The final day of preliminary play in the 130th Argentine Open Polo Championship at Palermo began with Ellerstina Yellow Rose (Nicolas Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, Bautista Bayugar, Ignatius du Plessis) facing La Irenita Clinova (Facundo F. Llorente, Tomas F. Llorente, Matias Torres Zavaleta, Isidro Strada).
Shooting with 46% accuracy from the field, Ellerstina Yellow Rose got off to an early lead with Gonzalo Pieres leading the offensive efforts. Responding for La Irenita Clinova, Facundo F. Llorente found the posts twice in the half, but two conversions on the scoreboard gave Ellerstina Yellow Rose a comfortable 7-2 lead at the horn.
Despite a three-goal effort from La Irenita Clinova’s Facundo F. Llorente to open the second half, Ellerstina Yellow Rose were soon back on the attack, putting together an impressive five goal run, including two off the mallet of Nicolas Pieres. Despite almost matching each other in shots, Ellerstina Yellow Roses’ early lead combined with their ability to keep their opponents off the penalty line led to the 13-7 win.
Ranked eighth overall in the tournament, El Overo Z7 UAE will play the Repechage for a spot in next year’s Triple Crown. Despite ending their season with a victory, Ellerstina Yellow Rose is officially eliminated from 2024 Triple Crown participation and will need to compete in the Classification for the opportunity to qualify for the 131st Argentine Open.
Wrapping up Sunday’s doubleheader, La Natividad (Camilo Castagnola, Facundo Pieres, Bartolome Castagnola Jr., Pablo Mac Donough) went head-to-head against La Ensenada Brubank (Juan Britos, Alfredo Bigatti, Juan Martin Zubia, Jeronimo del Carril).
Doubling their opponents in shots from the field, La Natividad went six for eleven in open play, including three goals from Camilo Castagnola. Also leading the team in green on conversions, Castagnola added another two at the line. Unable to find a consistent rhythm from the field, Britos and del Carril kept La Ensenada Brubank within striking distance on conversions, as La Natividad took a narrow 8-7 lead into the break.
Matching each other stride-for-stride in open play, each team posted ten shots on goal, but La Natividad’s 68% shooting accuracy ultimately gave them the edge. Combining for six field goals, Camilo Castagnola and Pieres led the offensive charge, as La Ensenada Brubank struggled to find the posts. Relying on three penalty goals from de Carril to keep them in contention, La Ensenada Brubank’s comeback attempt fell short as La Natividad sealed the 17-14 victory to confirm the anticipated match-up against La Dolfina Saudi for the coveted title.
This will be the third consecutive Argentine Open final match-up between the two powerhouse organizations, with La Natividad claiming the title 15-13 in 2021, and La Dolfina Saudi taking the re-match 13-9 in 2022. Following the conclusion of play on Sunday, La Natividad’s Camilo Castagnola currently leads the competition with 34 goals in the Open and 90 goals overall in the Triple Crown.
Saturday, December 2
130th Argentine Open Polo Championship Final
La Dolfina Saudi vs La Natividad
Photo Credit: ©Matías Callejo/Prensa AAP