The second leg of the Triple Crown, the Tortugas Open, began with La Dolfina Saudi (Adolfo Cambiaso, David “Pelon” Stirling, Poroto Cambiaso, Juan Martin Nero), fresh off their victory in the Hurlingham Open, facing La Ensenada Brubank (Juan Britos, Alfredo Bigatti, Juan Martin Zubia, Jeronimo del Carril) at Tortugas Country Club.
After conceding an early Penalty 2, La Dolfina Saudi returned to their winning ways, controlling play throughout the opening three chukkas to build a significant lead. Juan Martin Nero brought 40-goal La Dolfina Saudi onto the scoreboard, but it was the incredible play of Poroto Cambiaso that was the early storyline. Singlehandedly scoring seven of the next nine goals for his team, all in the first half, the young phenom starred in the La Dolfina Saudi attack that shot over 50% in the contest. La Ensenada Brubank managed three field goals before halftime, two off the mallet of Zubia, but the exceptional play from Cambiaso resulted in an 11-4 lead at the break.
Using halftime to strategize, La Ensenada Brubank showed some early life in the second half after quick goals from Bigatti and Britos, but it was short-lived as Poroto Cambiaso once again found the scoring touch, sending two penalties through the posts, while adding a field goal in the fifth chukka. Shooting just 30% compared to La Dolfina Saudi’s 52%, La Ensenada Brubank were unable to close the gap despite their best efforts in winning 19 of 31 throw-ins. Three consecutive goals helped them pull within six in the final chukka, but La Dolfina Saudi asserted their dominance with three quick tallies of their own to complete the 18-9 victory.
Coming off a semifinal loss in the Hurlingham Open, La Natividad (Facundo Pieres, Camilo Castagnola, Pablo Mac Donough, Bartolome Castagnola Jr.) showcased why they are a team to watch going forward in an impressive performance against Cria La Dolfina (Guillermo Terrera, Tomas Panelo, Diego Cavanagh, Alejo Taranco). Moving from back into the #1 position, Pieres was impactul throughout the match with a season-high six goals, but it was La Natividad’s defense that was the difference in their opening game of the tournament. Unable to consistently find the target, Cria La Dolfina shot just 11%, limiting any chance they had in challenging the 39-goal La Natividad. Pieres and Mac Donough combined for six of their team’s first seven goals as the lead continued to grow. Before the end of the half, the Castagnola brothers dominated possession, passing the mallet back and forth to combine for six unanswered goals over the third and fourth chukkas. Held scoreless during that stretch, Cria La Dolfina found themselves facing a nearly insurmountable 13-2 deficit at halftime.
In their best chukka of the match, Cria La Dolfina received a goal each from Panelo and Cavanagh to match two La Natividad goals, but it was a small response as the reigning Tortugas Open champions accelerated forward to score the final eight goals of the game. Bartolome Castagnola finished with a game high eight goals, with Camilo Castagnola just behind with five as all thirteen goals came in open play. Finishing with 22 goals, La Natividad secured the impressive 22-4 win to begin their title defense.
Photo Credit: ©Matías Callejo/Prensa AAP