The 130th. Argentine Open resumed on Monday November 20, with the two remaining League B matches. The first contest of the day, between El Overo Z7 UAE and La Irenita Clinova, was of the utmost importance, since the former needed to claim a win in order to earn the points to have the chance to qualify to the 2024 Triple Crown.
El Overo Z7 UAE were determined to achieve their goal. Following an early 4-2 lead in the first chukka, they widened their advantage to 7-2 in the following chukka. But from the third chukka onwards, La Irenita Clinova started to close the gap; halfway the fourth chukka, the scores were leveled, with El Overo Z7 UAE just two goals ahead (7-5). The first half saw a very good match – while El Overo Z7 UAE remained solid both in defense and attack, La Irenita Clinova were constantly on their tail, thanks to Tomás Fernández Llorente’s extraordinary performance.
La Irenita Clinova outscored El Overo Z7 UAE 3-0 with three goals by Tomás, that secured them their first lead, 8-7. The battle has just begun. Lukin Monteverde tied at 8-all in the sixth chukka; and two last thrilling last chukkas would come. Tomás scored to tie 9-9 in the seventh chukka, but El Overo Z7 UAE replied quickly with three unanswered goals by Torito Ruiz, to re-gain the lead and step into the last chukka holding a 12-9 advantage. And that was it; following a scoreless last chukka, El Overo Z7 UAE claimed the win they needed; four young boys that displayed attitude and skills to secure a remarkable victory with their sights on 2024.
Up next, La Natividad met with Ellerstina in one of the most awaited games of the Open. While Ellerstina needed a win for one or more goals to maintain the hopes, the fact is that the only idea La Natividad had in mind was to remain unbeaten in order to reach in the best possible form the league decider against La Ensenada. In addition, the match had some extra spice – it was the first time Facundo Pieres, who is playing for La Natividad, clashed against Ellerstina and his two brothers, Gonzalito and Nicolás, in the Argentine Open.
Ellerstina finished the first chukka 2-0, thanks to two goals by Gonzalito Pieres, while La Natividad tied at 2-all in the second chukka, courtesy of Barto Castagnola. However, Gonzalito replied quickly, and produced a goal that allowed Ellerstina to re-take the lead. Following a new tie, after a goal by Pablo MacDonough, La Natividad took their first lead, with a spectacular goal by Facundo Pieres. That’s when La Natividad took off, and by half time they were 6-4 ahead, thanks to goals by Jeta Castagnola and Pablo MacDonough.
From then onwards, the match belonged to La Natividad. They extended their advantage thoroghout the second half. In the fifth chukka they were leading 8-4. Led by Pablo MacDonough, who produced six goals, the Cañuelas-based foursome were lethal and merciless against their opponents. By the time they went to play the last chukka, the game was sealed, through a decisive 14-5 lead.
At the end of the day, a match that was expected to be leveled, ended up being a walk in the park for La Natividad. Ellerstina managed to produce a couple of goals in the last chukka, but the damage was already done. La Natividad took an impressive 17-7 win, and now their minds is on next week and the league decider against La Ensenada.
130th. ARGENTINE OPEN – MONDAY NOVEMBER 20
MATCH #1: EL OVERO Z7 UAE 12-9 LA IRENITA CLINOVA
El Overo Z7 UAE: Lucas Monteverde Jr. 7 (3 goals, one penalty), Victorino Ruiz Jorba 7 (6, one Penalty 1), Cruz Heguy 7 (3, two penalties), Teodoro Lacau 7. Total: 28.
La Irenita Clinova: Facundo Fernández Llorente 8 (2 goals), Tomás Fernández Llorente Jr. 8 (6, two penalties), Matías Torres Zavaleta 8 (1), Isidro Strada 8. Total: 32.
Score El Overo Z7 UAE: 5-2, 7-2, 7-4, 7-5, 7-8, 8-8, 12-9, 12-9.
Umpires: Guillermo Villanueva & Rafael Silva. Third man: Federico Martelli.
MATCH #2: LA NATIVIDAD 17-7 ELLERSTINA
La Natividad: Facundo Pieres 9 (3 goals), Camilo Castagnola 10 (4), Pablo Mac Donough 10 (6), Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 10 (4). Total: 39.
Ellerstina: Bautista Bayugar 8 (1 penalty), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9 (4), Nicolás Pieres 9 (2), Ignatius du Plessis 9. Total: 35.
Score La Natividad: 0-2, 3-3, 4-4, 6-4, 8-4, 13-5, 14-5, 17-7.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero & Matías Baibiene. Third man: José Ignacio Araya.
Cover photo by Matías Callejo / Prensa AAP.