By Georgios Tontos
Gibraltar starts the UEFA Nations League campaign with a winning result, after beating San Marino 1-0 at home. It was a very competitive game for the second group of League D, in the debut of the talented young Graeme Torilla with the national team, affording three points in the battle for the first position of the group against Liechtenstein and San Marino.
In an empty stadium with just a few officials, substitutes and press due to the global conditions and the new UEFA regulations, it was an unusual scene for a football match. Something that definitely affected both teams and certainly Gibraltar much more as a host. This was evident as the first significant chance came in the 35th minute of the match, while the San Marino team did not create any opportunity in the first half, giving Gibraltar goalkeeper Dayle Coleing a quiet first half.
It was the third official victory in the history of Gibraltar with Julio Ribas as coach after last year’s great victories against Armenia and Liechtenstein for the Nation League, in the return of Scott Viseman to the team after four years of absence. With coach Rimbas, the team built the foundations for victories in the group’s next games, creating a competitive team with experienced players such as Liam Walker, Scott Wiseman and Lee Casciaro, and talented young players such as Olivero and Torilla helping the team significantly.
Ribas has made five changes to the starting line-up since last November’s 6-1 defeat to Switzerland, with Jack Sergeant, Erin Barnett, Joseph Chipolina, Mohamed Badr and Tjay De Barr being replaced by Scott Wiseman, Louie Annesley, Anthony Hernandez, Jayce Olivero and Graeme Torrilla, who scored in his debut, turning his goal into a late birthday present two days after his birthday.
Gibraltar started the game better with experienced defender Wiseman making many runs from the right, and with his side attacks creating serious problems in the defense of San Marino. In the 35th minute, the first proper chance for Gibraltar was created; a great passage of play saw Wiseman’s cross headed wide by Ethan Britto. Eight minutes later, Gibraltar managed to score and unlock San Marino’s closed defense. Liam Walker’s free-kick found the head of Torrilla, who guided the ball past Benedettini, and sent Gibraltar to the locker room with the victory score. At the beginning of the second half, San Marino created the opportunity of the match with Fillipo Berrardi being in an advantageous position for a goal, but shot outside Coleing’s right post. Gibraltar woke up after that miss and regained control of the game, looking for a second goal that would give them a comfortable win.
Torilla’s debut with the national team was just his second appearance in 16 months after his serious injury in April 2019. Many runs in the center field and many offensive actions were made by the young player.
The next match for Gibraltar is in Liechtenstein on the 10th of October.
Playtech sponsors the Gold Cup
Despite the upheaval caused by the coronavirus, the 49th International Mansion Polo Championships went ahead in August at the Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande.
The French team Sainte Mesme snatched up the title of the Playtech Gold Cup, after beating the Pakistani team BN Polo Team 11 to 10 in the grand final on Sunday 30thAugust. The Gold Cup is said to be the most important in the Championships, being one of the four most prestigious trophies in theworld of polo.
All in all, polo enthusiasts were treated to 30 days+ of intense competition, with 10 of the best teamsfrom the United States, Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Pakistan.
During the awards ceremony, Georgina Morello, COO Project Specialist & Welfare Officer at Playtech Gibraltar, handed over the Playtech Gold Cup 14-goal handicap to Sainte Mesme. She was accompanied on the podium by the Vice-President of the Andalusian Governmentand Minister for Tourism, Juan Marín, and the Mayor of San Roque, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix.
Playtech looks forward to partaking in next year’s International Championships earmarked for August 2021, which also marks The Santa María Polo Club’s 50th anniversary.
The Mansion Trophy
The winner of the Mansion Trophy was David Murphy with a great score of 39 Stableford points off a handicap of 14. David won the Caterford Trophy at the 2nd Event and the Cat 2 prize at Event 3. He also won the team prize with Matthew Robinson.
The best gross score was Steve Munns’ round of 82. Steve was also the Category 1 winner with a score of 37 points and took the prize for nearest to the pin on a par 3.
The best senior was Paul Miles with 36 points and the best gross score on all the par holes was Kristian Svensson with a score of 1 over par.
The handicap category prizes were won as follows:
Category 1 (handicaps 0 to 13): The winner was Steve Munns with a score of 37 points. Steve has already qualified for the Med Golf Masters.
Category 2 (handicaps 14 to 21): Matthew Robinson was the winner with 38 Stableford points which qualifies him for the Med Golf Masters and won him the coveted Masters Shirt.
Category 3 (handicap 22 to 30): The winner was Dusan Matys with 37 stableford points. A deserved win as Dusan scored enough points to take this prize at a previous event, but was barred as a first time member. This Time Dusan gets the prize, the Masters Shirt and a qualification to the Med Golf Masters.
The Gourmet Catering Med Golf Rankings
Only the top ten players will qualify for the Med Golf Masters at San Roque:
David Murphy, Ross Harkins, John Hunter, Matthew Robinson, Louis Calvente, Ian McNee, Martyn J Brown, Nicky Sanchez, Steve Munns, Chris Warren