Adolfo Cambiaso leads Crab Orchard to Whitney Cup Finals
By Alex Webbe
In a matchup that polo fans had been anticipating, Argentine 10-goaler Adolfo scored four goals in leading Crab Orchard to a 10-7 win over the 2009 defending championship Audi team Thursday afternoon at the International Polo Club in Wellington.
It was under Cambiasoâ€™s leadership that Crab Orchard thundered to victory in the prestigious US Open Championships in 2007 and 2008, and his rivalry with Audiâ€™s 10-goal brother duo of Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres is more than just a passing feud. Cambiaso and the Pieresâ€™ have been ardent rivals for the past few years, in the United States, Europe and South America.
But today it would be settled on the playing fields of the International Polo Club, and Cambiaso made the opening statement of the winter high-goal season.
Facundo Pieres scored the opening goal of the game, but by the end of the first chukker Crab Orchard took the lead on goals from Julio Arellano and Hilario Ulloa.
Audi team captain Marc Ganzi tied it at 2-2 with a goal in the second chukker, and another goal from Facundo had Audi up, 3-2. Ensuing goals from Arellano and Cambiaso ended the chukker, however, and Crab Orchard held a narrow 4-3 advantage.
Crab Orchard had things going their way in the third getting goals from Ulloa, Arellano and Cambiaso while holding Audi to a single goal from Facundo Pieres. Crab Orchard ended the first half on top of a 7-4 score.
The horsepower continued to impress the spectators as the speed seemed to intensify. Players riding one way and another as the ball was deftly swatted over 100 yards at a stroke, and the teams struggled to take control of the game.
Facundo Pieres scored the only goal of the fourth chukker as shot after shot was countered by ride-offs and defensive saves by both sides. After four periods of play, Crab Orchard held on to a 7-5 lead, and Audi struggled to find an answer.
Crab Orchardâ€™s Arellano converted a penalty shot for a goal in the fifth followed by a goal from the field from Facundo Pieres. Cambiaso ended the chukker with his third goal of the game, and Audi trailed by three goals, 9-6.
The play was at a fever pitch in the sixth with one attack after another being denied a scoring opportunity. Cambiasoâ€™s fourth goal of the game had Crab Orchard in front, 10-6, but Audi continued to press its attack.
A final scoring effort by Gonzalito Pieres ended the scoring in the sixth chukker with Crab Orchard scoring the 10-7 win and securing a spot in Sundayâ€™s 2010 C. V. Whitney Cup finals.
They will face the winner of Fridayâ€™s 11am contest between Valiente and Orchard Hill.
LAS MONJITAS 15, LECHUZA CARACAS 7
Less than ten minutes into Wednesdayâ€™s 20-goal Pennell Cup semifinal match, Las Monjitas led Lechuza Caracas 4-1, when the game was suspended due to heavy rain and wet field conditions. Lechuza fared no better on Thursday morning when the two teams took to the field to resume the game.
The Las Monjitas defense kept Lechuza off of the scoreboard for the balance of the second chukker (action resumed two minutes into the second chukker of play) and through the third as well. Las Monjitas put up five more goals of its own, and left the field at the end of the first half with a commanding 9-1 lead.
Lechuza fared little better in the fourth and fifth chukkers, scoring three goals while allowing five more by the Las Monjitas side.
Lechuza racked up three goals in the final period of play while holding Las Monjitas to a single goal from Martin Donovan as the Las Monjitas players appeared to be saving its horses for Sundayâ€™s final against a powerful Zacara team.