White Birch and Equuleus in Monty Waterbury finals

White Birch to face
Equuleus in Monty Waterbury Cup finals

By Alex Webbe

White Birch (Del Walton, Joao Ganon, Matias Magrini and
Tomas Alberdi) were the first team to qualify for the 2013 Monty Waterbury Cup
finals with an 11-7 win over Lechuza (Victor Vargas, Mariano Gracida, Juan
Martin Nero and Tomas Goti) Wednesday afternoon at the Bridgehampton Polo Club.

A pair of opening goals from Brazilian 7-goaler Joao Ganon
were countered by a single score from Mariano Gracida with White Birch holding
the 2-1 advantage.  Tomas Alberdi closed
out the scoring in the first chukker. 
White Birch left the field with an early 3-1 edge.

Goals were hard to come by in the second frame.  Tomas Goti converted a 40-yard penalty shot
for a goal for Lechuza.  Ganon kept White
Birch in front with his third goal of the game, 4-2.

Lechuza team captain Victor Vargas cut the White Birch lead
to a single goal, 4-3, with his first goal of the game, but that would be their
only goal of the chukker.  Ganon answered
back with a 40-yard penalty conversion and a goal from the field.  At the end of the first half White Birch was
on the winning end of a 6-3 score.

Ganon converted a penalty shot to open the second half
followed by a goal from the field from Matias Magrini, 8-3.  Goti kept Lechuza from being shutout with a
goal from the field.  White Birch
continued to lead, 8-4.

White Birch started a rally in the fifth chukker.  A 60-yard penalty conversion by Goti was
followed by a goal from Lechuza 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero, and the lead was
cut to two, 8-6.  Ganon stopped the slide
by scoring on a penalty shot to end the chukker with White Birch in control of
a 9-6 score.

Lechuza could manage no more than a single 40-yard penalty
conversion from Goti in the final chukker. 
White Birch got single goals from Del Walton and Alberdi for the 11-7

Ganon continued to impress, scoring seven times in the match
(three on penalty shots).  Alberdi scored
twice while Walton and Magrini added single goals for the win.  Goti scored three of his team-leading four
goals on penalty shots.  Nero, Gracida
and Vargas each scored single goals in a losing effort.


Mariano Gonzalez
scored seven goals on the day, including a 60-yard penalty conversion in
overtime to carry Equuleus (Martin Pepa, Magoo Laprida, Mariano Gonzalez and
Joe DiMenna) to a come-from-behind 13-12 overtime over Heathcote (Steve
Lefkowitz, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Nick Manifold) for the honor of
meeting White Birch in Saturday afternoon’s Monty Waterbury Cup finals at the
Bridgehampton Polo Club.

received three goals by handicap from the 20-goal Equuleus lineup and quickly
added to it.  Two goals from Naco Taverna
had Heathcote on top of a 5-2 score after the first chukker.  Equuleus got single goals from Magoo Laprida
and Mariano Gonzalez.

The two teams
exchanged goals in the second chukker with Tommy Biddle scoring once from the
field and once on a 40-yard penalty conversion. 
Gonzalez scored twice for Equuleus (once on a penalty shot).  Heathcote continued to lead, 7-4.

Goals were at a
premium in the third period.  Runs up and
down the field were turned aside by vigilant defenses.  Nick Manifold scored for Heathcote, Martin
Pepa answered with a goal for Equuleus. 
At the end of the first half of play, Heathcote maintained its three
goal lead, 8-5.

extended its lead to four goals in the fourth chukker.  Biddle converted a 40-yard penalty shot and
Manifold added a goal from the field.  Equuleus
was held to a single goal from Pepa, and trailed 10-6 with two chukkers left in
regulation time.

Equuleus cut into
the Heathcote lead in the fifth chukker, but not by much.  Outscoring Heathcote 2-1 they cut the lead
back down to three goals.  Single goals
from Pepa and Gonzalez were met by a penalty goal from Biddle.   Going into the sixth chukker, Heathcote was
on top, 11-8.

A determined Equuleus
team showed up for the final chukker in regulation play.  Gonzalez opened the scoring with a short
penalty conversion, 11-9.  Biddle
responded with a goal from the field, 12-9. 
Equuleus fired off three consecutive goals from Gonzalez, Pepa and team
captain Joe DiMenna (penalty conversion) and tied it at 12-12 with time
expiring, forcing sudden-death overtime.

In the overtime
period, Heathcote fouled in an attempt to halt an Equuleus attack, sending
Gonzalez to the penalty line where he converted a 60-yard penalty shot for the
13-12 overtime win.

Gonzalez led all
scoring with seven goals (three on penalty shots).  Pepa scored four times while Laprida and
DiMenna scored single goals in the victory. 
Biddle set the pace for Heathcote with five goals (three on penalty
conversions).  Taverna and Manifold
scored two goals apiece and the team received three goals by handicap.

The victory
launches Equuleus into Saturday afternoon’s finals against White Birch to
determine the 2013 Monty Waterbury champion.