La Natividad upsets La Aguada in Hurlingham Open play

Natividad upsets La Aguada 15-14; competitive opening games

Alex Webbe

La Natividad shocks La Aguada15-14 in the opening game of
the 2012 Hurlingham Open Saturday afternoon while Pilara Piaget slammed the
door on a hungry Alegria foursome 22-18 in a high-scoring display as the 118th
Hurlingham Open finally got underway.

Originally scheduled to begin on October 16th,
ongoing rains and wet fields continued to delay the end of the Tortugas Open
and the start of the Hurlingham Open.

In the Hurlingham Opener, the 36-goal La Aguada team
(Sapo Caset, Javier Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Ignacio Novillo
Astrada) took an early lead but after the second chukker La Natividad (Polito
Pieres, Nachi Heguy, Rodrigo Andrade and Lolo Castagnola) trailed by a single goal,

In the third chukker La Astrada and La Natividad matched
one another goal for goal.  La Aguada
continued to lead but couldn’t shake the persistent La Natividad foursome.

The two teams battled back and forth in the ensuing two
periods with La Aguada leading 11-10 after the sixth.

If anyone should have been prepared for the upset that
would follow, it had to be La Aguada.  La
Aguada wrote the book on staying close and pecking away at the opposing team’s
lead, and La Natividad evidently read the book.

La Natividad finally took the lead in the seventh
chukker, 12-11, but La Aguada tied it again at 12-12.  La Aguada moved ahead 13-12 on a penalty
conversion from Sapo Caset but La Natividad answered with a tying goal, 13-13.  Back and forth before La Natividad took a
15-14 lead, a lead they would hold until the final horn.

Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade was singled out at the
games top player as he and his teammates celebrated their first Open victory.

Piaget 22, Alegria 18

In a match that produced the second most goals (40) in
Hurlingham Open history (a record of 41 goals was set in 2006 when La Paraiso
beat Chapa II, 24-17), Pilara Piaget (Hilario Ulloa, Pancho Bensadon, Sebastian
Merlos and Francisco de Narvaez) were all tied up after the second chukker,

On the strength of three third chukker goals from
Bensadon and a pair from teammate Hilario Ulloa, they managed to stretch out to
a 9-5 advantage.

Pilara led by as many as six goals after the fourth,
12-6, when Alegria tried to claw their way back into the game.

Alegria outscored Pilara 6-2 in the fifth, cutting the
Pilara lead to two goals, 14-12. 

Alegria inched closer in the fifth, outscoring Pilara 3-2
and cutting the lead to a single goal, 16-15, with one chukker left to play.

Seventh chukker action saw Pilara Piaget totally dominate
play as they put six goals on the scoreboard while limiting Alegria to just
three.  When the final horn sounded
Pilara Piaget rode off the field with the 22-18 win.

Hurlingham Open play continues on Sunday with a noon game
between La
Dolfina and Magual followed by Ellerstina facing La Aguada/Las Monjitas at