By Alex Webbe
On a stormy Sunday that rained out the feature match of the day at the Greenwich Polo Club, Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Tomas Garcia Del Rio, Mariano Gonzalez and Marcos Garcia Del Rio) made their triumphant debut in the 2016 USPA Monty Waterbury Cup with a resounding 12-10 win over a Beluga team (Chris Brant, Naco Taverna, Tommy Biddle and Salvador Ulloa) that had been recently assembled for the tournament.
Celebrating its 35th year of competition, the Greenwich Polo Club attracted five teams to compete in the coveted 20-goal tournament that kicks off the club’s summer season.
Beluga received two goals by handicap from the 20-goal Goose Creek team and watches ad goals from Marcos Garcia Del Rio and Mariano Gonzalez (a 60-yard penalty conversion) tied the game at 2-2. Salvador Ulloa scored the final goal of the opening chukker giving Beluga the early 3-2 advantage.
Tomas Garcia Del Rio got the ball rolling for Goose Creek in second period action. Back-to-back goals from the field had Goose Creek on top, 4-2 before Beluga could respond. A goal from the field from Naco Taverna kept the score even at 4-4 as the chukker ended.
The scoring went back and forth in the third. Biddle opened the chukker with a penalty conversion that gave the lead to Beluga, 5-4. Gonzalez responded with a goal for Goose Creek, 5-5. Biddle added a goal from the field and another penalty goal as Beluga moved in front by two goals, 7-5, but Goose Creek had another gear to shift into. Goals from Marcos Garcia Del Rio, Gonzalez and team captain Maureen Brennan ended the first half with Goose Creek in the lead by a single goal, 8-7.
Goose creek complimented two goals from the field with shutout defense as the second half got underway. Goals from Marcos Garcia Del Rio and Brennan extended the Goose Creek lead to three goals, 10-7.
Beluga fought to get back into the game in the fifth chukker but the Goose Creek defense wasn’t having any of it. Gonzales made it 11-7 with his fourth goal of the day. Biddle responded in kind for the only other goal of the chukker. After five periods of play Goose Creek continued to lead, 11-8.
Ulloa cut the Goose Creek lead back to two goals, 11-9, with the first goal of the sixth period, but Goose Creek answered back with a goal from Tomas Garcia Del Rio that maintained their three goal lead, 12-9. Beluga team captain Chris Brant scored the final goal of the game but the victory went to Goose Creek, 12-10.
Gonzalez led the Goose Creek team with four goals (one on a penalty shot). Tomas Garcia Del Rio and Marcos Garcia Del Rio each scored three times with Brennan adding a pair of goals for the win. Biddle’s four goals (two on penalty shots) led the Beluga attack. Ulloa scored twice and Brant and Taverna each added a goal in the loss.
The second scheduled match of the day between White Birch (Santino Magrini, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguirre and Peter Brant) and Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Nick Manifold and Joao Ganon) was postponed due to rain and is waiting to be rescheduled.
Monty Waterbury Cup play is slated to continue on Wednesday, June 8th with a 4pm game scheduled between Goose Creek and Airstream (Peter Orthwein, Matias Magrini, Kris Kampsen and Guille Aguero).