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Black Bears take Gold Cup

Amateur player Guy Schwarzenbach accepted the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship on behalf of the Black Bears from Lady Cowdray yesterday afternoon (23 July), after winning the most coveted trophy in polo.

The tournament started on 1 July and Schwarzenbach secured his place in the Final with a long shot to goal on the final hooter of the Semi Final. His contribution in the Final, when Black Bears met Ellerston, the Australian team founded by the late Kerry Packer, was equally impressive.

Ellerston, with James Packer at the helm, knocked out 2005 winners Dubai in the Semi Finals and were considered favourites for the Final. Facundo Pieres for Ellerston opened the scoring but by the end of the chukka Black Bears had notched up four goals.

In the second, Gonzalito Pieres for Ellerston pulled back two more so that by half time both teams had five goals. Tight marking prevented any significant changes through the fourth and fifth chukkas but Facundo Pieres took his team ahead to 8-6 at the start of the final chukka and it appeared that the Ellerston camp might have secured victory.

But it was not to be. Young Schwarzenbach outshone his semi final performance by scoring two more goals, levelling the scores at 8-8. As the time clock counted down the final seconds of the match and a seventh chukka seemed inevitable, Javier Novillo Astrada secured victory for the Black Bears with a spectacular goal.

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