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Spanish Court, Team Appleton to contest final
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Defending champions Spanish Court Hotel and Team Appleton will contest tomorrow's NCB Capital Markets Jamaica Open 14-goal polo final, after squeezing through Wednesday's semi-finals at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates.
In a situation where all four teams lost one of their two matches, the finalists were determined by the rule book - according to Lesley Fong-Yee, Jamaica's most celebrated female polo player.
"Both games were tough and very competitive," she said.
No team dominated, no player dominated and as a result the scoring was limited, unlike Sunday's opening matches which produced many goals.
"It took lengthy deliberations to decide on the two finalists and in a way there were no losers," she added.
The two losers in Sunday's opening matches, Team Appleton and Team Mitsubishi, came back to win on Wednesday, leaving it wide open. It required more than goal difference to determine the finalists.
The Mitsubishi team, comprising Shane Chin, Lesley Fong-Yee, Fernando Asanjo and Martin Ravina, clipped Spanish Court 2-1/2 goals to two in the first match on Wednesday but this was not enough to send them to the final.
In the second match, the Appleton team with Juan Humbert, Craig Russell, Santiago Wulff and Member of Parliament James Robertson, came from behind in the final chukka to beat Team Jamaica 4-1/2 to three.
The Spanish Court team comprised Jorge Donovan, Paul Lalor, Mark Wates and Marc Melville. Significantly, the two finalists met in the opening match on Sunday and Spanish Court (red team) clipped the yellow-clad Team Appleton by six goals to 5-1/2.
In last Sunday's second match, Team Appleton pipped Mitsubishi 9-8.
Mitsubishi and Team Jamaica (John G. Byles, Andy Vernon, Kurt and Paul Chin) will contest the subsidiary final on Sunday, starting at noon, followed by the grand final at 1:30.