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BARBADOS - polo

Danny Atwell raising his hand in delight after scoring Barbados' first goal in the sudden death round. (Pictures by Clifton Henry.)

Compliments of the Nation News by EZRA STUART

IT WAS POLO from the penalty spot with a gripping shoot-out between Barbados and Argentina at the picturesque Clifton Polo Club in St Thomas.

Barbados, inspired by a brilliant sudden death penalty conversion by Jamie Dixon prevailed 4-3 over the visiting Argentina team to capture
the Little Switzerland Trophy.

The shoot-out, contested over three rounds with all four members of each team allocated three penalty shots from 60 yards, kicked off the 2007 international season.

With a strong breeze on a windy afternoon, some players went for power and others looked for precise placement.

The decision to have the shoot-out proved to be a satisfying substitute after the international match had to be cancelled because morning showers made the outfield too soft.

From the opening shot, which was missed by Argentine Ricardo Estrada, to the last penalty, which Dixon clinically converted, the polo aficionados, headed by Sir Charles Williams, were treated to a keen battle with some near misses.

But the tension really intensified among the 500 spectators who were invited to come on the field to watch the shoot-out from close range after the scores were locked 3-3.

Argentina's representative Max Moore had cancelled out Danny Atwell's successful shot in the first sudden-death round, but Dixon coolly cantered from the centre of the field and stroked the ball between the two goal posts.


Tied score


It was the second successful shot for Dixon. The South American visitors then took the lead with a superb strike which went high in the air but flew between the uprights.

After a barren second round when all the players shot wide of the mark, Moore again scored for Argentina with a superb shot through the centre of the bars.

But Teddy Williams, instead of riding up towards the ball, strolled towards the spot and calmly hit the ball all along the lush-green outfield between the upright to level the score at 2-2.

In the subsequent sudden-death shoot-off, Estrada missed for Argentina but Danny Atwell made a superb strike to give Barbados what many thought was a winning 3-2 score.

But it was decided that all the team members had to take a shot in the sudden-death round and Pablo Crespin made good the next shot to tie
it up at 3-3.

Philip Tempro and Williams then hit wide for Barbados and Moore was also off-target for Argentina while the unfortunate Andreas Rossi
hit the upright with his effort, leaving Dixon, who had also struck the upright on his second shot, to deliver the winning hit.

The action continues on Sunday at the Lion Castle Polo Ground in St Thomas from 4 p.m.


* ezrastuart@nationnews.com

 

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