By Ebe Sievwright
Agualinda 12 vs Power Infastructure 10
MVP Alfredo Vargas
This opening match of the DR Polo Challenge and Bronze Cup High Goal tournament saw the first appearance in a major tournament of one of Polo’s greatest players, Pelon Stirling, since the tremendous triumph of his team La Dolfina in Argentina. Needless to say he was able to see his team Agualinda through to victory and defeat their opponents Power Infastructure by 12 goals to 10. With the additional value of Jose Donoso on just a 5 goal handicap he was able to create a defensive wall that never lost a lead of more than 2 goals. Between the two of them they fed Alfredo Vargas pass after pass that gave the number 1 10 goals and the MVP award for the game. Pelon himself was the only other scorer for the team with 2 goals, one in the1st and another in the 2nd. Their opponents spread the goals out a little more evenly with Miguel Mendoza making some runs for goal that started to threaten Agualinda’s lead but his 4 goals couldn’t quite make the difference. Team captain Nacho Novillo Astrada scored the goal of the game with a powered forehand from almost the halfway line in the 2nd chukka, but even his consistent defence and valuable passes couldn’t match the Stirling/Donoso combination at the back. Andres James took away 3 goals and Ynaki Laprida at number 3 scored a single goal.
This relaxed open game, that had a classic feel to it, was the perfect way to launch the Polo Challenge at the immaculate polo and equestrian resort Los Establos in Capcana, DR.
Pitirre Potranca 10 vs Los Establos 7
MVP Lerin Zubiaurre
The second game of the day was played on the even more perfect field number 1 at Los Establos, with the spectacular clubhouse at the end, and its own viewing pavilion by the side where more spectators gathered.
This game was an altogether different event. From the very first throw in it was a fight for every ball, with neither team giving more than an inch at a time. Pitirre Potranca had a two goal handicap advantage before the game even began and hammered home a successive 3 goals all within the first chukka. This put the home team Los Establos at a severe disadvantage from the outset. The rest of the game was a long haul for Los Establos to try and get a foothold, but it was never granted to them.
The two backs on each team put up the greatest contest with each other whilst co-ordinating superbly with their own partner. Rodrigo Rueda and Lerin Zubiaurre refused to give ground to a very resilient, but at the end of the day, exasperated Ale Muzzio and Cubi Toccalino. The result was a surprise as the latter duo have not only featured regularly in the last few triple crown tournaments of the Argentine season but also played together for Magual in 2014. Nevertheless it was their opponents that came out of every play with the most possession. Lerin Zubiaurre doing the most damage with 7 goals of his team’s 10 and three of those were the first. Moments of brilliance saw both Toccalino and Muzzio make long hopeful runs (each converted one of those into a goal) but Zubiaurre was undoubtedly the most dominant; For this he won MVP. Julio Lopez had neat neck shot finish in the 5th and Dani Santana also made a long run to gaol in that same chukka that compounded the destruction to Los Establos. Juan – Clemente Marambio gave a valiant performance for the losing team and scraped back 3 goals but ultimately Pitirre Potranca were too far ahead from their devastating first chukka for Los Establos to ever make it back.
Agualinda vs. Power Infrastructure
Pitirri Potranca vs Los Establos