Biddle buries the Hawks in 10-8 cup win
By Alex Webbe
Behind nine goals from 7-goaler Tommy Biddle, Santa Clara rolled to a 10-8 win over the Hawks in the finals of The Memorial by Piaget Monday morning at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.
Martin Estrada, filling in for the injured J. J. Celis, scored the first goal of the game for the Hawks but Biddle countered the score with his first goal from the field for a 1-1 tie after the opening chukker of play.
Santa Clara got the train rolling in the second chukker with Biddle scoring three straight goals before the Hawks finally responded with a goal from Robert Orthwein. After two periods of play, Santa Clara held a 4-2 advantage.
The Hawks finally got its offense on track in the third. Orthwein opened the scoring with a penalty conversion followed by a well-placed goal from the field. Two more goals from Julian Mannix had the Hawks up, 6-4, before Biddleâ€™s fifth goal of the game ended the first half with the Hawks ahead, 6-5.
The fourth and fifth chukkers belonged to Santa Clara. Bolstered by a smothering defense that kept the Hawks off the scoreboard, Biddle converted two penalty shots in the fourth as Santa Clara recaptured the lead, 7-6. Santa Clara got single goals from Biddle and Johnnie Chavanne for a 9-6 lead as the Hawks struggled to get any effective attack working.
Mannix opened the scoring in the final chukker with a penalty shot and added a goal from the field, cutting the Santa Clara lead to a single goal, 9-8, and seemed capable of getting back into the game when Biddle took control once again. Long driving passes and powerful defensive backhanders kept the Hawks attack at bay. A final penalty conversion from Biddle sealed the deal for Santa Clara as it rode off the field with a 10-8 victory.
Biddle led all scoring with nine goals. Teammate Chavanne added a goal in the win.
Julian Mannix scored four times for the Hawks. Robert Orthwein scored three times and Martin Estrada added a goal in the losing effort.
Julian Mannix was named MVP while Joey Caseyâ€™s Lady was honored as Best Playing Pony.
LOCAL YOUTH ALL-STARS BATTLE TO A TIE
Following the finals of The Memorial, presented by Piaget, a group of young aspiring players took the field in a Memorial Day romp.
In the opening chukker of play it was the Boys against the Girls with the Boys managing to outscore the Girls, 3-1.
Excellent play was demonstrated by the Boys as both Mackenzie Weiss and Landon Daniels showed promising form on the field. Frankie Hall and Javier Celis were also instrumental in the victory through disciplined positioning and teamplay.
Landon Daniels scored the first goal of the game followed by a pair of goals from Mackenzie Weiss. Jacqui Casey displayed good form as the Girls pressured to get back into the game. Riley Ganzi and Maria Celis got their mallets on the ball in an effort to turn defense into offense, but the Boys team put a quick end to that.
Delfina Hall stepped up the defensive efforts for the Girls in the final minutes of the match as Chase Schwartz broke through the Boyâ€™s lineup to keep from getting shutout.
The final horn sounded with the boys celebrating a 3-1 win.
PIAGET 1, PONY EXPRESS 1
Two more competitive youth teams took the field for the final two chukkers of play in the Grand Championâ€™s Spring Season with Piaget being represented by Christian Weiss, Grant Ganzi, Anthony Devrient and Matt Cohen. Pony Express players consisted of Mackenzie Weiss, Justin Daniels, Benji Daniels, Landon Daniels and Clemente Devrient.
In a fast-[aced contest between young aspiring players of the future, Grant Ganzi scored the opening goal of the match for Piaget. Matt Cohen had a couple of threatening runs at the Pony Express goal while Christian Weiss and Anthony Devrient showed flashes of talent still unfolding.
After being blanked in the opening chukker, it was Pony Express who led the chase in the second chukker. Mackenzie Weis played the pivotal Number 3 position while Clemente Devrient provided the push at the front end of the lineup. The Daniels boys all accounted well for themselves with Devrient scoring the tying goal in the 1-1 stalemate.
All of the participants received prizes for their participation in the event that looks to become a tradition at the Grand Champions Polo Club.