambiaso, Tristan Wade and Gonzalo Pieres snr. Loro Piana had reached the final for the first time this year in the 20-22 goal competition having conquered the mighty Dubai, last year's title holders, in the semi-finals  on Wednesday. This was also the first year that Vivari, the London based Lifestyle company's three year sponsorship was in place.

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Chukkas!

1:-    The match itself took little time to settle down once the ball was put in apart from a few hiccups in the first couple of minutes it was very much 'down to business' with the Pieres brothers, Facundo and Gonzalito (in No.s 2 and 3 respectively) scoring respective goals at  alternate ends, Facundo scoring the first, from a penalty at the far end (from the scoreboard) after 4 minutes, and Gonzalito taking the ball right down the field to put it between the posts a minute and a half later. This gave Ellerston the lead 2 - 0. Loro Piana were immediately on the counter attack at the scoreboard end, an infringement took place in the final minute of the chukka (crossing the line - I think) and a penalty was given in front of the posts. Juan Martin Nero put away the first of his many of the afternoon. The chukka finished 2:1 to Ellerston.

2:-    The second chukka started with Loro Piana putting on the pressure at the far end, and gaining a penalty, Juan Martin Nero again took the penalty - a 40 yd hit with it going slightly wide. This was followed up a little later with another penalty - from 60 yds, in the 4th minute, which Juan Martin Nero put away to level the score at 2-2. Ellerston White were back in the action scoring within a minute to take the score to 3:2 to Ellerston. This advantage however was undone by two more penalties being awarded in Loro Piana's favour in the chukka bringing Juan Martin's tally to 4 and putting Loro Piana in the lead 4-3 at the end of the 7 minutes.

3:-    For the first time in the match Ellerston were behind - and I hate to say it - but this was just the beginning of things to come for the next two chukkas. Loro Piana scored their next goal in a matter of seconds - wonderful play by David Stirling to put them ahead 5-3. David Stirling then added another goal to his tally from a 60 yd penalty to take Loro Piana further ahead at 6-3 just 2 minutes into the chukka. Ellerston, as is their standard did not take this lying down and Facundo hit back 1 minute later closing the gap to a more comfortable 2 goals at 6-4; Gonzalito, having changed pony took the ball right down the field to close the gap further to a single goal...David Stirling obviously must have had a private bet, with Juan Martin Nero, about who was to score the most goals as he added his third for the chukka, just a minute and a half after Ellerston's last one bringing the score to a superb goal-fest at 7-5. Gonzalito however engaged in a wonderful display of close ball control in a great tussle and ended the first half with another goal, after the first bell, to bring the score to 7-6 in Loro Piana's favour.

4:-    Ellerston White came 'out of the pit-lane' with Facundo taking the ball and slamming it through the posts at the scoreboard end after only 30 seconds, and having been made a sandwich(!!) - anybody who thought that Ellerston were going to take this lying down might have thought twice at this point. Loro Piana had other ideas though and after another 75 seconds Alfio Marchini opened his scorecard. David Stirling then equalled Juan Martin Nero's tally, of 4 goals, 90 seconds before the end of the chukka to take the score into the 5th at 9-7 to Loro Piana.

5:-    The chukka was a bit untidy as the tension increased on the field, Loro Piana tightened the screw with two further goals, both scored by Juan Martin Nero the first from an acute angle at the scoreboard end after about 3 minutes and the second from an undefended penalty at the far end a minute later - making the score 11-7! Facundo, mounted on 'Music', one of his favourite ponies, at this point scored off a 60 yd penalty. This was then followed up by a wonderful 'scuffle' - showing great ball/stick control in front of the posts at the scoreboard end with Richard Le Poer and Gonzalito heading it up. Richard was given the goal which brought the score at the end of the 5th to 11-9 to Loro Piana.

6:-     'PHEW!!' Okay so Ellerston had pulled back to a gap of just 2 - but this was the 6th chukka - the final chukka - right?! One and a half minutes into the chukka - at the far end Facundo slammed a high ball between the posts - taking the score to a believable come-back in the last for Ellerston 10-11...and there were still 5 minutes to go...David Stirling saved a valiant 'down-the-field' attempt by Facundo about 2 minutes later clearing it about 20 yds from the goal - the scuffles continued - play from end to end with Ellerston being clear in their desperation to score - to level the match - and at 6 minutes and 45 seconds into the last they did - a superb run from Facundo - virtually taking the ball across the line - personal delivery if you want - took it to 11-ALL!! With no change in the score after the first bell we were set for the seventh chukka - the golden goal! This was certainly a match worthy of this final - a real 'Hum-Dinger'!!

Into the seventh...

...the players and the ponies played their hearts out...and it all went on a 30 yd penalty given 3 minutes into the period, my pictures do not show clearly what happened - was it a technical or crossing the line? - I don't know - Gonzalito was absolutely gutted...Loro Piana's Juan Martin Nero took it...and Gonzalito Pieres's stick, instinctively, flew out and intercepted the ball... knocking it upwards... but still through the posts!

Unfortunately someone has to come second - Ellerston White didn't deserve to...

but Loro Piana deserved their first Vivari Queen's Cup.

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