Barbados Polo – First Citizens Barbados Open, 15 March: Holders Hill
Range Rover rolls to victory after sudden-death goal
For the fourth straight day of play, yet another game was forced into sudden death in this year’s edition of the First Citizens Barbados 10-Goal Open Polo Tournament. Playing at the Holders Polo Ridge, Danny Atwell scored the tie-breaker for the Range Rover team that gave them the win in a low-scoring but hotly-contested match against Heineken on Thursday evening.
Philip Tempro betrayed the speed of the scoring when his late first-chukka goal rolled through the uprights with only 1:30 minutes on the clock to put Range Rover on the board. Range Rover’s defensive line did well enough to keep Heineken’s two danger-men Pablo Crespin and Bobby Dundas at bay, while they enjoyed another goal in the second chukker. This time, Simon Crottogave them the two-point lead after four minutes to see them into the halftime interval.
In the third, Crotto scored an easy 20-yard penalty to see Range Rover a clear three points ahead. It was at that point that Heineken decided that it was not a day to be dealt a goalless loss. Richard ‘The velvet helmet’ Gooding, who plays at back and carries a handicap of two, put his team on the board with a deft strike through the uprights while Dundas put a penalty to good use to bring Heineken within one on the final second of the period.
The fourth and final chukka saw Gooding scoring again to even up the odds. Range Rover were on the attack, however, some smart stick-work from Crespin allowed him to strip his advancing opponents. With his sure shot destined for the uprights, a Range Rover mallet found it fit to divert the ball, but Gooding was in the right place at the right time and tapped the ball over the line to tie things up for the first time in the game. Danny Atwell was the man to finish things up in the sudden death chukka and give Range Rover the 4-3 win.
In the evening’s first game, there were a few more firsts recorded. First Group took their first win of the tournament while dealing CIBC First Caribbean their first loss of the First Citizens tournament. First Caribbean started the game in fine style, scoring with Teddy Williams, Oli Taylor and Jack Kidd, while only one goal came from Roddy Williams by the end of the first chukka. The start of the second heralded some bad news for First Caribbean as they were unable to make any of their chances count. On the other hand, First Group made major moves with Williams scoring twice and Max Charlton adding one of his own to give their team the upper hand at the half.
In the third, Stewart Gill was able to pull one back for First Caribbean, but First Group remained elusive as Williams kept them just out of reach. In the final chukka, it was one-way traffic as First Group continued to hammer away at CIBC. Williams rounded up his five-goal performance with one more, while Stephen Williams drove the final nail in the coffin to render the 7-4 result.