Circa Continues to Win in Mercedes Benz Challenge

Circa holds on to Beat Certified at Bridgehampton

By Alex Webbe

“I choked,” offered 8-goaler Nic Roldan when asked about his team’s 11-10 loss to Circa (2-0) in competition for the 2010 Mercedes Benz Challenge Cup at the Bridgehampton Polo Club Friday afternoon.

“We were awarded a Penalty 5 from midfield and I was on a breakaway with 30 seconds left to play,” he said.  “I made my way through a couple of players and wound up for the tying shot from less than ten yards away from the goal when the ball took a bounce and I struck it with the mallet cane, missing the goal.”

The heroic effort was made by Roldan after his team found itself trailing by five goals as late as the fourth chukker.

We played terribly in the first four chukkers,” Roldan admitted.  “We just couldn’t seem to establish any kind of rhythm to our play.”

Circa received one goal by handicap and quickly ran the score to 3-1 after the first chukker with goals from Martin Pepa and Guille Aguero.  Roldan converted a penalty shot for Certified’s only score.

Gonzalo Garcia del Rio scored his first goal of the game for Certified in the second period, but goals from Pepa and Magoo Laprida had Circa taking a 5-2 lead into the third chukker.

Laprida scored two penalty goals for Circa in the third but single goals from Michael Borrico and Garcia del Rio had Certified trailing 7-4 at the end of the first half of play.

The fourth chukker proved no better for Certified as single goals were scored by Circa’s Pepa, Laprida and Aguero.  Certified got a single goal from Roldan, but trailed 10-5.

Laprida’s fifth goal of the game had Circa up, 11-5, when Certified finally got their game together.  Three straight goals from the field from Roldan were complimented by a goal from Inaki Laprida, and the chukker ended with Circa guarding a two goal lead, 11-9,

Certified press its attack in the final seven minutes of play, drawing to within a goal on another score from Roldan, and seemed to be reborn when it happened.  The unthinkable occurred. 

Nic Roldan, a talented player often referred to as “Nic the stick” because of his prowess with the polo mallet, had the perfect opportunity to tie the game up and force an overtime period when the gods of polo decided that it wasn’t to be.  The flailing shot went wide and the game ended in an 11-10 Circa victory.

Ironically, Roldan led all scoring with six goals.  Garcia del Rio added two goals and teammates Inaki Laprida and Borrico scored single goals in the losing effort.

Circa got five goals from Magoo Laprida; three scores from Pepa; a pair from Aguero and received one goal by handicap for the win.

Mercedes Benz Challenge Cup action will continue with a 5 pm Saturday contest between Heathcote (0-1) and Black Watch (0-1).