Orchard Hill and Bendabout to Meet Again in Hall of Fame Cup Finals
By Alex Webbe
In a turn of events that can only make sense in the world of polo, two undefeated teams in Hall of Fame Cup play met Wednesday morning at the International Polo Club in Wellington to determine the tournament finalists.
Orchard Hill scored a 10-9 win over Bendabout in sudden death overtime, but based on records and net goals scored, the two teams will meet again on Saturday to determine the Hall of Fame Cup winner.
Orchard Hill needed an overtime period for Lucas Criado to score his fifth goal of the game to give the win and a perfect 2-0 Hall of Fame record to team captain Steve Van Andel.
Not just the financial end of the team, Van Andel scored two goals in the win in a game whose momentum seemed to shift back and forth.
Orchard Hill received one goal by handicap and quickly went up 2-0 as Van Andel scored the first goal of the game from the field. Negro Astrada converted a penalty shot for Bendabout to end the first chukker trailing 2-1.
Bendabout team captain Gillian Johnston set the pace for the second chukker, scoring the period’s only goal to knot it up at 2-2.Goals from 8-goaler Jeff Hall and a second goal from Van Andel made it 4-2, Orchard Hill, until Bendabout 10-goaler Miguel Astrada cut the lead to 4-3 to end the first half.
Lucas Criado added two goals fro Orchard Hill in the fourth period that were countered by goals from Johnston and Negro Astrada, as Orchard Hill held on to its narrow one goal lead, 6-5.
Criado scored again in the fifth for Orchard Hill before Negro Astrada added his third goal of the game. Hall scored for Orchard Hill to end the period with an 8-6 lead.
Goals from Mariano Gonzalez and Negro Astrada tied the game at 8-8. Criado scored to move Orchard Hill out to a 9-8 edge, but Negro Astrada’s second goal of the chukker evened it again at 9-9 as regulation time expired.
After a brief intermission, both teams returned to the field in a sudden-death overtime period. The action was brief; however, as Criado scored his fifth goal of the game and carried Orchard Hill to the 10-9 win.
Orchard Hills Lucas Criado scored five goals while teammates Jeff Hall and Steve Van Andel added two goals apiece. Orchard Hill received one goal by handicap.
Negro Astrada scored five times for Bendabout. Gillian Johnston added two goals and Miguel Astrada and Mariano Gonzalez added single goals.
Both teams will return to the field on Saturday, April 19 at 5pm for the Hall of Fame Cup finals.