by Diana Butler

Kildare patron Andrew Dechet finished his 2015 season with his best win of year, capturing the 16-goal Land Rover Duke of Cornwall final at Guards Polo Club. Not only did he receive the silver trophy from Richard Duncan, Sponsorship Manager of Land Rover UK, but he was also named the Land Rover Most Valuable Player. Andrew had scored an impressive goal in the early stages of the match, but then produced a long run down the field in the fourth and final chukka to score the last goal of the game, breaking the deadlock and giving Kildare an 8-7 victory over Mark Wadhwa’s Oakley Court Polo Team.

Andrew’s team had dominated the first half of the match, sponsored by Land Rover for the first time, and were leading 4-3 at half time. Oakley Court found their form in the second half though. They started the third with a penalty to level the scores and then just continued to pile on the pressure. Alejandro Muzzio and Jack Richardson produced some great runs and such strong play put Oakley Court in front with a 6-4 advantage. Not surprisingly Alejandro later received the Land Rover Best Playing Pony Rug for Hawaii whom he had played in this chukka. With just a minute left in the third chukka Federico Boudou, who had played a strong game at two for Kildare, produced a perfect pass to Hissam Ali Hyder to score and close the gap to just one goal going into the final chukka.

Within a minute of the start of the fourth, two goals put Kildare ahead once more. Then, with only three minutes remaining, Kildare won a penalty which would have wrapped up this match. Uncharacteristically, Boudou sent this wide and so Oakley Court were back in the game. So when Alejandro Muzzio converted a penalty for Oakley Court to level the scores with just a couple of minutes left, extra time seemed likely. Man of the match Andrew Dechet had other ideas though and produced his flying run from beyond the half-way line to score the winning goal.

Land Rover is in the first year of a three-year deal as Official Partner of Guards Polo Club. The Duke of Cornwall Trophy saw Land Rover as title sponsor for the first time, adding to Land Rover’s growing support of equestrian sport in the UK and around the world. Thanks to Land Rover’s sponsorship not only did the winners receive gorgeous leather travel bags, but as winning patron Andrew will receive exclusive use of Land Rover’s box at Twickenham for the Barbarians v Argentina rugby game this November. The perfect way to celebrate a Land Rover polo victory.

The sub final saw Shalimar, winner of the main final in 2013, defeat Nipas 6-4 in another fast paced game on The Queen’s Ground.

The teams:
Bridge House of Twyford (+15)

Mo Sheikh (0)
Will Emerson (+5)
Chris MacKenzie (+5)
Peter Webb (+5)

Kildare (+15)
Hamza Mawaz (+3)
Andrew Dechet (+1)
Ryan Pemble (+5)
Hissam Ali Hyder (+6)

Oakley Court Polo Team (+16)
Mark Wadhwa (0)
Hernan Muzzio (+3)
Alejandro Muzzio (+7)
Jack Richardson (+6)

Marchfield Polo (+16)
Saad Audeh (0)
Manuel Plaza (+6)
Marcos Araya (+7)
TBC (+3)

Shalimar (+16)
Kassem Shafi (0)
Nico Antinori (+5)
Manuel Fernandez Llorente (+6)
Vieri Antinori (+5)

Nipas (+16)
Neils Van Der Hoevan (+1)
Miguel Duggan (+4)
Jonny Good (+5)
Chris Hyde (+6)

Gallery:

www.guardspoloclub.com