Crab Orchard to face Las Monjitas in Piaget Gold Cup Finals
By Alex Webbe
It was the second semifinals of the 2010 USPA Piaget Gold Cup between Lechuza and Las Monjitas at the International Polo club in Wellington when it happened. Las Monjitas led 9-8 with 2:27 left in the game when the accident occurred. A slightly off balance Eduardo Astrada swung for a backhand shot when horse and rider went to the turf. The ten-goaler lay motionless on the ground as players and paramedics rushed to his side. Although he regained consciousness almost immediately, preventative measures were taken as he was strapped to a gurney and removed from the field in an ambulance.
Las Monjitas turned to brother Miguel Astrada to finish the game for him, but upon resumption of the game, but the momentum had turned. Lechuzaâ€™s Santiago Toccalino sent it into overtime with his fourth goal of the game.
Las Monjitas returned to win the game in the sudden-death overtime period on a penalty shot from Alejandro Astrada for the 10-9 win and an appearance in Sundays finals.
CRAB ORCHARD 16, HAWKS 12
In the earlier semifinal Piaget Gold Cup match, Crab Orchard came back from a 9-7 halftime deficit to score a resounding 16-12 win over the Hawks and earn a berth in the finals against Las Monjitas.
In what started out as a closely contested match, Crab Orchard was tested by Hawks 10-goaler Mariano Aguerreâ€™s leadership and the teamwork of his teammates.
After trailing 2-1 after the first chukker, the Hawks had it all even at 4-4 after two second period goals from Julian Mannix and a penalty conversion from brother Fred Mannix. Crab Orchard got single goals from Hilario Ulloa and Julian Arellano.
A third chukker surge from the Hawks had every member of the team getting on the scoreboard. Single goals were scored by Pancho Bensadon, Fred and Julian Mannix while holding the Crab orchard team to a pair of penalty goals and another goal from the field from Ulloa. The Hawks led 9-7 at the end of the first half.
Crab Orchard returned to the field for the forth chukker determined to take control of the game. Behind three field goals from Ulloa and a penalty shot from Arellano, Crab orchard took an 11-10 lead. The Hawks were held to a single goal from Bensadon.
Fifth chukker goals from Ulloa and Adolfo Cambiaso had them up 13-11 as the Hawks ended the scoring with a penalty conversion from Mariano Aguerre.
The Hawks cut the lead to a single goal, 13-12, with Cambiaso scoring three straight goals to end the game and give Crab Orchard a 16-12 victory.
The win boosts Crab orchard into its second consecutive 26-goal final, having previously won the C. V. Whitney Cup. Crab orchard will meet Las Monjitas in Sundayâ€™s 3 pm finals.
AUDI 16, ORCHARD HILL 10
Earlier in the day, Audi scored a 16-10 win over Orchard Hill to advance to the finals of the Butler Handicap at noon on Sunday.
In what looked to be a rematch of last yearâ€™s US Open finals, the two teams battled through a hotly contested first four chukkers before Audi broke it loose with a four goal fifth chukker. Five more goals in the sixth chukker iced it for Audi in the win.