Ellerstina and La Natividad Las Monjitas qualified for the semifinals of the Hurlingham Open following their respective wins against La Irenita and La Dolfina Polo Ranch in the second round of quarter finals held on Sunday. Both matches were played at the Alfredo Lalor Headquarters of the Argentine Association of Polo in Pilar.
First up, Ellerstina smoothly defeated La Irenita, dominating them from the start – they went 5-0 up in the first chukka. The recent winners of the Tortugas Open overwhelmed La Irenita and working very well as a team. Ellerstina shone in both attack and defence, as all four members scored goals and a fantastic Hilario Ulloa worked seamlessly with the three Pieres brothers. By half time, they were leading by 12 goals to 3; all three of La Irenita’s goals were scored by Juan Martín Zubía.
Ellerstina showed that, at the moment, they are the strongest contenders to earn any title, and La Irenita therefore struggled to overcome their powerful rivals, who claimed an easy 22-6 win to qualify for the tournament semifinals.
Later in the afternoon, it was time for one of the most awaited games of the tournament: La Dolfina Polo Ranch vs. La Natividad Las Monjitas. Following a 1-all tie in the first chukka, La Dolfina Polo Ranch managed to hold La Natividad Las Monjitas back to take a 3-1 lead. The first half was a very good contest between two fierce contenders, with plenty of field goals as both team exchanged the lead constantly. At halftime the scoreboard read 7-6 for La Natividad Las Monjitas.
The second half was very different. La Natividad Las Monjitas came through to dominate the remaining chukkers. The team in green widened their gap in the sixth chukka, when Jeta Castagnola scored three goals to make it 13-8. They went into the last chukka leading by 13 goals to 9, after a great pass from Diego Cavanagh to Jejo Taranco resulted in goal.
It was Cavanagh who kept La Dolfina Polo Ranch’s hopes alive by converting a 30 yard penalty in the first minutes of the the last chukka, but La Natividad Las Monjitas replied quickly, sealing the deal with four goals by MVP and top scorer Jeta Castagnola (12 goals – one penalty conversion and the rest from the field) – and another by Polito Pieres. Guillermo Terrera scored the last goal of the match in the last seconds, but luck was not on his side. La Natividad Las Monjitas took the 18-11 victory; they now face Ellerstina in the Hurlingham Open semifinal.
Photo: Sergio Llamera / Prensa AAP
HURLINGHAM OPEN – QUARTER FINALS / SECOND ROUND:
ELLERSTINA 22 vs. LA IRENITA 6
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10 (10 goals, two penalties), Hilario Ulloa 10 (5), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9 (4), Nicolás Pieres 10 (3). Total: 39.
La Irenita: Martín Podestá Jr. 7, Juan Martín Zavaleta Jr. 8 (2), Facundo Fernández Llorente 7, Juan Martín Zubía 8 (4, two penalties). Total: 30.
Score Ellerstina: 5-0, 6-1, 11-1, 12-3, 16-3, 19-5, 22-6.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero & Gonzalo López Vargas.
Third Man: Esteban Ferrari.
LA NATIVIDAD LAS MONJITAS 18 vs. LA DOLFINA POLO RANCH 11
La Natividad-Las Monjitas: Camilo Castagnola 8 (12 goals, six penalties), Pablo Pieres 10 (3), Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 9 (1) (received a yellow card in the fourth chukka). Ignatius Du Plessis 9 (2). Total: 36.
La Dolfina Polo Ranch: Guillermo Terrera Jr. 8 (4) [received a yellow card in the fourth chukka], Juan Britos Jr. 8 (2), Diego Cavanagh 9 (two penalties) [received a yellow card in the fourth chukka], Alejo Taranco 8 (3). Total: 33.
Score La Natividad-Las Monjitas: 1-1, 2-3, 5-4, 7-6, 10-8, 13-9, 18-11.
Umpires: Guillermo Villanueva (h) & Martín Pascual.
Third Man: Martín Aguerre.