Hurlingham Open 2010 – Day 3

Ellerstina struggle in Hurlingham Open

By Herbert Spencer

Reigning champions Ellerstina Etiqueta Negra fought off a serious challenge from lower-ranked Pilará-Piaget in the Hurlingham Open Saturday, coming from behind in the seventh chukka to record an 18-13 win.

The Pieres’ Ellerstina are the only 40-goal team in Argentina’s Triple Crown series and had already won the Tortugas Open. Pilará-Piaget are only a 33-goal side since their skipper Marcos Heguy went on the injury list. So Ellerstina’s five-goal victory was less than impressive.

Ellerstina led in the first two chukkas, but Pilará-Piaget drew even, 6-6, in the third. Pilará-Piaget held their powerhouse opponents scoreless in the sixth period to snatch an 11-10 advantage. In the seventh chukka the underdogs increased their lead to 12-10 before Ellerstina recovered to finish the match 18-13 in the eighth.

Ellerstina’s superior player and pony power prevailed in the end, but their Facundo Pieres, the world’s third-ranked player, appeared to lack his usual brilliance. Honours as Most Valuable Player went instead to Pilará-Piaget’s Tomás García del Rio, at handicap 7 the lowest ranked player in the match. 

In the day’s first match at the Hurlingham Club, 35-goal Chapo Uno Hope Funds held 30-goal São José Audi scoreless to take the first chukka 5-0 and then lead throughout the match to win 18-11. This gave Chapo Uno a 2-0 standing in the tournament’s Bracket A, equal with champions Ellerstina.