By Alejandra Ocampo – contribution by Juan Cruz Diaz de Céspedes, from Palm Beach

Valiente and Orchard Hill scored wins in the opening day of the USPA Gold Cup, the second tournament of the American Triple Crown, that takes place at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In the first match, Valiente and Coca Cola played a very narrow match, featuring open polo and great plays.
Bob Jornayvaz’s team had an impressive 6-2 lead over Gillian Johnston’s foursome at the end of the second chukker. However, Coca Cola made a comeback in the third period, when Julio Arellano produced three unanswered goals to tie at 3-all by half time.
What followed next was a very intense, tight contest. Coca Cola outscored Valiente 8-7 in the fourth chukker, and Valiente caught up the next, 10-9. The match was decided in the last chukker. Adolfo Cambiaso scored to widen Valiente’s advantage to 11-9. Miguel Novillo Astrada produced Coca Cola’s sigle goal in that last period, but all was already said and done.

Score Valiente: 2-1, 6-2, 6-, 7-8, 10-9, 11-10
Scorers:
Valiente: Adolfo Cambiaso 5, Diego Cavanagh 5, Matias Torres Zavaleta 1
Coca Cola: Julio Arellano 4, Miguel Novillo Astrada 3, Julián de Lusarreta 1, Gillian Johnston 1

Up next, Orchard Hill met up with Audi, who are making their debut in the 2017 Palm Beach season.
Marc Ganzi’s team had a better start, but Orchard Hill replied in the next two following chukkers, reaching a 4-4 at half time.
Audi took the lead in the fourth chukker and maintained that advantage in the fifth chukker, when they hold Orchard Hill scoreless. As a result, Audi had a two-goal lead (6-4) with only seven minutes left.
But far from giving up, a determined Orchard Hill tightened their attack in that last chukker – three unanswered goals courtesy of Facundo Pieres, tied the match at 7-all. And in the last seconds of play, it was Facundo who picked the ball again and run to the goalposts to seal a dramatic win for Steve van Andel and Co.

Score Orchard Hill: 0-2, 3-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 8-7
Scorers:
Orchard Hill: Facundo Pieres 7, Polito Pieres 1
Audi: Gonzalito Pieres 3, Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade 3, Tomás Pieres 1