By Darlene Ricker
In a near replay of their previous high-scoring games this season, La Dolfina steamrolled over Washington, winning with a 10-goal advantage (18-8) on the third day of the 123rd Argentine Open Polo Championship in Palermo. After the win, the team from Cañuelas was awarded the Cup Omint by Juan Carlos Villa Larroudet.
The other match, between Alegría and Cría Yatay, was an even contest throughout. Alegría won 9-7.
In the La Dolfina-Washington match, Adolfo Cambiaso was high-scorer with six goals (three penalty). As he has repeatedly done this season, Pablo MacDonough played with tightly calibrated precision for La Dolfina, making five goals, as did David Stirling. Facundo Sola matched that scoring record for Washington. All four La Dolfina members were fully committed to victory, holding their rival scoreless in the second and third chukkas. The game was fast and clean all the way through. In the first half Washington won 10 throw-ins, and La Dolfina won nine.
Power hitter Alfredo Cappella opened the scoring in the second half, with a revved-up Juan Martin Nero matching him stride-for-stride. That was Washington’s last goal until Sola came through in the first 10 seconds of the seventh chukka. La Dolfina had a stunning sixth chukka, scoring four back-to-back goals in three minutes. La Dolfina kept ratcheting up the spread, closing the seventh chukka 16-5. Diego Cavanagh made the final goal of the day, carrying the ball through the goal posts from the throw-in with 13 seconds left in the match.
In the other game, Lucas Monteverde tied the score at 6 in the fifth chukka. From that point on, Alegría allowed Cría Yatay only one goal, made by Joaquín Pittaluga in the final chukka. Guillermo “Sapo” Caset led the scoring for Alegría with five goals total. Caset was on top of his game all day, scoring on five of his six attempts at goal. Hilario Ulloa supplied two goals in the sixth, followed by one by Fred Mannix. Both teams stood at a virtual standstill in the seventh, with no one scoring, which resulted in a 9-7 victory for Alegría.
The tournament continues Sunday, with La Aguada Las Monjitas playing La Irenita and Ellerstina opposing El Paraíso. All games in the Open are being live streamed on ESPN (except for in Latin America): http://espni.go.com/player/video/playdemoesp/index.htm