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By Alejandra Ocampos Photo by www.imagesofpolo.com It was a cloudy day in Midhurst, but with no rain. That was the important thing: in a very wet British summer, the rain, the "star" of the season, decided to take a and leave the Gold Cup for the British Open final alone, with no water. However, the ground at Cowdray Park Polo Club, where Cortium and El Remanso played the match that decided Europe's most coveted polo trophy, and one of the three Grand Slams of the year, was not in the ideal shape, due to the constant and heavy rains that seemed to settle comfortably in England. Both Cortium and El Remanso earned a spot in the finals after defeating two of the biggest candidates. Let's see: Cortium, say Adrian Kirby and his boys (Jaime García Huidobro, Francisco Elizalde and Polito Pieres), defeated Sumaya, leaving them with no final and with no unbeaten condition; on the other side, El Remanso (the two Hanbury brothers, plus Pelon Stirling and Guillermo Terrera), sent the powerful Dubai team home, with no less than Adolfo Cambiaso. The two semifinals had somehting in common: they were decided in the last chukka. So, a very tight and close final was expected. Cortium hit first, by the start of the first chukka, with a goal by Jaime García Huidobro. The advantage didn't last that much, as two 30 yards penalties, both converted by Guillermo Terrera, gave El Remanso a 2-1 lead; it could have been 3-1, but Pelon Stirling failed to score a penalty. Cortium made a comeback in the second chukker. Adrian Kirby's team was awarded with two consecutive 30-yards penalty shots, both converted by Polito Pieres. This meant that Cortium was in the lead - 3-2 - by the end of the second chukka. Until then, a match dominated by fouls: four of the five goals scored were all on penalty shots. Both El Remanso and Cortium failed to score at the start of the third chukker, which featured some fast and intense play, despite there was only one goal. A foul by Jaime García Huidobro led into a 30 yards penalty in favour of El Remanso, that was converted by Guillermo Terrera. By half time, the scoreboard read a 3-all. But the best was about to come after half time. By the start of the fourth frame, Cortium was back in the lead, through a 40-yards penalty conversion by Polito Pieres. El Remanso answered quickly with the first two field goals in two chukkas: a neckshot by Pelon Stirling, and another by Charlie Hanbury to level at 4-all. Action followed with a corner shot by Polito Pieres to give Cortium a 5-4 advantage, but the chukka would end with the Hanburys & Co leading 6-5, with two goals by Pelon Stirling: one from the field and the other through a 60-yards penalty. The fifth chukka started with a penalty converted by Stirling that extended El Remanso's advantage to 7-5. Following a great play from Charlie Hanbury that went out, Cortium's strong attack ended in a goal by Jaime García Huidobro to close the gap to one goal and then Polito Pieres, after a great play, sent the scoreboard to 7-all. But it didn't last that much. After a fantastic play by Pelon Stirling, Charlie Hanbury picked the ball and hit a backhander to put El Remanso on the lead 8-7 with only seven minutes remaining. As it happened in the semifinals, Cortium and El Remanso would decide the final in the last chukka, with some chances to get into OT. Those chances flied away for a while, when Pelon Stirling scored a tremendous goal to give El Remanso a 9-7 lead. Seemed that El Remanso had to control the match and maybe score one more goal to secure the victory. But Cortium was far from giving up. In the last minutes of play, their secret weapon appeared: Polito Pieres. Polito, who already scored five goals, was in charge to put the ice on the cake. He started with a 30 yards penalty conversion that closed the gap to one goal. Polito showed no mercy, and scored a fabulous field goal to level the scores at 9-all. With less than a minute remaining, the thoughts of an extra chukka were possible. But there was Polito who said it was over. With just a few seconds remaining, he sealed a fantastic performance with the goal that secured the title to the happy and euphoric Cortium boys. Polito Pieres, the man of the match, was undoubtedly named MVP. A very well deserved award for a player who had an amazing international season, that started in the US. Hernán Pieres' Don Urbano Rollinga, a stallion played by Polito took BPP honors. In other awards, Sumaya's Facundo Sola was the tournament's top scorer and the Harper Award went to El Remanaso's Charlie Hanbury. Adrian Kirby It's been a great tournament, I'm very happy for the team, for Cortium sports, and four our brand, as well as my team mates who have been fantastic, they never gave up, and never thought about losing this match. Everything went really good, the team and the horses.I think I had many good teams in the past. We played some semifinals... but this team has been very special, very balanced. Regarding to the match, I guess the chance to get into overtime could have been a disaster!!!! (laughs) Anyway, the match was more leveled than I expected. El Remanso is a very good team, and I want to congratulate them for playing such a great final. Fran Elizalde: I still can't believe it, it's such a huge happiness, I can't explain what I feel. It's a dream come true, I didn't think I could get it, I'm happy, that's all I can say. You know, we got into the last chukker trailing by two goals but we never gave up. We looked at each other with Polito and we knew we could do it. Fortunately, luck was on our side. I want to dedicate this win to my family in Argentina, to the boys who work with me, the Heguys, who helped me at the start of my career. A big thank you to each and everyone of you. Polito Pieres This is great!!! This is my first time here, my first team and I won the Gold Cup... I don't know how, but we did it!!!! We didn't talk nothing in particular before entering the last chukka. The idea was put pressure and more pressure, and hit the ball. We had to do that to win the match. I guess this win is great to me to keep growing and improving. want to thank to my family and specially my dad, who came from California, and all my friends, who are always with me whether I win or I lose. Jaime García Huidobro: It's amazing!!!!! You always dream about Palermo, the US Open, the Gold Cup and the Queen's Cup, and you always want to win one of those big tournaments. Having won the Gold Cup is incredible. I still don't realize it, I guess I will tomorrow... To me, it was a strange feeling, 50-50, because I'm very close to El Remanso, the boys are great, and we're still good friends. They are a great team, they played really well. But obviously I'm playing with another shirt and I wanted to win. Regarding to the match, I thought we could get into an extra chukka. We were trailing by two and things didn't look that well for us. But Polito scored a couple of fantastic goals. I think it was a very leveled match, and the good thing was that our best moment came in the last chukka. John Horswell (Cortium coach) This has been fantastic for us. I told the boys to give their best, and they got it. The last chukka was great, we were trailing by two, and the guys won it. Three goals, pure guts.