By Alex Webbe
Wins by Enigma (Jerome Wirth, Chris Mackenzie, Sapo Caset and Guillermo Willington) and UAE Polo (Kian Hall, Lucas Monteverde, Pablo MacDonough and Ollie Cudmore) in the 2014 Cartier Queens Cup quarterfinals set the stage for next Wednesday’s semifinals.
UAE Polo defeated El Remanso (Hugo Lewis, Charlie Hanbury, Pelon Stirling and Guillermo Terrera), 11-8 in the 11am contest while Enigma battled a stubborn Lucchese team (John Muse, Lucas James, Nico Pieres and Luke Tomlinson) to a 16-15 victory in the 3pm match.
UAE Polo got off on the right hoof by beating last year’s finalist, El Remanso, as they bounced back from a halftime deficit with a strong second half performance to win the game.
All even after the first two chukker when a strong third period performance from 10-goaler Pelon Stirling, who scored twice, put El Remanso on top, 5-4.
El Remanso’s offense deserted them in the fourth and fifth chukkers. Ten-goaler Pablo MacDonough took advantage of the opportunity by adding a couple of goals in each chukker, Lucas Monteverde added a goal himself as UAE Polo stretched their lead to four goals, 9-5, with one chukker left to play.
El Remanso came to life again in the final chukker, with Guillermo Terrera adding a goal and Stirling scoring twice, but it was not to be. Ollie Cudmore scored his second goal of the match with MacDonough scoring for the seventh time on the afternoon for the 11-8 win.
The victory lifted UAE into Wednesday’s semifinals against either Dubai or Talandracas with El Remanso being forced to watch from the sidelines.
Enigma 16, Lucchese 15
The second match of the day was a real toss-up, with Lucchese taking the early lead, 3-2, but Enigma fired right back.
Outscoring Lucchese 3-2 in the second Enigma managed to tie it up at 5-5 at the end of the second.
The two teams matched one another goal for goal in the third, resulting in a 7-7 halftime tie with no indication of who had control of the game.
A renewed Enigma team took the field in the second half, getting two goals from Sapo Caset and a single goal from Guillermo Willington. The Enigma defense limited the Lucchese quartet to a single goal, and for the first time all day there was a two goal spread with Enigma ahead 10-8.
Enigma got the upper hand on Lucchese once again in fifth chukker play. Enigma came up with three goals while limiting Lucchese to a pair of penalty goals from Nico Pieres. Enigma left the field at the end of the fifth chukker with a 13-10 advantage.
Lucchese dog down deep in the sixth, scoring five times in an effort to get back into the game, but Enigma wasn’t having it. Three more goals were enough to quell the Lucchese rally and carry Enigma to a hard-fought 16-15 victory and a trip to the semifinals.
UAE Polo will now play in the first semi-final on Wednesday, June 11th at 3pm at Guards Polo Club. They will play the winner of the Dubai vs. Talandracas game. Enigma will play at 5pm. Their opponent will be the winner of Sunday’s Zacara vs. Fox & Hounds match.