The Raleigh vs James Royal Palm-Jet Blue. (Photo: The Polo Life/Mitchell Zachs)
The ninth annual La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup, the world’s largest and most prestigious Beach Polo competition, ended its second day of play with a capacity crowd on the edge of their seats and a penalty goal shoot-out to look forward to on the final day.
There was no lack of effort on the part of any of the competing teams in Saturday afternoon’s matches, with each of the three victories coming by one goal margins.
The Raleigh team, consisting of Bash Kazi, Juan Monteverde, John Gobin and David Tafuri, scored the first win of the day in a hard fought 14-13 victory over a game James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team (Neku Atawadi, Oscar Mancini and Sebastian Dawnay).
The Raleigh bounced back from a 7-6 first half deficit, behind six second half goals from Juan Monteverde (the team’s high scorer with nine goals). James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team’s Oscar Mancini scored a game high of 12 goals in a losing effort.
The team from La Martina, consisting of Guillermo Steta, Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida, battled Merchant Hub (Tommy Kato, Jamie Morrison and Luis Escobar) to a 5-5 halftime score and trailed 8-7 with just one chukker to play. Dominic State replaced an injured Tommy Kato (who suffered a pulled groin muscle) as Merchant Hub took an 8-7 one goal lead after the chukker.
Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida scored two goals apiece in the final period for the 11-10 win despite a frantic rush by the Merchant Hub trio. Torres and Gracida scored four goals apiece in the victory while Merchant Hub’s Luis Escobar led all scoring with eight goals.
The final game of the day was another nail biter. The team from Grey Goose (Tom Ravenal, Lance Vetter, Vincent Mesker and Guille Usandizaga) and the team from Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (MZ Kazi, Carlitos Gracida, Kris Kampsen and Claudio Ochoa) tied it up at 3-3 after the first chukker and 6-6 after the second.
Grey Goose took a 10-8 lead in the third chukker, outscoring SLH 4-2, but SLH wasn’t ready to roll over yet. Trailing 13-10, Grey Goose watched Kris Kampsen convert a 2-point goal from midfield and tied it up at 13-13 with time running out.
A foul by SLH sent Grey Goose’s Vincent Mesker to the penalty line with 16 seconds on the clock. Mesker converted the shot for the winning goal sending the tournament finals in to confusion.
With three teams – La Martina, The Raleigh and Grey Goose – all tied at 2-0, a shoot-out is scheduled to be played at 2:00pm, following Sunday’s 1:00pm match between Merchant Hub and the James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team.
The top two shoot-out winners will face one another in the 3:00pm finals. The loser will play SLH immediately following the shoot-out.
Day three of the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup comes down to the wire. 2013, April 18. By Ales Webbe. Retrieved from http://livingpolo.com/news/335530-day-three-of-the-la-martina-miami-beach-polo-world-cup-comes-down-to-the-wire/.