By Alex Webbe
Ellerstina (Polito Pieres, Nico Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) scored an impressive 19-11 win over Alegria (Magoo Laprida, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Fred Mannix) Sunday afternoon at Argentina’s Hurlingham Club in the second semifinal of the 2015 Hurlingham Open, but the question on most people’s minds is whether they can take that same level of play to the field with them against the defending championship La Dolfina team (Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martin Nero) on Saturday, November 7th.
Opening goals from Polito Pieres and Hilario Ulloa had the teams all even at 1-1 when Ellerstina exploded. Ellerstina scored four consecutive goals to close out the first chukker with a 5-1 lead.
Three more Ellerstina goals went unanswered in the second period as Polito Pieres slashed through the Alegria defenders and Facundo Peres made them pay dearly for any fouls committed. After two periods it was all Ellerstina, 8-1.
The onslaught continued into the third chukker. Ellerstina added four more goals to their growing total while Alegria continued to struggle on both offense and defense. For the second consecutive chukker Alegria was held scoreless. The Ellerstina lead had grown to an overshadowing 12-1 advantage.
Alegria made an effort in the fourth period to get back into the game, scoring three times to a single goal from Ellerstina. The first half ended with Ellerstina in control of a 13-4 score.
Two more goals in the fifth for Ellerstina were countered by a single goal from Alegria. The Ellerstina goal now stood at ten goals, 15-5, with Alegria having no answers for the storming Ellerstina offense and smothering defense.
The two teams traded single goals in the sixth, with Alegria picking up no ground. The Ellerstina lead held at ten goals, 16-6.
Ellerstina scored three times in the seventh period while holding Alegria to two goals. After seven chukkers Ellerstina rode off the field on top of a19-8 score with once chukker left in regulation play.
Alegria scored all three goals in the final chukker as the Ellerstina team let their horses breathe. At the end of regulation time it was Ellerstina on top of a 19-11 score.
Polito Pieres and Facundo Pieres scored seven goals apiece for Ellerstina. Gonzalito Pieres added three goals and Nico Pieres scored twice for the win. Hilario Ulloa led the Alegria attack with five goals. Magoo Laprida was credited with three goals; Lucas Monteverde scored twice and Fred Mannix added a goal in the loss.
The victory was the third consecutive win in the Hurlingham Open and earned them to their second title game of the Argentine high-goal season, facing the defending champion, La Dolfina in next Saturday’s 4pm final.
Questions surround the Cambiaso injury that forced him to leave the field in the middle of the sixth chukker in Saturday’s 16-10 win over La Aguada in Saturday’s other Hurlingham Open semifinal., but the mounted warrior has proven to be more than resilient over the years and we expect to see him in the opening lineup for La Dolfina next week.
(Photo courtesy of the AAP and Matias Callejo)