HRH Prince Charles flanked by the Winning UK Team, Tournament Sponsors and Guards Polo Club Officials.
ENGLAND KEEPS THE CUP
By Ron Allen
With new grandpa His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales looking on, it took an extra chukker for England to keep the prestigious Westchester Cup in the U.K.
The match at Guards Polo Club opened with two points on the scoreboard for the visiting U.S. team since they took a 26-goal squad overseas to face off against an all pro 28-goal England team. The boys from Britain managed to knock in two in the opening chukker but they trailed 3 to 2 starting the second chukker. After two it was tied at four – four.
American born Argentine Polito Pieres caught fire in the hotly contested third scoring three consecutive goals for his U.S. team. England scurried to catch up and by the half time bell the Americans were clinging to a one goal lead 8 to 7.
Marc Ganzi defends against Mark Tomlinson
It wasn’t until the middle of the fourth that James Beim put England ahead for the first time since early in the second chukker. Luke Tomlinson nailed a penalty shot to secure a 10-8 lead for the English.
Both teams scored a goal apiece in the fifth to make it 11-9. That set the stage for a no holds barred sixth period with Nic Roldan narrowing the margin by one and then with time running out veteran Mike Azzaro pounced
on a loose ball in front of the goalmouth and backed it between the posts to tie the game at 11 all to force the Westchester Cup into overtime.
The Americans had first chance to win it but Pieres shot on goal went wide. At the other end John Paul Clarkin managed to tap it out of the air and then, under pressure from Polito, Clarkin scored the biggest goal of his career. England wins the Westchester Cup, in overtime, 12 to 11 to make it three in a row for the British.
Prince Charles presented the world’s oldest international cup to the winners.