England Retakes America

Date:    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An early USA lead was quickly reversed by England, who dominated the match and held off a 6th chukker seige to win the 23-year old silver Liberty Trophy Cup with 12-10 on Saturday, Aug. 30th in the NBC 10 Newport International Polo Series, Presented by your Rhode Island BMW Centers.  

Playing for England were Shane Younger at #1, Paul de Rivaz at #2, Marcus Hancock at #3 and Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers at #4.  The USA squad was AMy Rice at #1, Christer Still at #2, Dan Keating at #3 and Peter Friedman at #4.  Umpires were Jim DeAngelis and Ted Torrey.

The players were introduced and the English and US national anthems were sung, a capella by RI tenor, Joe Cantone.

While the English team marveled at the surging audience, acclimated to their borrowed mounts and cleverly sized up their opponents In the opening chukker, USA took quick home field advantage with goals by Still and Friedman for a 2-0 lead.

England released the Kraken in the 2nd period, with a fierce pair of goals by Hancock to tie the score, but USA's defense gave Friedman the window to reclaim a 1-point edge for USA, 3-2.

In a fury, Hancock hustled the next 2 points to put England in charge in the 3rd period, then Colquhoun-Denvers converted a costly Penalty 2 to pad England's lead, followed by another Hancock goal, for a comfy 6-3 lead for England at the halfway point.

USA was still in a tailspin in the 4th chukker, whilst Hancock and Colquhoun-Denvers amused themselves with 3 more points for England's cache of 9, to USA's 3.  

The buck stopped in the 5th chukker when USA's defense held off the English advance, except for an unfortunate Penalty 2 conversion by Hancock, for a 10-3 rift.

With a strategy of their own, USA saved their best mounts for the 6th chukker, and rallied with 7 points by Still (2), Keating (2), Friedman (2) and Rice, but a Penalty 3 conversion and a final fieldgoal by Hancock held off the ambush for a 12-10 English victory.  

Meanwhile the Tailgate Contest prize bottle of Hangar 1 Vodka was awarded to a nicely furnished tailgate picnic, and the door prize drawing awarded a $100 Massage Envy gift card to a lucky Newport resident!  The 2-hour match conclude with a champagne trophy presentation by Veuve Cliqquot, hosted by Alex and Ani's Carolyn Rafaelian handing out the silver. 

BMW had a fabulous collection of 2014 model vehicles on display for Test Drives, from 1-4pm at the polo grounds!   Other specialty vendors for the day included Alex and Ani's bangle bar, Pedago Electric Bikes, She Shells Handbags and Newport Polo's Pro Shop.  A special bake sale by students from St. Philomena School supported kids' educational programs at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.