ERG, Patagones in Bobby Barry Cup Finals
By Alex Webbe
Valient 8-goaler Jeff Hall scored six times, but it was the generalship of polo veteran Memo Gracida that carried Patagones to an 11-10 win and a berth in the Bobby Barry Finals on Sunday afternoon at the International Polo Club in Wellington.
Patagones entered the match with an unimpressive 0-3 record, but had been showing increasing improvement in their play over the previous week. Valiente (1-2) had played competitive polo throughout the Joe Barry Memorial Cup, losing close games to Bendabout (11-9) and Zacara (10-9) but managed to put together a game plan that delivered a win and a berth in the semifinals of the tournament subsidiary, the Bobby Barry Cup.
Cautious play in the first three chukkers had the game tied, 5-5, at halftime with young Hall struggling with the legendary Gracida throughout the game.
Patagones took control of the game in the fourth chukker getting a pair of goals from Gracida and Carlos Avendano to go up, 9-7. Valiente got single goals from Stewart Armstrong and Hall, but trailed by two going into the fifth.
â€œThe team went much better today,â€ said Gracida, â€œbut we still have a long way to go.â€
Valiente rallied with a couple of goals in the fifth chukker (Hall and Nacho Astrada), but Santiago Wulffâ€™s third goal of the game kept Patagones ahead by a narrow 10-9 margin.
The speed continued to pick up in the sixth period with Patagones struggling to hold on to their lead and Valiente fighting to get back in the game.
Gracida converted a penalty shot for his fifth goal of the game and give Patagones an 11-9 lead, and moments later, Hall scored from the field to cut the margin to one goal again, but that would be the end of it. The final horn sounded with Patagones taking the game, 11-10, and earning a place in the tournament finals.
â€œThe team gets better with every game,â€ added Gracida. â€œWeâ€™ve got one last game in this tournament and then weâ€™ll get ready for the next (Ylvisaker Cup).
ERG 10, ZACARA 7
ERG relied on a balanced attack to secure a 10-7 win over Zacara, and earn a spot in Sundayâ€™s finals of the Bobby Barry Cup, the subsidiary of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup.
Zacaraâ€™s offense struggled in the opening chukkers of play, with ERG riding out to a 3-1 lead. A pair of goals from Zacara 7-goaler Jeff Blake rallied his team to tie it at 4-4 at halftime, with teammate Gonzalo Del Tour chipping in a goal from the field. De Narvaez supplied a single goal for ERG in the period.
Jason Crowder scored his second and third goal of the game in the fourth. Teammate Santi Torres added a goal, and ERG led by two goals, 7-5. Zacara was held to a single goal in the chukker by Blake.
Three more goals from ERG in the fifth extended their lead to 10-6. De Narvaez added two more goals and Charlie Micheo (filling in for team captain Scott Wood) scored once. Del Tourâ€™s goal from the field kept Zacara from being blanked, but they trailed by four goals with seven minutes left to play.