Action for the 130th. Argentine Open resumed on Tuesday November 14, with two League B matches. In the opening game, La Natividad earned an impressive win against El Overo Z7 UAE, and in the follow-up, La Ensenada claimed a very narrow victory over Ellerstina, in what was perhaps the best game of the tournament so far.
La Natividad’s Pablo MacDonough opened the scores, but the Cañuelas-based foursome were taken by surprise by El Overo Z7 UAE, when Cruz Heguy converted three consecutve penalties; halfway the first chukka, El Overo Z7 UAE had a 3-1 lead, but in the last seconds within that first chukka, Facundo Pieres closed the gap to one goal, following a penalty conversion.
But that was all for El Overo Z7 UAE, because from the second chukka onwards, La Natividad seized the reins and took control of the match, led by a merciless Jeta Castagnola; in the two following chukkas, they outscored their opponents 8-1, and they reached half time 12-5 ahead.
The second half belonged to La Natividad, who widened their advantage chukka after chukka. However, and despite the huge gap in the scoreboard, El Overo Z7 UAE never gave up, and did their best to present battle on equal terms. It is worth to note Cruz Heguy’s accuracy to convert penalties. At the end of the day, La Natividad won by a heavy 25-10 score, over a lineup composed of young talented kids, with a big future ahead.
Up next came the much anticipated clash against La Ensenada and Ellerstina, a contest that brought many expectations, and definetly, didn’t dissappoint.
La Ensenada got off a stronger start; halfway the second chukka, they had a comfortable 4-1 lead, but Ellerstina managed to tie at 4-all at the end of that second episode. A thrilling, nailbiting match would come, that included a remarkable performance by Jerónimo del Carril, La Ensenada’s lethal weapon – he scored no less than twelve goals, and was very accurate in penalty conversion. Meanwhile, Gonzalito Pieres led Ellerstina’s path. As expected, both teams played an outstanding first half.
The second half was as intense as the first, a true battle between both sides, who were on each other’s tail. Every time La Ensenada scored, Ellerstina replied quickly; there were slight advantages for La Ensenada as well as many ties. By the end of the sixth chukka, they scoreboard read a 12-all. And, without doubts, La Ensenada and Ellerstina were already playing perhaps the best match of the 2023 Argentine Open.
Bautista Bayugar scored in the seventh chukka to secure Ellerstina their first and only lead within the contest; but it was Jero del Carril once again, who produced two goals, that gave La Ensenada a 14-12 lead, with a minute remaining in that penultimate chukka. But in the last second of play, Bautista Bayugar scored again to close the gap to just one goal. With only one chukka remaining, nothing was still said and done. La Ensenada and Ellerstina fought hard in that last chukka, until the last second. It ended up tied 2-2, but luck was on La Ensenada’s side, who claimed the narrow 16-15 win, after a remarkable clash.
130th. ARGENTINE OPEN – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 14
MATCH #1: LA NATIVIDAD 25-10 EL OVERO Z7 UAE
La Natividad: Facundo Pieres 9 (5 goals, three penalties), Camilo Castagnola 10 (12, four penalties), Pablo Mac Donough 10 (5), Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 10 (3). Total: 39.
El Overo Z7 UAE: Lucas Monteverde Jr. 7 (1 goal), Victorino Ruiz Jorba 7 (2), Cruz Heguy 7 (6, five penalties), Teodoro Lacau 7 (1). Total: 28.
Score La Natividad: 2-3, 6-3, 10-4, 12-5, 16-7, 19-8, 22-10, 25-10.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero & Rafael Silva. Third man: Federico Martelli.
MATCH #2: LA ENSENADA 16-15 ELLERSTINA
La Ensenada: Juan Britos 9 (1 goal), Alfredo Bigatti 9 (1), Juan M. Zubía 9 (2), Jerónimo del Carril 8 (12, seven penalties, one corner). Total: 35.
Ellerstina: Bautista Bayugar 8 (4 goals, two penalties), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9 (6, one penalty), Nicolás Pieres 9 (1) e Ignatius du Plessis 9 (4). Total: 35.
Score La Ensenada: 2-1, 4-4, 6-6, 9-7, 11-11, 12-12, 14-13, 16-15.
Umpires: Guillermo Villanueva & Gonzalo López Vargas. Third man: Matías Baibiene.