By Alejandra Ocampo
The 122 Hurlingham Open, second stage of the Triple Crown in Argentina, kicked off today on the Argentine Polo Association fields, in Pilar, featuring eight teams up to 40 goals.
The opening day had wins for La Dolfina and La Aguada, against Washington and La Aguada Las Monjitas, respectively.
La Dolfina 22 vs. Washington 12
The match had a very close start, with two very even first chukkers, but La Dolfina’s powerful team play came in the third chukker, when they took a 7-4 lead. The Cañuelas-based foursome displayed their best polo, to extended their advantage chukker after chukker, and by half time the scoreboard read a 11-5 led for Cambiaso and Co.
La Dolfina dominated a talented and young Washington foursome; the boys could only score three times between the third and fifth chukkers. With an impressive 20-9 lead by the start of the last chukker, La Dolfina just needed to score a couple of times to seal their first win.
Score La Dolfina: 3-3, 5-3, 7-4, 11-5, 14-6, 16-8, 20-9, 22-12
La Aguada 13 vs. La Aguada Las Monjitas 12
The second match featured the “brother” teams from Open Door – La Aguada and La Aguada Las Monjitas, who already met in their opening match of the Tortugas Open.
La Aguada Las Monjitas featured a change in their lineup: with Sebastián Merlos still out of the saddle due to a knee injury that went under surgery, they had Pancho Bensadon filling in for him.
In a very close contest, La Aguada remained in the lead until the third period, but the goal difference was very tight – no more than a couple of goals. However, La Aguada Las Monjitas battled back, and thanks to the goals by Cubi Toccalino, they managed to remain in the lead during the next three chukkers.
La Aguada made a comeback in the seventh chukker; in the last seconds in the chukker, Agustin Merlos scored to tie at 11-all. In the eighth chukker, Guillermo Terrera put La Aguada back on the lead, until Toccalino once again tied 12-12. La Aguada then tightened their attack, and there was Agustin Merlos who scored to decide the final 13-12 victory.
Score La Aguada: 2-1, 6-5, 7-6, 8-7, 8-10, 9-10, 11-11, 13-12
The Hurlingham Open will resume on Wednesday, with two matches, also in Pilar.
2pm: Ellerstina Piaget vs. Magual
4pm: Alegria vs. Chapaleufu