On July 12th, Lucchese met Black Bears in the quarter finals of the Gold Cup for the British Open. The Black Bears (Guy Schwarzenbach, Tomas Garbarini, John Paul Clarkin and Patrick O’Dwyer) took the lead early in the match, but eventually fell to Lucchese. Nico Pieres scored three goals in the final period and claimed victory for Lucchese, edging out the Black Bears 10 - 9.
The victory secures a spot on the semifinals for Lucchese. Patron John Muse spoke to Hurlingham Polo Magazine post match and said, “‘It was a hard-fought, close match which could have gone either way. To come out on top was great.”
For the semis, Lucchese played King Power Polo on Wednesday, July 16th. In an interesting twist, King Power is led by Gonzalo Pieres — a 10-goal player who is also the older bother of Lucchese's Nico Pieres.
Hurlingham reported that from the outset, "the elder of the Pieres brothers gained control of the game, but [it] remained to be seen in the following chukkas if older or younger brother would eventually win the match with their team." After a back-and-forth battle to equalize, the score was 7 all at half-time. However, in the 5th chuckker King Power significantly pulled ahead with three more goals.
Sport journalist Alex Webbe wrote, "in the final chukker Lucchese fought valiantly to get back into the game, but King Power was ready defensively. Gonzalito scored to give King Power a 14-9 lead, but Lucchese fought on. Nico Pieres converted a 60-yard penalty shot for the final score in the game."
The semifinal game wrapped at 14-10, with King Power progressing to the final match to be played against Dubai on Sunday, July 20th. It is King Power's sixth straight win in the British Open. The final match will be broadcasted live on Pololine.tv.
Lucchese now moves on to the USPA Lucchese Silver Cup at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, from July 30 – August 10.
July 16th: King Power vs. Lucchese (14 - 10)
July 12th: Lucchese vs. Black Bears (10 - 9)