Dubai (Leo Mandelbaum, Carlos Gracida, Diego Cavanagh and Alejo Taranco) got Thursday’s Joe Barry Memorial Cup action started at the International Polo Club with a 12-9 win over Audi/Millarville (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Julian Mannix and Freddie Mannix).
Dubai took control of the game in the opening chukker with Diego Cavanagh driving a neck-shot through the Audi/Millarville goalposts for a 1-0 lead. Alejo Taranco made it 2-0 at the 4:41 mark followed by two more goals from Cavanagh (one on a 30-yard penalty shot) that had Audi/Millarville trailing by four goals, 4-0. Nic Roldan finally stopped the bleeding by converting a penalty shot for the final goal of the chukker with Audi/Millarville trailing by three goals, 4-1.
Both defenses stiffened in the second period with scoring coming at a premium. Neither team was able to convert a shot on goal until Fred Mannix scored a goal from the field for Audi/Millarville, cutting the Dubai lead to two goals. Dubai was unable to score but continued to lead at the end of the chukker, 4-2.
Taranco and Julian Mannix traded goals as the third period got underway. Taranco scored first, 5-2 followed by a goal from Julian Mannix, 5-3. Taranco scored his third goal of the game to make it 6-3 with Julian Mannix responding a minute later with a goal for Audi/Millarville to make it 6-4. Roldan scored the final goal of the chukker with 30 seconds on the clock, and at the end of the first half Dubai was holding on to a fragile 6-5, one goal advantage.
A refreshed Audi/Millarville team charged onto the field in the second half with focus and determination. The pace quickened and a Dubai foul sent Roldan to the penalty line where he converted a 60-yard penalty shot to tie the game at 6-6. Audi/Millarville continued to press the attack with Roldan adding a goal from the field that gave them their first lead of the day, 6-7. A solid Audi/Millarville defensive effort kept Dubai off of the scoreboard and allowed them to end the period with the lead.
Leo Mandelbaum (filling in for Rashid Albwardy) tie d the game at 7-7 in the opening seconds of the fifth chukker. Roldan answered back with a goal for Audi/Millarville with a 60-yard penalty conversion to take the lead back, 8-7. Cavanagh and Roldan traded goals as Audi/Millarville continued to hold on to the lead, 9-8, when Dubai fought back. Mandelbaum added his second goal of the period on a well-executed nearside neck-shot to level the score at 9-9 and Cavanagh closed out the scoring with a goal from the field in the final 56 seconds on the clock. At the end of the fifth chukker, Dubai held the lead once again, 10-9.
Audi/Millarville fought to get back into the game in the final chukker, but it was Dubai’s defense that held the line. Goals from Taranco at 4:33 and 2:21in the final chukker went unanswered and Dubai rode off with the 12-9 victory.
Taranco and Cavanagh scored five goals apiece. Mandelbaum added two goals for Dubai for the win. Roldan scored six times (five on penalty conversions). Julian Mannix scored twice from the field with older brother Fred Mannix adding a goal in a losing effort.
Orchard Hill 11, Valiente 10
Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Polito Pieres, Peke Gonzalez and Lucas Criado) opened their defense of their 2015 Joe Barry Memorial Cup title by building an 8-5 halftime lead over Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Roberto Zedda, Santi Torres and Santi Chavanne) before holding on to register the 11-10 win.
Santi Torres scored the first goal of the game in the opening 32 seconds of play followed by a tying goal (30-yard penalty conversion) from Polito Pieres a minute later. Santiago Chavanne gave the lead back to Valiente, 2-1, with 4:36 left in the chukker. Pieres took control of the ball ad midfield in the waning seconds of the opening chukker and raced down the field to tie it at 2-2 with 11 seconds on the clock.
Torres and Peke Gonzalez exchanged goals in the opening minutes of the second period, 3-3 before the momentum shifted in Orchard Hill’s favor. A pressing Orchard Hill attack resulted in a number of costly Valiente fouls that had Pieres converting three consecutive penalty shots to move ahead, 6-3.
The two teams matched one another goal for goal in the third period. Pieres and Chavanne each converted penalty shots while Roberto Zedda and Lucas Criado each scored a goal from the field. At the end of the first half Orchard Hill held on to their three goal lead, 8-5.
Criado scored on a pass from Gonzalez to open the second half with a 9-5 Orchard Hill lead. Zedda drove neck-shot 30-yards through the Orchard Hill goalposts, 9-6. Pieres scored the final goal of the period from the field and with two periods remaining in regulation play, Orchard Hill was in possession of a four goal, 10-6, lead.
Defense governed the fifth chukker with both teams having difficulty scoring. Both attacks were characterized with runs up and down the field with no positive results. Chavanne scored the only goal of the period with just 2:57 on the clock, but Orchard left the field with the lead, 10-7.
Valiente opened the final chukker with a powerful shot through the goalposts by Chavanne that brought Valiente to within two goals of the lead, 10-8. Gonzalez gave the three goal lead back to Orchard Hill on an impressive 200-yard scoring run, 11-9. Valiente continued to attack the Orchard Hill goal with Chavanne scoring his fifth goal of the game that cut the Orchard Hill lead to two goals, 11-9. Orchard Hill fought fiercely to take the wind out of the resurging sails of the Valiente players but Valiente persevered. Chavanne scored his final goal of the game with 2:13 on the clock, and bringing Valiente to within a goal of the lead when Orchard Hill stemmed the tide. The Orchard Hill defense held for the final two minutes of the game and celebrated a narrow 11-10 win.
Pieres scored five of his game-high seven goals on penalty conversions. Criado and Gonzalez each scored twice for the win. Chavanne’s six goals led the Valiente attack. Torres and Zedda scored two goals each in the loss.
Villa del Lago 11, Tonkawa 7
In the final match of the day in Joe Barry Memorial Cup play, Villa del Lago (Jim Zenni, Guille Aguero, Hilario Ulloa and Agustin Obregon) beat up on Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalo Deltour, Sebastian Merlos and Mason Wroe) in recording an 11-7 win.
Agustin Obregon scored two goals from the field in the opening chukker with Hilario Ulloa converting a 30-yard penalty shot. An impotent Tonkawa offense was unable to score and fell behind 3-0 after the opening period.
Gonzalo Deltour finally got Tonkawa on the scoreboard in the second chukker with a 60-yard penalty goal, 3-1, as both teams fought to develop a cohesive offensive rhythm. Ulloa scored the only other goal of the period to maintain their three goal advantage, 4-1.
Guille Aguero scored in the opening 25 seconds of the third chukker, but that would be the last spark of offense. The two teams struggled to coordinate offensive efforts, and at the end of the chukker Villa del Lago had expanded their lead to four goals for a 5-1 halftime lead.
Sebastian Merlos converted a penalty shot halfway through the fourth chukker, 5-2, followed by a Tonkawa foul and a Penalty 1that awarded Villa del Lago a goal, 6-2. Another goal from Ulloa came in the final two minutes of the chukker. After four periods of play, Villa del Lago was on top, 7-2.
Tonkawa continued to battle Villa del Lago, picking up a pair of goals from Deltour in the fifth. Aguero converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal. With once period left to play, Villa del Lago continued to lead, 8-4.
Tonkawa made their strongest offensive showing in the sixth period. Team captain Jeff Hildebrand scored a goal from the field and Deltour converted penalty shots from 40 and 60-ayrds. Villa dl Lago matched them goal for goal with Ulloa scoring twice and Aguero adding his fifth goal of the day for the 11-7 victory.
The Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament has three games scheduled to be played on Sunday, January 17th with Audi – Millarville (0-1) facing Orchard Hill (1-0) in a 10am game. Dubai 1-0) is slated to play Valiente (0-1) noon. Villa del Lago and Palm Beach Illustrated will be featured in the International Polo Club’s 3pm match.
The International Polo Club is located at 3667 120th Avenue in Wellington. For more information about the IPC, tournament information or tickets, call 561-282-5334 or visit InternationalPoloClub.com.
(Photo by Alex Pacheco)