Valiente I will face Valiente II in Whitney Cup finals

Valiente I will face Valiente II in Whitney Cup finals

ByAlex Webbe

Allin the family once again. Wins by Valiente I and Valiente II in the semifinals of the season’sfirst 26-goal tournament, the Royal Salute C. V. Whitney Cup at the InternationalPolo club in Wellington will be sending two related teams to the field for thesecond consecutive Sunday.  Last weekMelissa Ganzi’s Piaget polo team successfully defeated husband Marc Ganzi’sAudi team in the final of the Ylvisaker Cup. This Sunday Bob Jornayvaz and his Valiente I team will face-off againstson Robert’s Valiente II team in the first leg of polo’s Triple Crown-the RoyalSalute C. V. Whitney Cup.

In the opening semifinal of the day, Robert Jornayvaz andhis Valiente II team handily defeated a challenging Zacara foursome 11-5 aftergetting caught up in a low-scoring opening half of play.

Pelon Stirling, scored the first goal of the day forValiente II, but 10-goaler Facundo Pieres responded with a goal forZacara.  Alejo Taranco gave Valiente II a2-1 advantage on a goal from the field, but Zacara wasn’t through.  A goal from Pieres tied it up at 2-2 andclosed out the scoring in the opening chukker of play.

Defense was the word of the day as Zacara and Valiente IIbattled through a scoreless second period of play.  Shots on goal went wide, saving backhanderswere made, and at the end of two chukkers of action the score was deadlocked at2-2.

A concerted Valiente II effort garnered them two goals inthe third while a resolute defense held them scoreless for the secondconsecutive chukker.  A goal from AdolfoCambiaso was followed by a scoring effort made by Stirling.  At the end of the first half Valiente II rodeoff the field with a 4-2 advantage.

A penalty conversion from Pieres opened the second half,but Valiente II continued to pressure the Zacara attack.  Cambiaso added two goals with Cambiasoaccounting for both of them (one from the field and one on a 40-yard penaltyshot).  With two chukkers left inregulation time, Valiente II led 6-3.

Zacara continued to try and control the pace of the game,but were unable to keep Valiente II off of the scoreboard.  Two more goals from Cambiaso were answered bysingle goals from Pieres and Magoo Laprida. The Valiente II lead held at three goals, 8-5.

Zacara rode onto the field in the sixth chukkerdetermined to get back into the game, but Valiente II was determined aswell.  Cambiaso scored once from the fieldin the sixth and converted two 60-yard penalty shots, and the defense held.  A deflated Zacara offense fell flat asValiente II rode on to capture the match 11-5 and boost the team into the 4 pm SundayRoyal Salute C. V. Whitney Cup finals.

Cambiaso scored eight times for Valiente II.  Stirling added two goals and Taranco scoredonce in the win. 


In the second semifinal of the day, Valiente I fought ERGto a 6-6 halftime tie before going on to capture a berth in the Sunday finalsof the Royal Salute C. V. Whitney Cup by beating them in a highly competitivecontest, 12-11.

Valiente I jumped out to an early 3-0 start, getting apair of penalty goals from Miguel Astrada and a goal from the field from hisbrother, Nacho Astrada.  Valiente I heldthe line on defense and kept ERG from scoring.

Four straight goals had ERG on top of a 4-3 lead in thesecond period with Agustin Merlos scoring once from the field and once on apenalty conversion.  Single goals fromPaco de Narvaez and Sebastian Merlos had ERG ahead for the first time all dayat 4-3.  Valiente I’s Polito Pieres tiedit up at 4-4 to end the chukker.

Miguel Astrada scored a goal from the field and added anotherpenalty goal for Valiente I while ERG relied on a penalty goal from AgustinMerlos and a goal from de Narvaez to keep it all even at 6-6 to end the firsthalf.

Valiente I moved out to a delicate one-goal lead in the fourth,getting three penalty goals from Miguel Astrada.  ERG answered with goals from Agustin Merlosand Sebastian Merlos, but at the end of four chukkers of play, Valiente I wasahead, 9-8.

Miguel Astrada extended the Valiente I lead to two goals,10-8 in the fifth, but ERG responded in kind with a goal from the field fromSebastian Merlos.  A penalty goal fromAgustin Merlos tied it up again at 10-10, and the chukker ended.

Valiente I took early control of the final chukker ofplay, scoring goals from the field from Miguel Astrada and Nacho Astrada,12-10.  Agustin Merlos converted a40-yard penalty shot to make it 12-11, but that was as close as they wouldget.  Time ran out and Valiente Icelebrated the 12-11 win and a trip into Sunday’s finals of the Royal Salute C.V. Whitney Cup against their sister team, Valiente II.

Miguel Astrada led all scoring with nine goals.  Nacho Astrada scored twice and Polito Pieresadded a goal in the win.

Agustin Merlos scored six goals for ERG.  Sebastian Merlos accounted for three goalsand de Narvaez scored twice.