Ellerstina advance to Hurlingham Open final
By Herbert Spencer
Reigning champions Ellerstina Etiqueta Negra, the only 40-goal team in Argentinaâ€™s Triple Crown series, dominated 35-goal Chapa Uno Hope Funds 20-16 Saturday to earn a place in next weekendâ€™s final of the 117th Hurlingham Open Championship.
It was a decisive match, with Ellerstinaâ€™s Facundo Pieres starring as he scored 14 of his teamâ€™s points, 7 on penalty conversions. The eight chukkas were marred by repeated fouls and stoppages, a fact deplored by both Pieres and his fellow 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero.
The score-line might have been different had Chapa Unoâ€™s penalty-taker Bautista Heguy not missed so many of his free shots at goal. He fluffed no fewer than seven, one less than 20 yards from the posts.
Chapa Uno took an early 2-0 lead in the first chukka, but quickly lost it as Ellerstina scored three in a row to end the period 3-2 up. After that Ellerstina dominated, with Chapa Uno only managing a couple of ties and one short-lived lead.
In the dayâ€™s first match at the Hurlingham Club, PilarÃ¡-Piaget had a bit of a struggle to beat SÃ£o JosÃ© Audi 15-13. PilarÃ¡-Piaget only took the lead in the fourth chukka and the match was tied 10-10 in the fifth before they moved on to their narrow win.