Ellerstina and La Dolfina cruise to wins in Tortugas Open
By Alex Webbe
There were no surprises on Monday afternoon on the Argentine Polo Association fields at Pilar when play finally resumed in the rain-delayed second round of play in the 2014 Tortugas Open. Wins by Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres Jr., Mariano Aguerre and Nicolas Pieres) and La Dolfina (Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martin Nero) were anticipated and the two highest-rated teams in Open competition didnâ€™t disappoint.
Both Adolfo and Facundo made a big splash in their debut appearances in the first leg of Argentinaâ€™s Triple Crown of Polo. Facundo scored 13 goals in the Ellerstina win over La Aguada/Las Monjitas (Lucas James, Cristian Laprida, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alejandro Novillo Astrada) while Adolfo scored seven times in La Dolfinaâ€™s 13-9 win victory over La Aguada (Facundo Sola, Guillermo Caset Jr.,Miguel Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Novillo Astrada).
Two first chukker goals from Ellerstina went unanswered in the opening match of the day as a solid defensive effort by the black-shirted team shut out the La Aguada/Las Monjitas attack. After one chukker it was Ellerstina in the lead, 2-0.
Ellerstina added three more goals in the second while allowing a single goal from their opponents. After two periods Ellerstina enjoyed a four goals advantage, 5-1.
La Aguada/Las Monjitas got on track in the third, scoring three times. Ellerstina added two goals and continued to lead, 7-4.
Both teams settled into play in the fourth period, matching one another goal for goal. At the end ofthe fourth chukker the Ellerstina held at three goals, 9-6.
A fifth chukker rally by La Aguada/Las Monjitas had them outscoring Ellerstina, 3-1. With two periods left in the seven chukker game, Ellerstina was clinging onto a one goal lead,10-9.
A re-focused Ellerstina foursome took the field in the sixth adding three goals. La Aguada/Las Monjitas managed a single goal and fell behind three goals again, 12-10.
Three more seventh period goals from Ellerstina allowed them to coast to a four goal, 16-12 win.
Six of Facundoâ€™s game-leading 13 goals came on penalty shots. Gonzalito Pieres, Mariano Aguerre and Nico Pieres added single goals for the win. The La Aguada/Las Monjitas team spread the scoring around with each ofthe players scoring three goals in the loss.
LA DOLFINA 13, LAAGUADA 9
La Dolfina had already warmed up for the season with a winin the final of the Jockey Club Open and seemed more than prepared to defend their 2013 Tortugas Open title.
In a tentative opening chukker La Dolfina scored twice while holding the La Aguada attack to a single goal. It was La Dolfina with the early lead, 2-1.
La Dolfina added two more goals in the second while shutting out the La Aguada offense. It was La Dolfina with a three goal edge, 4-1.
The La Aguada offense finally found its rhythm in the third, matching La Dolfina goal for goal. La Dolfina left the field after three periods with a 7-4 advantage over La Aguada.
Both defenses buckled down in the fourth. Single goals were managed by each team. The three goal La Dolfina lead held, 8-5.
La Aguada fought to get back into the game in the fifth, butLa Dolfina would have none of it. Each team scored twice. La Dolfina remained in control of the game, 10-7.
A La Dolfina goal was all of the offense in sixth period play. La Aguada saw their opportunities disappearing with La Dolfina in possession of the lead, 11-7.
La Aguada scored twice in the seventh with La Dolfina answering each of their scored. La Dolfina rode off the field at the end of the seventh with the 13-9 victory.
Adolfo Cambiaso scored seven times (three times on penalty conversions). Pablo MacDonough scored three goals; Pelon Stirling was credited with two scores, and Nero added a goalfor the win. Nacho Astrada led the LaAguada/Las Monjitas attack with four goals (one on a penalty conversion). Sapo Caset scored twice from the field and once on a penalty shot. Facundo added two goals in a losing effort.