Julio Arellano scored the first goal of the day for the early 1-0 Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano and Juancito Bollini) lead, but it would be the last time Dutta Corp. Blue would trail on their way to an 8-6 win in the final of the 2016 Sun Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club Sunday morning.
Arellano scored on a backhander from Grant Ganzi to open the game for Newport before defenses on both sides of the ball slowed down any successful attacks on goal. Brandon Phillips finally tied the game at 1-1 in the final 25 seconds of the first chukker.
Goals were no easier to come by in the second frame, as both teams labored to get an offensive rhythm going. Phillips scored the only goal of the chukker on a 30-yard penalty shot at 6:05 of the second period and despite a number of runs on goal, the second chukker ended with Dutta Corp. Blue on top, 2-1.
Phillips scored his third goal of the day in third chukker play, converting a penalty shot from the 30-yard line, 3-1. Arellano responded with a goal from the field with just 1:01 left in the period, cutting the Dutta Corp. Blue lead to a single goal again, 3-2, to end the first half.
Once again it was Phillips with the first goal of the chukker at the 6:17 mark as the second half got started. The goal extended the Dutta Corp. Blue lead to two goals, 4-2. A well-orchestrated goal from Juancito Bollini kept Newport from being shutout with the final goal of the chukker to make it 4-3.
The fifth period belonged to Dutta Corp. Blue, both offensively and defensively. Tony Calle scored the first goal of the chukker from the field in the opening 16 seconds of play, 5-3. Teammate Piki Alberdi made it 6-3 at the six-minute mark as both teams rode out the scoreless balance of the chukker.
Calle scored early in the sixth (7:14) for a four goal Dutta Corp. Blue lead, 7-3. Grant Ganzi countered with a 30-yard penalty conversion, 7-4, with Newport struggling for a last chukker rally. Calle’s second goal of the chukker and third of the game had Newport trailing by four goals, 8-4, with 3:42 on the clock and the Newport team fighting to get back into it. Newport team captain Gene Goldstein scored his first goal of the game with 2:43 left to play and Arellano added his third of the day, cutting the Dutta Corp. Blue down to a manageable two goals, 8-6, but time was on the side of Dutta Corp. Blue as Newport found themselves on the losing end of an 8-6 final score.
Phillips led all scoring with four goals (two on penalty shots). Twenty-year-old Calle scored three times and earned MVP honors for his efforts. Alberdi added a goal for the win. Arellano led the Newport offense with three goals. Bollini, Ganzi and Goldstein each added a goal in the loss.
Calle’s twelve-year-old Argentine mare, Fantasia, was honored as Best Playing Pony.
Dutta Corp. White 9, Flexjet 8
Dutta Corp. White (Tim Dutta, Jason Crowder, Lucas Lalor and J.J. Celis) rallied for three goals in the final chukker to edge Flexjet (Riley Ganzi/Santos Bollini, Marc Ganzi, Kris Kampsen and Juan Bollini), 9-8, in the consolation match later in the day.
J.J. Celis scored the first goal of the game midway through the opening chukker to give Dutta Corp. White a 1-0 lead. Marc Ganzi leveled the score at 1-1 with a 60-yad cut shot with the final goal of the first period.
Dutta Corp. White exploded for three consecutive goals in the second with Lucas Lalor scoring twice and Celis adding his second goal of the game. Santos Bollini closed out the chukker with a goal from the field with 1:08 on the clock. Dutta Corp. White took the lead, 4-2.
Defenses prevailed in third period action. The two teams exchanged goals with Celis scoring his third goal of the day for Dutta Corp. White and Kris Kampsen responding with a goal for Flexjet. At the end of the first half it was Dutta Corp. White with the two goal lead, 5-3.
Lalor opened the scoring with a goal from the field in the opening minute of the second half. Flexjet was held scoreless as Dutta Corp. White extended their lead to three goals, 6-3.
Flexjet rallied for three straight goals in fifth chukker action with Marc Ganzi scoring back-to-back goals in less than a minute to bring Flexjet to within a goal of the lead, 6-5. Kampsen scored the final goal of the fifth chukker with 4:40 left in the period to deadlock the game at 6-6.
Santos Bollini scored his second goal of the game in the opening 25 seconds of the sixth chukker to give Flexjet their first lead of the game, 7-6. Lalor tied it at 7-7 just a minute later. Jason Crowder gave Dutta Corp. White an 8-7 lead with his first goal of the game and added another two minutes later to put Dutta Corp. White in front, 8-7. Marc Ganzi tied the game at 8-8, with his fourth goal of the match, but Dutta Corp. White didn’t want to let Flexjet take the game into overtime. A final rush on the goal left the door open for Crowder who scored the winning goal, 9-8, with just 17 seconds left in regulation play.
Lalor’s four goals led the Dutta Corp. White attack. Celis added three goals and Crowder came up with two last chukker goals for the win. Marc Ganzi scored a team-high four goals for Flexjet. Kampsen and Santos Bollini each scored twice in a losing effort.
Tournament play continues at the Grand Champions Polo Club on Friday, May 13th with the 2016 USPA Eastern Challenge. Final to be played on Sunday, May 15th.
By Alex Webbe