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Team Appleton turns tables on Spanish Court
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
It was sweet revenge for Team Appleton in the NCB Capital Markets Jamaica Open polo final against Spanish Court Hotel on Sunday at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates.
On the previous Sunday, Team Appleton were beaten six goals to 5-1/2 by Spanish Court in the opening match of the tournament, but the final was a different story.
Team Appleton raced into a clear lead at the end of the first chukka and went on to win convincingly by 6-1/2 goals to three, thus turning the tables.
Compared to the first match which was fast and furious and went close, Sunday's final lacked that level of thrills and excitement.
Winning captain, James Robertson, member of parliament for West St Thomas, sized up the match.
"We were mindful of Sunday's defeat and played a more tactical game today," he said.
"They prefer a running game and we can't run with them, as was evident in the first game. To beat them we played a slower game with greater possession on our part.
"Santiago (Wulff) played very, very well and in concert with fellow Argentinian Juan Humbert, who led the scoring, were able to lead 3-1/2-1 at the end of the first chukka.
"We kept up the pressure and they couldn't come near us," added Robertson, who was presented with the championship trophy by Chris Williams, managing director of NCB Capital Markets.
Humbert led the way with three goals for Team Appleton, as Wulff flicked in two and Robertson one from a melee in the closing stages of the third chukka. The fourth player on the yellow-clad Appleton team was Craig Russell.
Spanish Court, who switched from red to light blue on this occasion, comprised Paul Lalor (captain), Mark Wates, Marc Melville and the Argentinian Jorge Donovan. Lalor, Melville and Donovan got a goal apiece.
In the opening subsidiary final between the losing semi-finalists, Team Mitsubishi defeated Team Jamaica 6-4, thanks to goals from Martin Ravina (3), Shane Chin (2) and Lesley Fong-Yee.
Oprah, owned by James Robertson and groomed by Boysie Campbell, won the award for best playing pony.
A number of charities benefited from the tournament, to the tune of $271,000. For each goal scored on Sunday, $10,000 was offered by the NCB Foundation to the favourite charity of the scorer. Hence Humbert, with three goals in the final, saw $30,000 going to his favourite charity, the Carberry Court Special School, which picked up another $10,000 by virtue of Robertson's goal for the same charity.
Entertainment was provided by Fab Five.
Topline polo continues today with the Battle of the Sexes match at Caymanas Estates, starting at 4.30 p.m. The action switches to Drax Hall in St Ann tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.