Hampton Cup Semifinals Set
By Alex Webbe
The Bridgehampton Polo Club is heading into its last week of high-goal polo with the pairings of the semifinals of the Hampton Cup being set.
Wins by Great Oaks, Black Watch and Equuleus have filled out the playoff matchups for the Hampton Cup semifinals.
La Alegria had already earned its playoff position by virtue of a 2-0 record in preliminary action, and will face Equuleus at 4pm in Wednesdayâ€™s semifinal. The second semifinal berth will be filled by Great Oaks and Black Watch, who will face off on Tuesday afternoon at 4 pm.
The finals of the 2010 Hampton Cup will be played on either Friday or Saturday, a time and date that will be determined later in the week.
An interesting situation occurred in Saturdayâ€™s Hampton Cup competition when Caballeros 7-goaler fell victim to a pinched nerve in his back with a minute left in the second chukker of their match with Great Oaks. The Caballeros were up 4-3 when time was stopped. The Caballeros searched for a replacement for the hard hitting American, but were forced to forfeit the match when none could be found.
â€œMy back just got out of alignment and pinched a nerve,â€ said Biddle, â€œit was just a freak thing.â€
Biddle spent two hours with an acupuncturist and had a session with a chiropractor to eliminate the problem and said that he feels 100% better.
â€œI have no concerns going forward,â€ Biddle said, â€œIâ€™ll be back to normal in another day or so.â€
The forfeit propelled Great Oaks into the semifinals while relegating the Caballeros to the sidelines.
BLACK WATCH 7, CERTIFIED 6
In Saturdayâ€™s second contest, Nacho Figueras and Lucas Criado combined for seven goals to power Black Watch to a 7-6 win over Nic Roldan and the Certified team to capture its own semifinal berth.
Figueras put Black Watch on top with the first goal of the game, but scores from Gonzalo Garcia Del Rio and Inaki Laprida had Certified leading 2-1 at the end of the first chukker.
Stubborn defenses and errant shots at goal kept both teams off the scoreboard in the second chukker, with Black Watch missing a scoring opportunity on a 60-yard penalty shot. Certified continued to lead, 2-1.
Figueras tied it at 2-2 in the third period, but Roldan scored from the field to take the lead back, 3-2. Black Watch missed on another penalty conversion attempt, but Figueras rallied the Black Watch team with his third goal of the game, and the players left the field at the end of the first half all even at 3-3.
Black Watch entered the fourth chukker playing lights out defense, shutting down the Certified attack while getting a pair of goals from Lucas Criado, and ending the period with a 5-3 advantage.
Both offenses were stymied in the fifth frame, with Laprida accounting for the only goal of the chukker, cutting the Black Watch lead to a single goal, 5-4.
Lapridaâ€™s third goal of the game knotted it up at 5-5 before two consecutive goals from Criado had Black Watch on top, 7-5.
The Certified attack continued to press the Black Watch defenses, resulting in another goal from Garcia Del Rio for the final 7-6 score and the Black Watch win.
Criado led all scoring with four goals. Figueras added three goals for the win.
Laprida led the Certified attack with three goals. Garcia Del Rio added two goals to the team total and Roldan scored once in the loss.
EQUULEUS 10, CIRCA 9
In Sundayâ€™s final quarterfinal of the tournament, Equuleus held off a last chukker rally by Circa for a 10-9 win and a spot in Wednesdayâ€™s semifinals against La Alegria.
The 10-goal Circa team received one goal by handicap to start the game, and tentative early play resulted in a single penalty goal from Equuleus (Mariano Gonzalez) to end the first chukker in a 1-1 tie.
Second chukker action had Adam Snow and Gonzalez scoring from the field while limiting Circa to a single goal from Aguero. Equuleus took a 3-2 lead.
Both teams struggle for control of the ball in the third period. Charges up and down the field were turned away by resolute defenses. Magoo Laprida converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal, followed by a penalty conversion from Gonzalez, keeping Equuleus on top of a narrow 4-3 halftime score.
Equuleus returned to the field in the second half with a vengeance. Goals from Snow, Gonzalez and Facundo Obregon were countered by a single goal from Circaâ€™s Martin Pepa, and Equuleus extended its lead to three goals, 7-4.
Snowâ€™s third goal of the game had Equuleus up, 8-4, before Circa responded. Showing they werenâ€™t ready to roll over yet, Circa pressed the Equuleus defense. Two penalties against Equuleus gave Circa the opportunity they needed, and Laprida made good on both shots. Equuleus continued to lead, but the margin was cut to two goals, 8-6.
Aguero cut the Equuleus lead to a single goal in the opening minute of the final chukker, but a pair of goals from Gonzalez had Equuleus back on top by three goals, 10-7.
Circa closed out the scoring with single goals from Laprida and Pepa, but time ran out with Equuleus savoring a hard-fought 10-9 win.
Gonzalez set the pace for the day with six goals, four of them coming on penalty conversions. Snow added three goals and Obregon scored once.
Lapridaâ€™s four goals led the Circa attack. Aguero and Pepa added two goals apiece and the team got one goal by handicap.
The victory places Equuleus in Wednesdayâ€™s Hampton Cup semifinals against La Alegria in a 4 pm match.