Equuleus beats White Birch in Monty Waterbury Cup finals, 10–9

Equuleus beats White
Birch in Monty Waterbury Cup finals, 10-9

By Alex Webbe

Joe DiMenna’s Equuleus polo team (Martin Pepa, Magoo
Laprida, Mariano Gonzalez and Joe DiMenna) scored twice in the final chukker
and held off a last minute rally to defeat White Birch (Del Walton, Matias
Magrini, Joao Ganon and Peter Brant) 10-9  Saturday afternoon in the finals of the 2013
Monty Waterbury Cup at the Bridgehampton Polo Club in New York.

In an offensively-challenged opening chukker, Mariano
Gonzalez accounted for the only scoring with the conversion of a 40-yard
penalty shot.  White Birch was unable to
generate any positive offense as Equuleus the early lead, 1-0.

White Birch’s Joao Ganon tied it up at 1-1 with a penalty
conversion of his own followed by a go-ahead goal from Del Walton, 2-1.  Equuleus responded with consecutive goals
from Magoo Laprida to tie and then take the lead back, 3-2.  Walton closed out the scoring with a tying
goal that ended the chukker in a 3-3 deadlock.

The two teams traded goals in the third period with Gonzalez
scoring on a 60-yard penalty shot for Equuleus followed by a goal from the
field from White Birch’s Walton, 4-4.   White Birch team captain Peter Brant put his
team on top again, 5-4, with his first goal of the game, but Laprida evened it
up at the end of the first half, 5-5.

Goals from Ganon and Brant in the fourth chukker were
complimented by a superior defensive effort that held Equuleus to a single goal
from Martin Pepa.  After four chukkers of
play White Birch left the field with a one goal, 7-6 advantage.

Ganon extended the White Birch lead to two goals with a
penalty conversion to open the fifth, but Equuleus fought back.  Defensive fouls by White Birch sent Gonzalez
to the penalty line on three occasions, allowing him to convert goals from
30-yards and 40-yards while missing a go-ahead goal on a missed 60-yard
attempt.  The teams were all even at 8-8
going into the sixth chukker.

Both defenses held tight in the opening minutes of the
sixth, with no scoring from either team. 
Gonzalez stepped up late in the chukker, converting another 40-yard
penalty shot for a 9-8 lead and then cushioning it with another goal from the field.  Ganon cut the Equuleus lead to a single goal
with a penalty conversion with 40-seconds on the clock, but time was on the
side of Equuleus.  Ganon stole the ball
from Laprida and charged 150 yards down the field, giving Matias Magrini an
opportunity to tie it up with five seconds left.  The effort failed and Equuleus celebrated the
10-9 victory.

Gonzalez scored five of his game high six goals on penalty
shots and received MVP honors.  Laprida added
three goals and Pepa scored once in the win. 
Ganon scored four goals for White Birch (three on penalty shots) Walton
contributed three goals and Brant scored twice in the loss.

Brant’s pony, Chef,
was named Best Playing Pony.

Heathcote (Steve Lefkowitz, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and
Nick Manifold) will meet Lechuza (Victor Vargas, Mariano Gracida, Juan Martin
Nero and Tomas Goti) in the finals of the Two Trees Cup Sunday afternoon at 5PM
at the Bridgehampton Polo Club.