Ellerstina Johor and RS Murus Sanctus Strike First in Hurlingham Open
The second leg of the Argentine Triple Crown began on October 19, with four fierce competitors (Ellerstina Johor, La Irenita Polo Team, RS Murus Sanctus, La Dolfina Brava Polo Team) battling for their first win in the Hurlingham Open. The opening match of Zone A was held on court 2 of the Alfredo Lalor Headquarters in Pilar, featuring Ellerstina Johor and La Irenita Polo Team. Fresh off their third consecutive Tortugas Open championship title, Ellerstina Johor delivered a dominant win over La Irenita Polo Team 21-7 including a spectacular thirteen goal performance from Facundo Pieres, while the second match saw RS Murus Sanctus hold on to a narrow lead to stave off La Dolfina Brava Polo Team and a determined Adolfo Cambiaso 9-7.
Asserting their strength from the opening of the match Facundo Pieres would reach the scoreboard three times in the first chukka for Ellerstina Johor. A perfect 3-3 on penalty shots, Pieres would also provide an opening assist to brother Gonzalo. Scoring one goal from Ignacio Toccalino in the first, La Irenita Polo Team were unable to repeat in the second chukka as confident play from brothers Facundo and Nicolás Pieres united to contribute three goals for Ellerstina Johor. Early in the third Santiago Loza would strike first for La Irenita Polo Team, but was quickly answered by Gonzalo Pieres, striking again from the field. Ellerstina Johor carried all the momentum into the half, adding an additional five goals in the fourth off the mallets of Nicolás and Facundo to take a commanding 13-3 lead into the break.
Despite a ten goal deficit, La Irenita Polo Team’s Ignacio Toccalino continued to battle and found the goal first in the fifth chukka. Defense for La Irenita Polo Team also tightened as they managed to hold Ellerstina Johor to only one goal on three shots, while Santiago Loza scored his first of the day, as La Irenita Polo Team outscored Ellerstina Johor 2-1 for the first time in the match. Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres would emerge again in the sixth to combine for an additional four goals, with Isidro Strada managing to take advantage of a penalty shot opportunity and score the only goal for La Irenita Polo Team in the chukka. Ellerstina Johor would cap off the day adding three more goals in the seventh chukka successfully seizing the opportunity from the outset of the match to rout La Irenita Polo Team in pursuit of the Ayrshire Cup.
The second match of the day took place on court 6 of the Alfredo Lalor Headquarters and featured RS Murus Sanctus and La Dolfina Brava Polo Team. Despite a five goal match from Adolfo Cambiaso, La Dolfina Brava Polo Team would find themselves in an early deficit as Guillermo Caset’s strong offensive play would carry RS Murus Sanctus to a narrow 9-7 win. Caset kicked off the match for RS Murus Sanctus scoring three goals, including two off penalties, while Cambiaso answered for La Dolfina Brava Polo team with a penalty goal of his own. The second would belong solely to Caset posting the only two goals of the chukka, with Cambiaso accounting for the sole goal in the third. Tightly contested entering the fourth, Facundo Fernández Llorente, replacing injured Pablo MacDonough, was able to make a mark adding two more goals to an additional Caset score from the field, as RS Murus Sanctus entered halftime with an 8-2 advantage.
Determined to make a push in the second half, Cambiaso would impress in the opening minutes of the fifth, scoring two consecutive goals. Taking just three shots from the field, RS Murus Sanctus would only find the goal once on a Caset penalty conversion. La Dolfina Polo Team continued to apply pressure on RS Murus Sanctus with Alejo Taranco finding the scoreboard for his only goal of the day as teammates Cambiaso and Guillermo Terrera managed to cut the deficit to just two. This would be as close to a comeback as La Dolfina Brava Polo Team would come and despite peppering the goal with seven shots, neither team would score in the final chukka and RS Murus would weather the second half storm from La Dolfina Brava Polo Team to take the second match of Zone A competition.