Ellerstina to meet La Dolfina in Hurlingham Open finals
By Alex Webbe
Following aslow start, Ellerstina (3-0) put up nine second half goals to beat previously undefeated La Aguada 14-12 Sunday afternoon at the Hurlingham Polo Club in BuenosAires, Argentina. The win allows Ellerstina to defend its 2010 title and will mark the second meeting of the season for Ellerstina and La Dolfina (3-0). The Hurlingham Open is the second leg of the Argentine Triple Crown, with the Argentine Open closing out the Argentine high-goalseason. Las year it was a different Ellerstina team that swept all three tournaments.
Both LaAguada and Ellerstina began tentatively with Javier Astrada scoring the first goal of the game on a penalty shot nearly four minutes into play. A second penalty conversion by Astrada closed out the scoring with La Aguada holding a 2-0 advantage over Ellerstina.
Nico Pieres was beginning to show his maturity as he finally got Ellerstina on the scoreboard to open the second chukker. Nacho Astrada converted another penalty goal for La Aguada before goals from Nico Pieres and Facundo Pieres (running the full length of the field to score) hadit all even at 3-3 at the end of the second.
Facundo Pieres converted a penalty shot in the first two minutes of the third period; giving Ellerstina its first lead of the game, 4-3, but La Aguada came stormingback. Javier Astrada took advantage of a poorly executed Ellerstina knock-in to convert another penalty shot for a goal, and Miguel Astrada scored on a well-executed neck shot to give La Aguada a 5-4edge after the third chukker.
Javier Astrada scored his first goal from the field halfway through the fourth, with Facundo Pieres answering with a 30-yard penalty conversion. The first half ended with La Aguada holding a 6-5 advantage over the defending champion.
Both defenses tightened in the second half, with Facundo stealing the ball from a La Aguada player in the last 20 seconds of the chukker and racing over 200 yards down the field to score the tying goal, 6-6.
The sixth chukker was all Ellerstina, with Facundo outscoring the La Aguada 4-0 for a10-6 lead. Two penalty conversions in theopening two minutes of the period were followed by a goal from the field as Facundo followed up on a run to the goal mouth by Nico Pieres. A final penalty goal was converted by the talented 10-goaler after Nico was fouled.
Facundo Pieres added three more goals in the seventh period, scoring once from thefield (on a well-executed pass from Nico Pieres) and two penalty shots. Miguel Astrada accounted for the only La Aguada goal of the chukker as La Aguada left the field trailing by six goals,13-7.
La Aguada opened the final chukker with three straight penalty goals as Ellerstina seemed comfortable to coast on their six-goal lead. Gonzalito Pieres scored his first goal of the game at the four minute mark for a 14-10 lead before two final goals from Nacho Astrada and Eduardo Astrada ended the match with Ellerstina celebrating the 14-12 victory.
FacundoPieres led all scoring with eleven goals (seven on penalty shots). Nico Pieres scored twice and Gonzalito Pieres added a goal in the win.
Javier Astrada scored five times for La Aguada. Nacho Astrada added four goals; Miguel Astrada added a pair and EduardoAstrada scored once.
The win boosts Ellerstina (3-0) into the Hurlingham Open finals on Saturday, November 5at 4:30 PM at the Hurlingham Polo Club where they will face La Dolfina (3-0) for the 2011 title.
ALEGRIA 13, CHAPA II 12 IN OT
In earlier action, Fred Mannix, Jr. scored the winning goal in overtime as Alegria foughtback from an early deficit to defeat Chapa II by the score of 13-12.
Chapa II jumped out to an early 3-1 lead on a pair of penalty goals from Eduardo Heguy and a goal from the field from Alejandro Astrada. Mariano Aguerre scored Alegraiâ€™s only goal ofthe chukker.
Fred Mannix converted a penalty shot for a goal and teammate Aguerre added another from the field. Eduardo Heguy scored from the fieldfor Chapa II who led 4-3 after the first two chukkers of play.
Alegria took total control of the third period, scoring four goals and shutting down the Chapa II attack. Mannix scored twice from the field and once on a penalty shot. Francisco de Narvaez scored the other goal. Alegria left the field on the leading end ofa 7-4 score.
Both teams concentrated on defense in the fourth, exchanging single goals. After the first half, Alegria boasted an 8-5advantage.
Alegria held the three goal lead through the first three chukkers of the second half before Chapa II found its rhythm in the eighth period. Trailing 11-8, Chapa II managed to outscore Alegria 4-1 in the final minutes of regulation play, getting three goals from Alberto Heguy and a penalty goal from Eduardo Heguy, tying the game at 12-12 and forcing sudden-death overtime. Francisco Bensadon scored the only Alegria goal.
Alegriare gained the edge it had displayed early in the game as Fred Mannix, Jr. scored the winning goal in overtime for the 13-12 Alegria win.